Businesses are started with the sole purpose of making profits. Rightfully, every business tries to explore various tactics and avenues that help them maximize their profits. While some of these practices might be ingenious, there could be others that fall under the dishonest category. But the one tactic that gets unanimous approval is keeping the customers happy. It is an idea that is as simplistic as it is original, and it has only helped a business to prosper.
The goodwill that you gain by providing impeccable service cannot be replicated by any other tactic, no matter which business school you went to. Dealing with customers is also an art; something that you tend to refine over a period. What follows are some tips that you are sure to find helpful.
Perfect your Interactions
Patience is the Key
You're in the wrong profession if patience isn't your middle name. Customers are allowed to be fussy, whimsical, demanding, stubborn, and can possibly take every adjective there is, but a service agent can only be patient. A good sales person needs to be adaptive, and mold according to the customer's behavior. And whatever you do, try to hold in your temper, no matter what.
Giving Complete Attention
Always make sure that the customer has your complete attention at all times. Make him feel like he is your top priority, above all your other pressing commitments. Add a personal touch to your interactions by addressing him by his name. Make a conversation, not for the sake of it, but to make him feel that you genuinely care. In short, treat a customer like a person, not like a profit-making entity.
Creating an Impression
Be on your best behavior, always. Remember, there is no margin for error when it comes to dealing with customers, and your manners account for a lot. Simple words like "please" and "thank you" peppered in your conversation are sure to make a lasting impression, even on a complaining or an unhappy customer. Being chivalrous in the right manner will also win you brownie points.
Dealing with Financial Matters
Discretion is the key, when it comes to dealing with customers in financial peril. Allow them their say, and do so in a private space to spare them the awkwardness. Be sympathetic, initially at least, instead of being extra stern. Let them know that their credit problems are understood, and politely steer the conversation towards a reasonable solution.
Nailing Telephone Conversations
Focusing on the Customer
Don't let the absence of face-to-face communication make this a daunting task. Note that your behavior need not be brusque either, simply because you are addressing the customer over the phone, and that you have a long list of duties awaiting your attention. Focus yourself on the conversation and avoid multitasking while you are at it.
Always let the customer finish what he has to say, irrespective of what he is saying. Whatever you want to say can wait - no matter how important it is. In any case, it is universally annoying to have someone butt in your sentence every now and then just to make sure they're heard.
Avoiding keeping the Customer on Hold
This is really basic, but try not to keep the customer on hold. If your response is expected to take time, suggest to return the call, and be prompt with it. And never, ever make the elementary mistake of bad-mouthing the customer before you've hit the hold button.
Dealing with Difficult Customers
You can never escape difficult customers, which is a rude reality of your profession. The thumb rule, while dealing with angry customers is to remain calm, even if the customer has crossed the line of decency. Your escalating temper will only add to the trouble, instead of fixing the problem. Remember that a calm demeanor is contagious.
Letting the customer have his say
Let the customer have his say, before you go on to fix the issue. Your continuous interruptions will only elongate the discussion and agitate the customer further.
Learning from mistakes
Never forget to make a note of what caused the problem, even if you may not be in the wrong. Ensure that the error does not repeat. If you are at fault, own up to it and face the consequences. It may not seem the appropriate thing to do, but honesty does bring you success in the long run.
Keeping them Happy Online
Though dealing with online customers involves moving away from the traditional tactics, online customers are customers nevertheless. If you've put up products on sale, ensure that the page is regularly updated pertaining to the availability and costs of the products. Prioritize easy accessibility. Customers coming to your page should not have to navigate the seven seas to buy a single product.
Always have a feature that lets the customer get in touch with the personnel, 24/7. More importantly, make sure that this feature works. Having a section for consumer interaction on your web page is recommended, along with phone line/s that will help them reach you easily. Be prompt with addressing their queries as an online customer tends to be the most fickle of the lot, with the long list of options at his disposal.
Volumes have been written and said about the importance of treating your customers well. It is a flawless practice to ensure the loyalty of your customers and the prosperity of your business.