While there are exceptions to the rule, most customers do not enter a business with unrealistic expectations or unreasonable demands. With this in mind, it should be easy to provide customer service that satisfies the bulk of the clientele that walks through your doors.
If you are just beginning to set a customer service culture in your company, start with the basics. Consider five rights of customers that should never be ignored if your business is serious about adequately meeting customer needs.
Customers have the right to be told the truth – about your company, your products, and your procedures. It is never right to mislead a customer, even if it is done in the spirit of service. Some companies try to water down certain terms or procedures to make their business appear more customer-friendly. If that new terminology is not backed up with substance, it is just empty words to your customers' ears.
Customers deserve to hear basic courtesies like "please" and "thank you" from every employee they encounter in your business. They deserve to be heard without being interrupted; and they should never be berated, criticized, or insulted.
Instead, they should be treated with respect and in a way that they know they are valued by your organization. This courtesy should be consistent, whether a customer is cared for in person, on the phone or through the computer. Common courtesies never go out of style.
Customers have the right to receive service in a timely fashion. They should not be expected to stand in extraordinarily long lines. They should never have to wait more than 24 hours for a return phone call. While quality should never be sacrificed for speed, if you cannot provide basic service in a timely fashion, you probably do not have sufficient staff to manage your customer service properly.
Solutions to Problems
Problems are inevitable in customer service, and how you resolve those issues will make a difference in whether your customer comes back or moves on to your competitor down the street. A customer who presents a problem to you is offering the opportunity for you to retain their business. Own the problem until it is resolved and follow up to make sure your customer is satisfied at the end.
A Clean Facility
Customers also deserve a clean facility, whether you are a doctor's office or a car showroom. They deserve to have clean, well-stocked restrooms and a pristine environment to interact with your staff. Clutter indicates that you do not care much for your business, and you might not care much for your customers either.
These are the basic rights of customers, which should be catered to without fail. If you want to take your customer service to the next level, you will need to meet and exceed these expectations. The extra effort is guaranteed to truly delight your customers and provide the competitive edge in service.