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Customers are looking at overall experience a business provides

February 18,2018 06:32

Providing extraordinary customer service is what sets one business apart from its competition. It requires efficiently helping customers, being friendly and surpassing customer expectations. A business wants to create loyal customers who will refer ...and more »


Becky Vaughn-Furlow, Careers Published 4:00 p.m. CT Feb. 17, 2018

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Pepper the robot looks like another expensive toy, but it would be a mistake to dismiss it as mere child’s play. The chatty humanoid is part of an ambitious push to put customer-service robots in malls, airports, stores and other businesses. (Dec. 29) AP

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Providing extraordinary customer service is what sets one business apart from its competition. It requires efficiently helping customers, being friendly and surpassing customer expectations.
A business wants to create loyal customers who will refer business to friends, family and colleagues. It all starts with a genuine desire to delight customers. Think beyond merely selling products and services to the overall experience the customer has when visiting your store or website.
Here are ways to create a consistent pattern of providing excellent customer service:
Know your products or services. Ensure all customer-facing staff members know your products/services inside out. Employees should be well trained so they can answer questions and articulate in a way that the customer is satisfied.
Good communication skills. Keep it simple. Be clear and leave nothing to doubt. Listening is a key component and the real secret of customer service. Watch for signs from the customer that they may be displeased. Pay attention to what they say.
Be genuine and sincere. Believe in your business, and it will be easy and fun to provide good customer service. Customers are smart and will pick up on a lack of belief and sincerity.
Attentiveness. Be attentive to non-verbal signals as well as what the customer says verbally. Acknowledge the customer in person and on the phone. Make yourself accessible. Always be courteous and respectful to customers and your customer will leave happy.
Responsiveness. Take the time to understand customer needs. There is nothing worse than non-responsiveness to a customer who needs help in resolving an issue. A customer should never be ignored. Get back to the customer with an answer promptly.
Perseverance and tenacity. Do not accept the “status quo.” This trait sets apart an outstanding employee from a mediocre one. A good work ethic and the willingness to do whatever needs to be done are necessary to satisfy the customer. Don’t allow discouragement to take over.
Be willing to learn. If you are not willing to continually learn, you will be left behind. A person can always improve by investing in ongoing skill development. Whether it is selling skills, product knowledge, marketing expertise or industry updates you never arrive at a place where you know it all.
Art of persuasion. To develop the highest level of customer service you need to hone your skills of persuasion. Selling is the key to success, and convincing the customers the product or service is right for them (as long as it is) cannot be overemphasized.
Ask for and use feedback. You may be surprised what you can learn from your customers when you ask them about their needs and what they think of your business, products and services. Surveys, feedback forms and questionnaires can be used but simply making it a common practice to ask customers for feedback when they are completing their orders is very effective.
Hiring and retaining employees who really love their jobs and care about providing excellent customer service are the keys to success. Everyone wants to be treated with dignity and respect and feel appreciated. Customers will go out of their way, even pay more, when they feel like an important customer and where employees go above and beyond in the level of customer service provided. Little things go a long way, and memorable experiences are what results in repeat customers.
Treat your customers like invited guests in your home. Customers may forget what you said but they never forget how they are made to feel. Show customers how important they are to you by always striving to exceed their expectations.
Contact Becky Vaughn-Furlow at bvaughnfurlow@gmail.com.
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