6 Tips to Good Customer Service

standing-outHave you ever walked into a business only to be snubbed by the salespeople? Or maybe they acted annoyed with your patronage. If that's ever happened to you, chances are you weren't anxious to return to that establishment. The truth is that without customers-be they annoying, loud, needy, chatty, or just plain curious- businesses wouldn't be in business for long. In order to ensure your business's longevity, customer service must be a priority. Here are 6 guiding strategies to good customer service:

1. Treat each customer with respect. Everyone responds well to good treatment. When you respect your customers, listen to their concerns, and respond courteously, chances are you'll be treated the same way. But even more importantly, your customers will feel valued, which will gain their loyalty. And loyalty is priceless.

2. Assume costumers are telling the truth. Have you ever been in a conversation with a customer service rep who disputes your memory of events? Perhaps they claim that you didn't pay a bill you're claiming to have paid. Or maybe they're arguing that you didn't get the deal you remember signing up for. Whatever the case, no one feels valued when someone else implies that they're lying. Always assume that clients are telling the truth. If your records are in opposition with client claims, than share your information with the client in a rational manner. Ask them to help you understand their perspective and see if they can provide records contrary to yours.

3. Keep all your promises. Nothing looks worse to a customer than a broken promise. If you promise to file their taxes by a certain date, you must file those taxes by that date- your reputation depends on it. You're only as good as your word; make your word as good as gold.

4. Respond to complaints immediately. In this day and age of the internet, FedEx mailings, and 24-hour help services, people expect you to respond to their complaints quickly, regardless of whether or not that's been your policy. So you might as well make a 24-48 response time a company policy in order to keep well ahead of customer expectations. And that doesn't mean you must resolve the concern in that amount of time; you just need to contact your customer within that time frame to gather more information and let them know you're addressing their concern.

5. Make it easy to access your services. We've all been to websites where it's difficult to determine what services are being offered and how much is being charged. Don't make it that difficult for current and potential customers to request your help. From your contact information to the description of your services on a website, it should all be clear and point right back to you. And you must be easy to contact. If you get a voicemail or email, respond within 24 hours (see #4). Anything else makes you appear too busy, or worse yet, too apathetic to take more customers.

6. Go the extra mile. When a business gives customers more than they expect, even if it's just a free newsletter, or a complementary dessert at a local restaurant, they feel the business values them beyond the final balance on their bill.

You want to keep each customer you earn, and that requires you to continue to earn their business with quality customer service. When you provide good customer service to customers, they will feel valued in return, which means they will return for your services again and again and again. Not only that, but they will become your walking billboards, notifying anyone who's interested that you provide quality service, saving you possibly hundreds, even thousands of dollars in marketing fees.

If you find yourself overwhelmed with all the tasks of business ownership, including customer service, we suggest you look for responsibilities that could be outsourced, like the accounting.￿ Allow us to manage your finances so that you can focus your energy on managing your business like a pro. Schedule your consultation today!