Do you have any idea the cost difference between getting a new customer compared to retaining a current customer? It costs 5 times as much to bring in a new customer, than to keep an existing one, as we all know. Now is time to ensure loyalty with your customers through utilizing the “back to basics” of customer service. It is a big chore for consumers to have to find another company to meet the needs that presently you fulfill. Customers want to be loyal. So, why do they leave? They leave because of a lack of attention to plain-old customer service.
When customers contact a company, customer service has an opportunity to improve or worsen the relationship with the customers. Hopefully you want to improve your relationship with the customers. So, it would make good sense to make these contacts as meaningful and helpful to the customers as possible. If you want your customers to be loyal, it is a good practice to have both you and your employees pay attention to your customer service practices and follow these basic tips:
1. Always tell your customer what you CAN do for them. Never tell them what you CAN’T do for them.
2. If customers are angry, let them vent at first. Remember it’s not personal. Do not interrupt them or start to speak until they have finished everything they have to say.
3. Diffuse anger by saying “I understand that you feel upset or angry.” This will acknowledge the customer’s position and it gives the customer the sense that you care about what they are feeling.
4. Remember the customer’s name and use it at various points in the conversation. Write it down if necessary so you don’t forget the name.
5. Make sure you present an acceptable solution to the customer’s problem. Get their consent and agreement. This will confirm where you both leave the issue.
6. Always end each contact with a “Thank you” or a message of appreciation for their business.
7. When speaking to a customer, make certain that your tone of voice matches your words. Remember, your tone of voice can contradict your message.
8. Make sure you are actively listening and wear a smile even while on the phone! There is nothing worse than asking an upset or angry customer to repeat what they have just said.
9. Follow up on your solution. Contact the customer, at a later time, to make sure that their problem has been resolved and they are pleased with the outcome.
10. Ask if there is anything else that you can do for your customer. Taking the time to ask shows the customer that you value them and often results in increased business and a more than satisfied customer.
With these few basic tips you can create and maintain loyal customers, no matter what the economy is.
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