Your customers will get better when your business gets better at dealing with them.
What must a business and its employees do to establish a reputation for excellent services? In as much as the customer is the final judge of service quality, the obvious thing to do is ask customers what specific aspects of service are most important to them.
Here are the most important ingredients for providing the kind of service that keeps customers coming back.
1. Be Reliable
Consistent performance is what customers want most. More than anything else; the customer wants a service that he/she can depend on.
More specifically this means:
- Do what you say you are going to do.
- Do it when you say you are going to do it.
- Do it right the first time.
- Get it done on time.
One example of consistency that most of us are familiar with is McDonald’s Restaurant. Whenever you see the golden arches you know precisely what the food will taste like. Consistency in delivering quality food and service lies at the heart of McDonald’s success.
A fanatical commitment to reliability is the key reason that Federal Express (FEDEX) has established itself as the premier company in the overnight delivering business.
A typical dissatisfied customer will tell eight to ten people about his misfortune with your company.
If you multiply that by thirty thousand disappointed customers you have between 240,000 and 300,000 people hearing about bad experience with only a 3 percent failure rate.
In business or in any other field of endeavor, consistent, high level performance is the major difference between the champions and the also-rans. Take note that it takes 12 positive service incidents to make up for one negative incident. Your number of repeat customers will rise with the consistency of your service. Make reliability your top priority.
2. Be Credible
One thing customers will readily pay for is peace of mind. As customers we all willingly go back to people and businesses who sincerely want to help us and have our best at heart.
We want security, integrity and the assurance that if there is a problem, it will be promptly handled at no extra cost. We don’t want hidden agendas, hard-sell techniques and extra charges.
If we buy products, we want them to be safe and guaranteed. If we buy services, such as medical, legal or financial services, we want them to be free from danger, risk or doubt and confidential. Such is the nature of credibility.
3. Be Attractive
Appearances can be deceiving, but customers draw a lot of conclusions about the quality of service on the basis of what they see, as one airline puts it, “Coffee stains on the flip-down trays mean(to customers ) that we do our engine maintenance wrong.” Anything the customer sees, feels, touches, hears or smells concerning your business is shaping their opinion of your service for better or worse.
Look at your business through your customers’ eyes and make the effort to put forth a first-class image, it’s not frivolous expense, it’s an investment.
4. Be Responsive
In a hotel grill in Hungary, each table is equipped with a ten-minute hour glass. If your order isn’t taken in ten minutes, the meal is free. Like it or not, we live in an era of instant everything. When customers want service, they want it now.
Being responsive means being accessible, available and willing to help customers whenever they have a problem. It also means keeping them informed and providing the service as soon as possible.
5. Be Empathic
Every customer is a special individual who wants to be treated as such. He has his own unique personality, wants and reasons for buying.
And to the extent that you treat him as someone special and solve his unique problems, he will continue to be your customer.
Being empathic means putting yourself in the customer’s shoes, trying to grasp his point of view, and felling what he feels. It means listening intently, asking the right questions, speaking his language and tailoring your services to help him as best as you can.
Don’t treat customers the way you don’t want to be treated; your customer is a different person with different problems and a different point of view. Instead, treat him or her the way they would want to be treated. He or she is different with different problems and different point of view.
Instead, treat him the way he wants to be treated. Customers buy for their own reasons and not ours. Learn to win and keep customers with empathy. These are the major factors on which customers judge the quality of service being offered to them.
Take reliable care of your customers and this is what will keep them buying, multiplying and coming back. A satisfied customer or client is a potential of two or more customers. This is because the satisfied customer is likely to refer other potential customers to your business or firm. Word of mouth can be very effective and leveraged well when customers are offered the best service possible.
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