68% of customers leave because of what they perceive as indifference from the merchant or someone within the merchant's organization. They feel unappreciated, unimportant, and taken-for-granted. (Source: Research by Dan S. Kennedy)
Today’s customer is more educated, better prepared, and has more alternatives than ever before. In this regard, merely satisfying customers is not enough. In order to turn customers into fans who will not only remain loyal to your product or service, but will spread the good word, you need to exceed expectations, show customers you care, and provide exceptional customer service. And you need every good word you can get in this turbulent market!
Challenges to achieving high levels of customer focus and loyalty generally fall under one or more of the following areas:
P Process: How the company or organization operates on a daily basis. This includes how the company communicates and aligns the features and value of the product or service with customer expectations.
R Roles: Who does what in the company or organization? This includes agreement on tasks and responsibilities and holding people accountable to these.
I Interpersonal Issues: How customer service personnel get along with each other and with other departments. This includes such things as attitude, teamwork and loyalty.
D Direction: How the company defines and communicates the overall and departmental vision and mission.
E External Pressures: In addition to market conditions, other sources of pressure include the resources available to the customer service department, such as time and money. These may or may not be out of our control.
Keys to creating top-notch customer service are: BE SURE!
B Broad product knowledge through insights into what your product or service can and cannot do.
E Extreme desire to help. Show your goodwill, passion, and eagerness to please.
S Sincere interest in customer situation. Don’t assume the customer is simply being unreasonable when he/she may have a very good reason to be upset.
U Understanding of customer expectations, which may be extremely demanding at these challenging times.
R Respect for the customer’s point of view.
E Empowered with authority to provide answers, solutions, and any other help.