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Top 10 Customer Service Tips

By Sara Dethloff

 

Excelling at customer service can have a big impact on your business’s bottom line. Here are 10 tips to help you provide outstanding customer service.

  1. Anticipate the needs of your customers.
    Use your experience with customers to help anticipate what they may need. Their needs might be recurring or seasonal, but showing them that you are thinking ahead is always appreciated on their end.

  2. Your time should revolve around the customer.
    Especially during busy season, it can be frustrating if a customer wants to stop and chat when you have a lot of work to do. However, the customer will be able to tell if your heart is not in the conversation, so always make the customer top priority.

  3. Smile and dial!
    Whether you operate a brick-and-motor shop or have a strictly home-based operation, use a warm and friendly greeting while on the phone with customers. A friendly tone can be sensed even over the phone!

  4. Take control of the situation when something goes wrong.
    No business is perfect all of the time, and when mistakes are made, it matters how you handle them. As soon as you realize you made a mistake, admit it, apologize sincerely, and do everything in your power to reverse the mistake.

  5. The customer should always feel like the most important person in the room.
    This can be achieved through little details such as making them feel genuinely welcome or addressing them by their name when they do business with you. If they feel valued and appreciated, then they are more likely to return and make more purchases.

  6. Give credence to customer complaints.
    To stay consistent in tone and process, use the CARP method:
    • Control the situation.
    • Acknowledge the dilemma.
    • Refocus the conversation.
    • Problem-solve so the customer leaves happy.

  7. Ask for feedback.
    You may think your business is performing well in terms of customer service, but you will you never truly know unless you ask what the customer thinks. Once the information has been gathered, it should be acted on swiftly. Take time to thank the customers that brought anything to your attention.

  8. Invest in great people.
    In most cases, your employees will have the most face-to-face contact with your customers. The quality of your customer service will never exceed the quality of the people providing it. The better they are treated, the happier they will be while at work. It will then be evident in the way that they deal with customers.

  9. Give thanks in the real world.
    Retention matters in business more than ever. To bring a personal touch, consider sending handwritten thank you notes to new customers or long supports of your establishment.

  10. Bend the rules (if needed).
    If a repeat customer makes a special request that would normally not be part of the service that you provide, the request should be given consideration rather than the customer being told no. Customers will appreciate that you have empowered your employees with common sense and the ability to see the big picture.

Awards and Personalization Association

The Awards and Personalization Association is the organization for retailers and suppliers of personalized and customized items. By providing education, meetings, and access to a vibrant network of professionals, the Awards and Personalization Association is the one place to ensure the growth of your talent, your business, and your professional community.

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