We all have customer service stories.
Some are good, some are bad. But have you ever really thought about the details that helped you shape your conclusion? Odds are, there were several factors you subconsciously weighed about your “good” or “bad” experience.
Good customer service goes well beyond solving problems or completing a transaction. Good customer service means surrounding customers with a positive atmosphere that creates a great experience before, during, and after they visit your business. It’s about ongoing relationships—relationships that take work and care. If you had a “good” experience with a business, they probably took the time to show they cared about their relationship with you.
Local businesses especially know the importance of fostering good customer relationships. Hometown reviews and word-of-mouth opinions matter and can be the rise and fall of your business. That’s why, as a community bank, Standard Bank is committed to providing exceptional customer service (and it’s been that way for over 100 years!). Over those years, we’ve found there are some small tips your business can implement that together can make a big impact on your customer service and your customer relationships.
- Smile. It’s free and easy.
- Know your customers by name and use it. They notice.
- Listen first. Ask clarifying questions to make sure communication is clear. THEN offer solutions.
- Take the time to have conversations to get to know your customers. Knowing what matters to them can better help you serve them.
- Give customers your full attention and don’t rush them. If you anticipate unavoidable interruption, discuss it upfront.
- Be patient. Your customer is not the expert on your products and services, and they will ask a lot of questions.
- Don’t sell the same product to everyone. You’ll lose customer trust.
- Be honest. If you’re not the best fit for your customer, let them know. They will share their positive experience and business will come back to you.
- …and if your customer doesn’t choose your business, don’t get upset. They probably weighed a lot of factors in their decision, and they will still refer business to you based on their positive experience.
- Go the extra mile. Offer them coffee. Hold the door. Make a phone call…anything to go one step more.
- If you are speaking with an upset customer, understand their emotions and work towards a solution. The customer may not care about the details of your process, but they do care about the outcome.
- Thank customers for their business. After all, they are the reason you have a paycheck.
- Become part of the community. Consider volunteering or serving on a local board. See the world through your customers’ eyes.