Posted Saturday, February 12, 2005
What I am about to tell you may seem very obvious - you may even say DUH!!! but the fact is, - many company�s forget the 3 R�s of good customer service- Respect your Customer, Take Responsibility for Your Actions and Products and give your Customers a Full REFUND when it just isn�t right. I promise you that if you follow these 3 simple rules you will never have to run after the same customer again!
Respect the customer! Just about as plain as the nose on your face Right? Wrong!
How many times have you been greeted in a less than courteous manner or worse yet- not at all!! Never lose the opportunity to make a great first impression- very rarely do you have a second chance to undo the damage done by that first encounter. No amount of advertising or even freebies, can make up for this faux pas. Remember it takes a customer 10 times of seeing your advertisement for it to become real to them. One customer has the power to tell 50 people how awful you are. That is a lot of damage control. That means that 50 people need to see your ad 10 times- that is 500 times each x 50 � are you reeling yet??? That translates into a lot of dough!!! Wouldn�t it be easier to be pay attention and be nice the first time around???
Customers- they are your business- You need them- they don�t need you. They are your most valuable commodity and it doesn�t take a lot for them to be disloyal- on the other hand- develop trust � and it won�t matter how much your product costs- they will still purchase Kraft over a no name. Why? Because they have been valued as a customer. Treat customers as you would like to be treated.
7 unhealthy attitudes of Disrespect
�Staff who do not know company mission statement
�Staff who do not know the product
�Staff who do not understand that the customer is the only reason they are getting a paycheck this week
�Management who don�t listen to staff on how to �fix� customer service
�Giving the front line staff the authority to �fix � a customer problem on the spot
�Respect a customers time
�Company should be responsible for their product- all the parts and pieces should be there, and the product does what it says it does
�When you take responsibility for something you take back your power. If something is wrong with your service- admit it to the customer instead of blaming others
�The customer is always right. Don�t challenge them, remember what it took to bring them in the door- and how much it will cost you in reputation if they leave unhappy.
�Make sure your staff are creative and have the ability to make decisions on behalf of your organization so they have the power to make the customer happy. This may be as simple as being able to throw in a pen or better yet, take off the tax�
�Nothing is worse than purchasing something that is not working and finding out that you have to have a credit note.
�IF this is your policy- make sure the customer KNOWS this before buying.
�Personally, I believe that a refund is more respectful to your client. You may not have another product that they WANT or NEED. To make them buy something they DON�T want just because you have their money- leaves a bad taste in their mouth and they will think twice before shopping at your establishment again.
�Be cheerful when you take returns�A consumer that can shop and safely know that you guarantee what you sell will be a return customer. They know that they can shop with confidence- if they make a mistake � you will help fix it by taking back the merchandise- this is very powerful and it is why people shop at large department stores - because they KNOW if it is not right it can be returned.
�Have your staff offer to help them find something that is more suitable. People don�t always know what you have to offer .Knowledgeable staff are your greatest asset and if they are able to match your products or services to the customer needs, you have created a customer for life!
These are customer service solutions that will affect your bottom line. Implement these ideas and you will see a shift begin. Your staff will have pride because they will be more knowledgeable as well as have the ability to HELP The customer will be happy knowing that you are there to SERVE them in a cheerful and timely manner
YOU will be happy because you won�t have to work so hard to get this same customer back in the door!
About the Author
Frankie Picasso is an Entrepreneur and Customer Service Expert who has spent the past 20 years in Marketing and Customer Service consulting for both Public and Private Sector organizations. She is now a Motivational Speaker, Certified Master Trainer Coach in Leadership and Executive Business Coaching as well as a Professional Certified Life Coach with her company called Conversation with My Shoes.