Successful businesses don’t just sell products or services. Today, quality customer service may be what differentiates one business from its rivals. I know how important customer service is so, here are the 9 rules I follow to ensure I always deliver.
A truly excellent customer service provider must first and foremost perfect the act of Active Listening. This is about actually hearing what your customers are saying. It is not just listening, it definitely requires you to ask questions, to rephrase what they have said, to make sure that you understand it and to take accurate notes.
This will add value to your business because it will not only help you understand and therefore manage your clients’ expectations, but also gain their complete trust and loyalty.
Smiles over the phone might be unseen, but they are most definitely heard. It really helps to know that the person you are dealing with is smiling. It makes you and your business infinitely more approachable and suggests that you and your business are trustworthy.
They are more likely to believe that you have their best interest at heart and that you will deal with their request in a genuine and positive way.
3. Know your audience
Knowing your customer and their business will allow you to provide the service which they expect and is tailored to their needs. It is particularly important to know how your customer runs their business and how therefore how you represent their brand.
Here are the kind of questions you might expect a VA to ask you: What do you do? What is your business? What do you expect from me? How do you want to work together? Do you prefer a quick telephone chat on a Monday morning or are you too busy and want me to get on with tasks but receive regular updates?
This will allow me to represent you and your business with your brand in mind at all times and to handle any request coming from you or your customers very effectively, increasing productivity and supporting your business growth.
4. Dealing with difficult customers
Before you offer solutions, ask your customers how they would like the problem to be resolved. Offer choices whenever possible.
- Get control of yourself: never argue with customers. Remember, you can lose a good customer if you show boredom, irritation, disdain or displeasure.
- Listen and let the customer vent: The customer wants to be listened to, acknowledged and understood.
- Show the customer you care: Show concern and empathy for the customer’s feelings.
- Do not blame the customer (or the business).
- Try to solve the problem.
- Do not make promises you can’t keep: get help from someone who knows more.
Here at CS Virtual Assistant I am very customer focused and always make sure that I resolve any issues that may arise as soon as possible and with the utmost courtesy – see our delivery promise here.
My capacity to deal with any type of customers will ensure that all requests are handled in a professional and efficient manner, with your business reputation and best interests always at heart of everything I do.
I take confidentiality and discretion very seriously and handle any business data with the utmost care and attention. I am GDPR compliant and always use encrypted portable devices. I will only divulge what is appropriate and necessary. I am also registered with the HMRC AML Scheme (anti-money laundering) and hold business insurance.
This is essential to have robust policy documents, insurances in place and to demonstrate transparency in order to protect you and your customers in the case of accidental or deliberate data breaches.
6. Common courtesies
People often forget the ‘Please’ and ‘Thank you’ which are common courtesies and important to me. If you treat people with respect and courtesy, they will remember you.
Showing common courtesy to your customers will show them that you truly care about them; it might very well make all the difference between them choosing you, or one of your competitors.
7. Show empathy
Do make an effort to truly understand your customer’s position and show empathy to the situation to find a solution which is acceptable to your customer.
Through empathy, I will show that your business goal is not to focus on problems, but to focus on finding solutions for your clients.
8. Follow up
Always follow up on situations. If a customer has a problem and you have suggested and implemented a solution, make sure that you follow up either with a phone call or an email to make sure that the solution solved the problem and the customer is happy with it. This will leave you with happy returning customers.
This will again show your customers that you care about them, about finding the best options for them. They will understand that the outcome of their problem is important to you.
If these 8 rules don’t meet your customers’ needs, then maybe something is missing and that could mean the difference between them choosing to work with you or with someone else.
Make sure your attitude is always; “I’m here to help as best as I can.”
For a truly