Customer Service Tips: 5 Steps To Creating Satisfied Customers
This month, I was hoping to announce the end of the NFL Lockout. Sigh. . . But it will end. By next week, we will witness a feeding frenzy of teams acquiring free agents – players who are open to new contracts with new teams. Unfortunately, we don’t have the same thing going on in our jobs! We have had to work our butts off to keep existing staff and existing customers. It’s too expensive to fire and hire, and more cost effective to keep existing customers than go out and rustle up new ones.
Yesterday, I keynoted for 500 wonderful customer service representatives in a specific industry. I got a standing ovation, and it wasn’t because they thought I was so terrific. It was because they identified themselves in my material and examples and laughed throughout. I introduced 5 steps to creating satisfied customers:
1. Be clear on your purpose. What do you want your customer to do, think, or feel after your interaction with them?
2. Be aware of your “hot buttons” – the words and actions of customers that may set you off and cause you to go out of control. Awareness will push these buttons till they’re flat.
3. Blow your internal whistle. When your hot buttons are pushed, you can stop the action and resist saying something you will regret later.
4. Choose the appropriate response. Always start with the magic two words: “I understand.” A 6-second empathetic response can show you understand the customer’s feeling and what they’re saying. It’s always the right response, and will calm down the customer so you can do the next step.
5. Guide the customer to your result. This is where the “necessary roughness” comes in. Be firm. Customers ask for things they know they can’t have, but if you give them enough understanding, they will understand you back.
Hopefully, these will help you too. . . yes, I can see your customers standing up and applauding.
For more great customer service tips, check out my book, Necessary Roughness! Sign in to the right to get the first chapter for free – but don't forget to get your own copy!