The Secrets to Exceptional Customer Service
Friday, June 30, 2017
Putting People First
It took Virgin Airlines America seven years to post its first full-year of profit. Despite this the company frequently tops all competitors when it comes to customer service, owed in large part to the philosophies of its founder Richard Branson, namely for putting people before profit. It shouldn't come as any surprise that delivering exceptional customer service is paramount to the lasting success of a business whether it is online, over the phone or in person. Liberty has adopted this mentality into our business and believe that by following these tips you can too.
Great customer service starts with communication
It is important to remember that everyone is a potential customer and should be treated as such. Giving respect is a crucial aspect of the communication process that encompasses multiple different attributes including effective listening skills. When communicating with a customer it is imperative to properly understand what is being told to you and asking questions to clarify where necessary.
In addition to this it is pivotal that the customer is made to feel important. Effective customer service means that a customer must feel that their concerns have been validated.
Great customer service is accountable
Everybody makes mistakes and businesses are no exception however it is important that when things go wrong that a business makes amends as soon as possible. So, service staff must be able to apologise effectively.
Also, simple actions such as following up on a recent customer or following up on feedback (good or bad) can be invaluable. It is this layer of accountability that produces the extra value adding details that will help garner you a reputation of exceptional customer service.
Great customer service is responsive
Having a positive and proactive approach to customer service is a powerful tool for a business to utilise. A large part of this is ensuring that a high level of responsiveness is maintained towards the customer at all times. For example, if a customer asks a reasonable request you should strive to find new ways to push the envelope and assist them, even if that means having to figure out how to later. By being able to say yes where your competitors would say no it will set you apart.
Moreover, Branson once said, "If someone offers you an amazing opportunity and you are not sure you can do it, say yes. Then learn how to do it later”. This attitude can easily be adopted when delivering customer service. Know that you should never be afraid to take calculated risks when dealing with customers. Remember that no great success has ever been achieved without taking risks, it's just a matter of choosing the right ones.
Great customer service has empathy
Companies can often be seen as cold and faceless, which makes establishing a genuine bond with customers so important. Branson notes the importance of having fun while delivering customer service experiences which can be achieved through building a relationship.
It is important to remember that the customers you are dealing with are people too and a rapport should aim to be achieved with them. Put yourself in their shoes and think about how you would want to be treated as a customer of your business. Simply trying to strike up a conversation with them where appropriate can make a huge impact on the customer's overall experience.
At Liberty we pride ourselves on upholding the highest standard of customer service.