“Do you provide good customer service?” We ask every business owner who crosses our path that question. Not surprisingly, they all say yes! Who would say no? We all believe we provide the very best customer service, but do we? Or more importantly do our customers think we do?
There are five levels of customer service:
1. Horrible – is a nightmare!
2. Bad – leaves a bad taste in your mouth that you don’t want to repeat.
3. Satisfied – is what we all expect. We expect to be satisfied.
4. Happy – takes your customer beyond expectations and so they may refer people to you. They will almost certainly come back a second time.
5. Thrilled – creates a relationship with your customer second to none. They are surprised; they are excited; they are thrilled! They take the message to all their friends. They ignore the competition. They come back again and again.
Level 5, Thrilled, is every business’s goal. But how can you achieve that every single time you interact with a client? You cannot. But if you don’t set Thrilled as the gold standard you will never achieve it. Here are 10 things you can do to provide a thrilling experience for your customers:
1. Do something extra; go above and beyond. For example, if you sell products that are given as gifts provide free gift wrapping. Surprise them with an unexpected bonus.
2. Make a great first impression every single time. Read this carefully! It says make a great first impression every single time. Every time you interact with a customer behave like it is the first time you have met; that is usually when we make our great impressions.
3. When a customer asks for help or has an inquiry drop everything you are doing and attend to this interruption. Thrilled customers are not asked to wait!
4. Make a commitment to offer thrilling customer service and stick with it. Make sure all your staff understand this commitment and abide by it. If necessary bring in a customer service expert to train you and your staff.
5. Your customers are always right. No they are not! We will always come across people that are just plain wrong! So, let’s reinterpret the statement to say “We assume, until proven otherwise, that our customers are always right”.
6. Keep your personal life at the door. If you started the day with a fight with your spouse don’t bring it to work. A thrilled customer is not one that wants to be contaminated by your bad mood or your stories.
7. Manage expectations. Make sure your customer knows when something will be delivered. Confirm with them what it is they are buying. Promptly notify them if there are delays.
8. Recognize it’s the little things that count. If it’s a hot day offer a cool drink. If they have to wait provide a comfortable chair with interesting reading material; or even better an iPad to play with!
9. Call to ask how they are enjoying the product they bought from you last month. And if they are not satisfied do something about it.
10. Care about them. This was dealt with in the blog called Customers Leave Because They Think You Don’t Care. That blog has 10 ways to show your customers you really care.
What have you done that has left your customers feeling thrilled?