5 Innovative Ways to Improve Your Customer Service

This guest post is contributed by Brenda Harris, who writes on the topic of executive mba programs . She can be reached at her email id: brenda.harris91@gmail.com.

If there is one thing you can say for sure about any business, it’s that competition is fierce. There is no industry today where you can hold a monopoly, no matter how powerful or rich you are.

In a world that offers equal opportunities to those who use their brains and are willing to work hard, the only way to get ahead is to woo your customers and encourage them to stay with you through thick and thin.

And the best way to do this is by offering great customer service – when customers feel that you treat them like royalty, they don’t want to take their patronage elsewhere, even if your competition is offering them a lower cost.

A few innovative ways to step up your customer service are:

  • Don’t be condescending: No matter how large or successful a company you are, it does not pay to look down on your customers. Remember, they are the reason you exist and that while they can thrive without you (because of the competition), you cannot survive without them. So no matter how naive or ignorant your customers seem, help them out as best as you can without adopting a patronizing or condescending attitude. Don’t let their looks or how they’re dressed determine how you treat them – the story of the Stanford University’s birth should be example enough to emphasize this point.
  • Offer personalized service: Customers feel privileged when you remember their names and know what they like by way of service, and this is why they tend to come back to places where personalized service is the norm and not an anomaly. Even if your operations are broad and your interaction with customers limited, you must take up making customer interaction a personalized experience as a challenge.
  • Follow up on issues: Most companies fall short when it comes to following up on issues with their customers. If there is a complaint, they fail to see if it has been attended to or check if the problem has been resolved to the customer’s satisfaction. We live in an age where bad press spreads faster than wildfire, and with the vast reach of the Internet, you’re bound to lose credibility in a jiffy if dissatisfied and frustrated customers leave unflattering commentary about you on the web.
  • Know when to offer your services: There are times when customers like to be undisturbed – not everyone likes a salesperson following them when they shop and hovering around their elbow. So know when you’re needed and when to keep a distance. Similarly, customers resent the intrusions on their time made by unsolicited text messages and marketing calls. Use methods like email or traditional post to get their attention instead of getting on their nerves by cold calling.
  • Don’t neglect the post sales relationship: Most companies lose their customers because they terminate their relationship with them after the sale is made. They fail to understand that a satisfied customer generates more business and that this is reason enough to continue to provide service even though there is no great benefit to the company from providing this service. Take a phone company for example –customers have paid for the handset and a year’s subscription, so they’re not likely to go anywhere else in this period of time unless they want to suffer a loss. From the company’s point of view, they already have their money. But if they let this factor decide how they treat their customers and offer shoddy post-sales service, they’re going to lose many more potential customers because the word will surely be spread by the few disgruntled ones.

Pretty good post by Brenda, right?  What are your thoughts?  Leave your comments below!