Building a strong relationship with your customers is like any other relationship. It involves earning trust, being empathetic and friendly, and consistently caring about the other person. If you’re just politely communicating with someone, you’re not friends; he or she is just someone you know. Friends listen to each other, share common interests, and help each other. Likewise, a person who just buys a product from a company is simply a customer; but once a relationship built on trust, respect, and consideration is established, then you have a loyal, repeat customer. How do you achieve that? Exceptional customer service; this is customer service that exceeds expectations. Relationship building customer service treats every customer like they’re special.
Why Improve Customer Relations?
If you just want people to buy your stuff, then why go to the trouble of treating buyers like individuals and building relationships. With this approach, those buyers will quickly go somewhere else if they see lower prices or more convenience. The reason companies want to build positive relations with customers is that it’s the best customer retention method. It keeps them coming back again and again. It makes them rave about your products and services to family and friends.
Top-Notch Customer Service
Customer relations and customer service are intrinsically linked. A company’s relationship with their customers is largely determined by how they treat them. If you treat consumers like a nuisance or a problem to be solved, customer relations will probably be pretty bad. Like trust, loyal customers are earned by doing, not telling. Here are a few things that take good customer service to exceptional:
- Problem solving
Know Your Customers
Companies need to know their customers to improve relations and provide quality service. How can you give them what they want if you don’t know much about them? You need to know their expectations so you can exceed them. The connection shouldn’t end as soon as the credit card authorization comes through. Make sure the conversation continues after the transaction. Ask for feedback, impressions, and referrals. Every contact with a customer is a new opportunity to learn more.
How to Provide Outstanding Customer Service
Exceptional customer service sustained through thousands of transactions over dozens of years grows out of the company culture. A positive, employee-centric environment where employees are well trained, empowered, and focused on the customer is the key to earning loyal customers. When a company puts employees first, the employees are much more likely to consistently put the customers first. Happy employees who enjoy their jobs love making customers happy. They are enthusiastic about helping their company improve and achieve goals. Improving customer relations through exceptional customer service is a continuous team effort. Steps involved in creating a customer-focused culture include:
- Ownership communicates a positive, customer-centric vision
- Management designs and implements customer-focused systems
- Human resources department hires experienced, talented people
- Supervisors train and manage all employees to provide exceptional customer service
- Employees carry out the customer-focused systems day in and day out
It doesn’t stop there. This big, multi-part system must be maintained, reviewed, and improved over the years. Consistently support and reward employees who are providing excellent customer service. Use customer feedback to identify problems and improve operations. Satisfied customers are not good enough. It’s loyal customers who keep coming back and recommend your company to others. Think about what would make you an enthusiastic, loyal customer. It’s probably people who genuinely care and deliver high-quality products and superior customer experiences. A company can have great ideas, great products, and great systems, but if it lacks the skilled, knowledgeable employees to animate it, customers won’t be coming back. Customer service representatives are often the only people customers contact. That’s why comprehensive training like Meditec’s Customer Service Representative Program is so important. Enroll now!