Think about the last time you had a negative buying experience. Did an e-commerce site fail to respond to your email query? Did a sales associate at your neighborhood computer store fail to know the difference between a floppy drive and a hard drive? Perhaps you were left on hold for an inordinate amount of time when you called a mail-order company's toll-free line.
Negative buying experiences are almost always linked to shoddy customer service. Even though most businesses claim that they put people first, it's rare to find good customer support.
But customer service isn’t extinct. In fact, after consumer groups and the media took potshots last year at e-commerce sites for leaving customers in the lurch, many businesses began to focus more attention on their service.
Strong customer service is a business essential. Providing it isn’t as difficult if you and your employees achieve these 10 basic rules:
1.Commit to quality service. Everyone in the company needs to be devoted to creating a positive experience for the customer. Always try to go above and beyond customer expectations.
2.Know your products. Convey an articulate and in-depth knowledge of products and services to win customer trust and confidence. Know your company’s products, services, and return policies inside and out. Try to anticipate the types of questions that customers will ask. Update and amend your FAQ page frequently.
3.Know your customers. Try to learn everything you can about your customers in order to tailor your service approach to their needs and buying habits. Talk to customers about their experience with your company, and listen to their complaints. In this way, you can get to the root of customer dissatisfaction.
4.Treat people with courtesy and respect. Remember that every time that you, your employees, and your colleagues make contact with a customer — whether it’s by email, phone, written correspondence, or a face-to-face meeting — the interaction leaves an...