How To Be The King Of Customer Service

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by Tom Watson on October 13, 2010

I bet you don’t have to think too hard to remember your last negative customer buying experience.

Maybe a website failed to respond to your email question? Perhaps a sales associate at your neighborhood grocery store failed to ring up the correct price on a sales item. Or maybe you were left on hold for a stretch of time when you called your banks toll-free line.

Negative buying experiences are generally tied to poor customer service. Even though most companies claim that they put people first, it’s rare when you really find a company that gives good to great customer support.

But contrary to popular belief, customer service isn’t extinct. It may not be all that common, but the firms that make the commitment to providing exceptional customer service reap the financial rewards from it. It is for this reason you need to excel at it.

I have stated this many times in the past: Customer Service Is Priority One. Take it from someone who learned many lessons the hard way (lost customers) because I dropped the ball in one way or another. There is nothing worse than working your tail off to get new business only to lose it because you handled a situation the wrong way.

Great customer service is a business essential so I’ll explain to you what I’ve learned over the years. Providing it isn’t all that difficult if you (and your staff) follow these 10 basic rules:

# 1 – Make the commitment to deliver quality service. Everyone in the company needs to be devoted to creating a positive experience for the customers you serve. Always go above and beyond customer expectations every chance you get.

# 2 – Know your service. You want to convey an in-depth knowledge of your service to win customer trust and confidence. Know your company’s services and policies inside and out. Try to anticipate the types of questions that customers will ask and have a well thought out answer.

# 3 – Study your customers. Make an effort to learn everything you can about your customers in order to tailor your service approach to their needs. Talk to customers about their experience with your company. You will learn the good and the bad about your company when you ask questions about how well you meet and exceed their expectations.

# 4 – Treat everyone with courtesy and respect. Always remember that every time that you and your staff make contact with a customer (whether it’s by email, phone, written correspondence, or a face to face meeting) the interaction leaves an impression with that customer.

Use phrases such as, “Sorry to keep you waiting”, “Thanks for your business”, “You’re welcome”, and “It’s been a pleasure helping you” to help demonstrate not only your total commitment to complete customer satisfaction but your dedication to being courteous and grateful for their business.

# 5 – Never ever argue with a customer. Everyone knows that the customer isn’t always right. In fact, sometimes they are not even close to being right. With that said, it’s important that you do not focus on the missteps of a particular situation, instead concentrate on how to fix the issue.

Special Note: Research shows that 7 out of every 10 customers will do business with a company again if that business resolves a complaint in their favor.

# 6 – Don’t leave customers in “never never” land.  All phone-calls, return calls and any email needs to be handled promptly (and with a sense of urgency). Customers want things taken care of right away (just like you and me), and if you can give it to them, there is a good chance they will throw more business your way.

Special Note: Research shows that the instance of repeat business goes up to dramatically (95 percent) when complaints are resolved on the spot.

# 7 – Always deliver on what you promise. You can never drop the ball on this issue. If  you do fail, you’ll lose both credibility and customers. If you guarantee a cleaning quote within 48 hours, get the quote out in a day or less.

If you ever do neglect to make good on your promise, apologize to the customer and offer some type of compensation, such as a discount of some kind. Remember to only make promises that you (and your staff) can keep. You always want to “under-promise” and “over-deliver” (not the other way around).

# 8 – Give your customers the benefit of the doubt. This means always assume that your customers are telling the truth. Sometimes customers may abuse this privilege, but so be it, it’s to your advantage to give them the benefit of the doubt. The vast majority of customers don’t like to complain, in fact they despise it.

Many times they never complain at all (they suffer in silence), then they take their business elsewhere (probably to your nearest competitor to avoid the act of calling to complain). If you hear unhappy rumblings through the grapevine from your customers take their complaints to heart and do your best to make them happy campers again.

# 9 – Focus on making customers happy — not on sales. It’s easy for business owners to sometimes focus on volume instead of on the quality of the sale. Making customers happy is your business (the sooner you get this part the faster your business will grow / explode) and it’s much more important than most folks think.

Research shows that it costs six times more to attract a new customer than it does to keep an existing one. Not to mention that happy customers are the best and most effective way to find new customers. At the end of the day, I would much rather get a referral from a happy customer than go advertise and “hope the phone rings”. Do yourself a favor and take this lesson to heart!

# 10 – Make it easy for others to do business with you. The purchasing experience should be as easy as possible. Eliminate unnecessary paperwork and forms, help people to find what they need, explain how the service works, and do whatever else you can to facilitate the transaction. The easier you make it for them the faster they choose your company (need I say more?).

Well there you have it, some real simple rules to follow that will make you the “King Of Customer Service“. All you need to do now is go out there and make it happen.

If you liked this post, you can subscribe to our RSS feed. If you are looking for a blueprint that will show you how to start a cleaning business, then check out my Cleaning Business Start Up Guides. If you are badly in need of a first class website then take a look at my Cleaning Business Websites.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 BONNIE LEBOEUF July 25, 2016 at 4:32 pm

Thanks for the great advice! I’ll send you a check after I maximize my business with this awesome advice!

2 Tom Watson August 9, 2016 at 10:22 am

Hi Bonnie! A cup of coffee would be fine 🙂

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