In this part we will concentrate on the mistakes made by some service providers (SP) with the customer’s point of view in mind. Whether we are selling a product or service we all have internal and external customers and need to serve them well if we want return business and referrals.
However we are all human and mistakes are part of our make-up, although they also presents an opportunity not just to learn, but also to turn an unsatisfied customer into a valued loyal one. I’m sure there have been times when you have had what you perceived to be a disaster on your hands, and then you apologised and put everything right with knobs on. At this point you then find out you have not just kept this customer but they have remained with you over the years and recommended you to others. Well…that’s how it should be.
Treat mistakes and disasters as opportunities to excel at customer service and you will not just survive, you will flourish.
It is important to know what not to do as well as what you must do. So here are two lists checkers:
- Build unattainable customer expectation
- Ignore customer communication
- Hide from your customer
- Put off dealing with the situation for any length of time
- Use/make excuses – customers don’t care
- Blame others – this is your problem not someone else’s
- Forget or decide not to apologise
- Treat your customer as a burden
- Fuel the fire by invoicing for cock-ups
- Deal with the customer’s expectation right up front
- Communicate well, returning calls as soon as you can
- Listen to your customer’s complaints – find out the problem from the customer’s point of view
- Apologise if you have made any mistakes
- Find out what would make the customer happy again and then do something more to exceed their expectations
- Make your customer feel they are the most important customer to you – think what you would need if you were in the customer’s shoes
- Deliver everything you promised and more – on time and in full
Customers are vital to any business/service, and if we don’t handle them in the best way possible they can inflict major damage. If on the other hand, we look after our customers even at the time of problems then we don’t just retain them, we gain others.
Remember the old adage – people will tell 3 others of the great service they have had, but inform 10 people of bad service provided.
So it is worthwhile investing the time and energy!