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For any service and product-based company, customers are integral in helping the company thrive and succeed. The people who buy from you are likely to buy from you again or refer their friends based on their experience with your company. According to research, the average person who has a bad customer service experience tells at least nine other people about it. What a negative chain effect it could have on the reputation you are trying to build for your company! So to ensure an exceptional rate of repeat customers and referrals, implement a remarkable and memorable customer service strategy.
Here are some tips that we found to be extremely helpful in providing excellent customer service (via Joel on Software):
1. Fix everything two ways – Two ways of fixing a customer’s problem is solving the problem immediately and finding a way to prevent this problem from ever happening again.
2. Suggest blowing out the dust – This is based on a story of a customer whose keyboard wasn’t working, but because it was unplugged. The customer support rep told the customer to unplug the connecter, blow out the dust, and plug it back in. Rather than telling the customer to “check” the setting, try to tell him or her to “change” the setting. Sometimes, good customer care is all in the phrasing and wording of things.
3. Make customers into fans – Make each phone call, each customer, and each situation very special and top-priority. By doing your best to make the customer your number one fan, you are looking at someone who will rave about your stellar customer service to others.
4. Take the blame – When a customer is angry because of an innocent mistake you made, sometimes all you have to do is admit that it’s your fault. It could potentially calm the angry customer and soften his or her response.
5. Memorize key phrases – If your customer brings up a concern that personally offends you, try turning to a certain phrase, such as “I’m sorry” or “I hope that doesn’t happen again.” Even when you want to say what’s really on your mind, just remember that the customer is more important.
6. Practice puppetry – Pretend you’re only a puppeteer in a play. Figure out what to make the puppet do to make your customer happy.
7. Greed will get you nowhere – Look at each customer as a person who you want to please with your service or product, rather than as a monetary value and number.