How Exceptional is Your Customer Service?

What is customer service? There are varying opinions on what this actually means? The starting point is to deliver what you promise, every time. To make sure you keep customers satisfied, you must keep your word. If you do more, you will impress your customers and they will recommend you to their friends.

Customer service is all about expectations — do you know what the customer needs from you? A business that offers a fast response or a personal service is setting up an expectation that the customer will become accustomed to. Take John Lewis, for example, they have achieved success not only because of the quality of products they sell, but also the quality of service they provide.

The company is renowned for this level of excellence — the attention to detail, the way in which the customer comes first. The mind set is that all employees are customer focused. If John Lewis does not fulfil its promise, its customers will be disappointed and so will the employees.

With the advent of ‘On-line Everything” how do you differentiate your company? How do you set yourself apart from the on-line agent? Price v Quality v Product v Service.

Wearing your consumer hat, think about the kind of service you would like to receive.

1. Ensure you & your team are fully up to date with every element of the service you provide. Remember everyone is a salesperson.

2. Make sure your members of staff are delivering the level of customer service you expect. Lead by example and show your team exactly how you want them to deal with customers. Encourage them to come to you with feedback and suggestions. When you recruit new staff, look for people with the right attitude.

3. Be certain What are you promising your customers? Go through all the aspects of your sales and marketing and identify your selling points. Are your customers’ expectations being met or exceeded?

Clearly, the best way to wow your customers is to under-promise and over-deliver. It’s good to advertise your strengths, whether you are specialist letting agents, how friendly your service is. If you make empty promises and the reality does not match your claims, then you will lose business. However, if your service is exceptional and your customers agree then tell the world — there’s no stronger marketing message.

In a competitive market, it can be tempting to chase new business. However, to boost revenue and profitability in your business, your best bet is to focus on customer retention and build up customer loyalty.

Loyal customers come back time and again; they will also promote your business through referrals and word-of-mouth recommendation.

Good service helps turn customers into ambassadors for your business — they will buy your products and services regularly and give you valuable feedback on your performance as well as supporting you through good times and bad. To turn a satisfied customer into a repeat buyer, you need to offer great service based on a deep understanding of your customers’ needs.

Price and product are important, but it is service that gives you the edge over your competitors.