Do’s and Don’ts of Excellent IT Customer Service
We can all think of a time when we have received horrible customer service, right? Unfortunately, the bad customer service is often easier recalled than the good. A surprisingly bad customer service moment can do more damage than a history of mediocrity. Those terrible moments stand out in people’s minds; those stories are told and retold.
Thankfully, though, there are other stories that are told and retold; the ones about surprisingly GOOD quality customer service. Truly going above and beyond can make the difference between a satisfied customer and an intensely loyal customer who gives you repeat business and sends other people your way.
Everybody has bad days (including service providers and customers), and you canât please everyone. Here are a few tips to avoid delivering outrageously bad customer service situations:
1. Don’t Make Things Overly Complicated
Never underestimate the inexperience of your customers. Today’s consumers are much more sophisticated, experienced and technically savvy, but they still expect that the process of contacting your customer service is easy and straightforward. You need to make sure your customers have easy access to support when it is needed. It goes without saying that your customer service needs to include several, if not all, of the tools available today, including phone, e-mail, Live Chat, FAQs, self-service, social media channels and more.
2. Don’t Be Indifferent
Indifference kills customer service. It means you just don’t care anymore. Yes, you can call it an occupational hazard and attribute it to dozens or hundreds of problemds you encounter on a daily basis. But for me, it is an alarming indicator. Things should not run their course this way for a customer service professional. Your job is to take care and make any customer’s problem your own problem. I recommend reading these 2 posts here and here if you would like to dig into this problem deeper and how you can solve it.
3. Don’t Treat Customers as Transactions
As Apple’s former retail chief Ron Johnson once put it, “Care about a customer’s heart, not just her pocketbook.” In other words, don’t treat people coming to your website or office as one-time transaction, do all your best to build strong and long-lasting relationship. Show a true interest in doing business with them and stay in touch to nurture the relationship.
4. Don’t Ignore Customer Feedback
Make sure you listen to your customers. They are the people who want your company to perform better, so let them share their opinion about their experience with you, keep open to any kind of suggestions or feedback they might have. Let them know that you really care about what they think and expect of you. Putting customers’ thoughts into the focus of your business strategy is a good practice. And it usually pays off in spades.
5. Don’t Be Afraid of Complaints
No matter how hard you try, you can’t satisfy all your customers all the time. Complaints are inevitable, so don’t discourage them. As Janelle Barlow and Claus Moller stated in their book, “A complaint is a gift“. In other words, any complaint is an opportunity to find and fix a problem. The more complaints the better, as they direct your attention to the areas that need improvement.
To provide the kind of great, quality customer service that gets people talking, DO:
1. Respect your customer
Any relationship, be it a personal or a business one, starts with respect. As Dale Carnegie stated, one of the key principles for building relationships is to make the other person feel important, and do it sincerely. Customer service is all about making customers feel valuable and important. Any customer deserves your full attention and polite, friendly attitude. That’s the easiest way to show that you really care and generate a wholesome experience that lasts .
2. Be Honest
Nothing destroys trust faster than broken promises. So always do what you promised. Be fair about prices, additional fees and extra charges. Establish clear return and refund policies. Deliver on time, or even earlier. Respond and follow-up when you say you will. Provide the services you say you provide in your correspondence and in your marketing. As the old adage goes, honesty is the best policy. It certainly holds true for good customer service.
3. Take Responsibility
Professionalism in customer service implies that you are ready to take responsibility for the problems or negative experiences that customers are having with your company, products or services. This means that you, as a front-line company representative, are ready to sincerely apologize to a customer on behalf of your business, even when a problem or a situation that caused customer’s frustration was not your fault at all. Apologize and do your best to make sure the issue gets fixed as quickly and smoothly as possible.
4. Always Put Yourself in The Customer’s Shoes
Have you ever tried putting yourself in the place of the customer before addressing their request? It probably comes with experience. I mean, personal experience of your own where you encountered unsatisfactory customer service. Could you recall how it feels to get frustrated or neglected when you look for support and assistance? Would you let your customers feel this way, too? Let this unpleasant situation teach you something – always think of how you look like from a customer’s perspective.
5. Express Your Gratitude
Words of gratitude will make your customers feel appreciated for their loyalty to your brand. Saying “Thank You” to the people who support your business won’t take you much effort but it will definitely show how grateful you are that they choose your product or service. Also, it shows you appreciate the opportunity to be helpful and provide assistance to the customer.