If your business depends on having customers (what business doesn’t?) you want to keep the ones you have while continually prospecting for new ones. Here are five keys to ensure that you’ll provide excellent customer service as you strive for success in your business, and your life in general (yes, these things also work at home, at church, just about anywhere)…
- Show Appreciation! You can’t say “thank you” too much, and people never get tired of hearing it. Include some appreciation in every interaction with your customers. Having and maintaining a grateful attitude helps a lot with this. Don’t take anything for granted. I once heard Rev. Keith Moore say this…”Expect nothing. Appreciate everything!”
EXAMPLE: “Bob, I want you to know how much we appreciate your business. You have lots of choices in contractors, and we’re glad you choose us.”
- Has anything changed? One can not assume things are the same today as they were yesterday, a week ago, a year ago. Things change. People change. Companies change their procedures and policies from time to time. A simple inquiry goes a long way toward ensuring your visit goes smoothly. It also helps eliminate potential embarrassment or headaches that could otherwise be avoided. You know what they say about the word “assume”.
EXAMPLE: “Has anything changed since the last time we visited your facility? Previously we entered through the south entrance and signed in with the receptionist, is that procedure still in place?”
- How are we doing? Feedback (both good & bad) should be encouraged and welcomed. Sure you’re looking for that compliment, the positive comment, a pat on the back, but it’s also a great way to solicit things that may otherwise go unspoken. There’s a rule that says, “most customers won’t complain, they’ll just decide to leave you.” Is that what we want? Certainly not. Ask away!
EXAMPLE: “We’ve been working for your company about a year now, please tell me how we’re performing. Are we exceeding your expectations?”
- What can we do better? Nobody is perfect. There’s always something you can do just a little bit better. It may take a little prodding on your part to dig it out of them, but there’s gotta be something.
EXAMPLE: “Hey, I’ve gotta ask you…we’re always looking for ways to improve…if there’s just one thing we could do a little better for you, what might that be?”
- Who else can we help? The first four are about them, this one is for you. Everybody knows somebody that you don’t. Ask for an introduction. NOT a referral – that’s just a name and phone number. A real introduction (even if by phone) means much more.
EXAMPLE: “Bob, I can’t thank you enough for all the great feedback you’ve provided here today. I don’t suppose you know someone else we might be able to help with our services?”