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How do you know if your company is offering the best customer service it possibly can? It’s easy – put yourself in your customers’ shoes. We’ve all been on the other side of the service counter before. You can probably think right now of businesses you’ve dealt with where they treated you like gold and you went away singing their praises. It’s even easier to think of an experience where they were just dreadful.

It varies from company to company, but there are a few common things all good customer service needs to have. As long as you ensure you have these, your customers are almost guaranteed to adore you.

Speedy Response

Get back to all comments and questions immediately. When a customer is on the fence, they ask questions. If you’re not there to answer them, they’ll take their questions somewhere else. This is especially true of online shoppers who are wary of purchasing products sight unseen. Speedy response engenders trust. Obviously, you should make sure your delivery and refunds are also as quick as possible.

Empathy and Acknowledgement

Good customer service means that the company understands its customers’ situation. Companies with lousy service try to get their customers off the customer service phone or desk as quickly as possible and care little for their feelings. You can respond perfectly to your customers’ problems if you can empathize with them. It’s so much more effective than spouting company policy.

Responsibility

Bad customer service passes the buck and places blame. Instead of a simple apology, customer service reps make excuses as to why you’re not getting served properly. Good companies take responsibility for the problem, even if they’re not the ones to blame.

High Quality Products

You’ll rarely find a company with great customer service offering low quality products. This is because companies that care about their customers listen to their feedback and make improvements. They want to offer the best product or service possible.

Support When Problems Arise

Reputable companies bend over backwards when problems arise. They do this because complications should be a rare event. The companies have a streamlined ordering process, a stellar product, and all the support the customer needs. When that system breaks down or has a glitch, the company goes the extra mile to fix whatever is necessary. If you offer good support, your customer’s problem becomes your problem and you respond quickly to resolve it for both of you.

Pleasant, Friendly and Patient Staff

The little P’s and Q’s go a long way, especially when you’re doing business online. When communicating through email, you can’t see each other’s faces, so it’s crucial to be as friendly and polite as possible. Patience is the key to dealing with customer-related issues in a pleasant way.

It sounds like a lot to handle, but there’s really one simple fundamental to all good customer service – make it focused on the customer. It’s all about them and their situations, and not about your company’s policies or profit margin. If you keep this in mind, you’ll always do the right thing.

Next Steps
Examine your own business and answer these questions to assess your current customer service:

  • How long does it take you to respond to emails or online questions (social media too)?
  • How many disgruntled customers have you had in the last month?
  • How many problems have you had with your product in the last month – eg, delivery system or quality?
  • What is your process for providing support?