Trustworthiness – If your company doesn’t care about its customers there’s no way you can be trustworthy. Great service starts and probably ends with how much you care and respect your customers. If you are phony and don’t truly value them, they will know it. For example, you have seen an airline CEO appear on-screen and tell you how much they care about your business. Do you believe what he’s saying for even a second? For most of us the answer is heck NO! The reason is simple, the company could care less if you fly with them or not and they prove it by their actions every day.
Truthfulness – You must tell your customers the truth. When you make a mistake, own up to the mistake and do your best to resolve the inconvenience your customer experienced. I had a recent experience at Five Guys, a national hamburger chain. A particular credit card purchase did not go through and the shift manager explained that they had a server outage that was causing problems. His remedy was that if the problem was not resolved by the time my order was ready, he would “comp” the order. However, the computer issues cleared up and I paid for the order. I have a spent a heck of lot more money elsewhere, but that experience may have been the best feeling I have ever had regarding customer service amelioration.
Empathize – Ask everyone who answers to phone to answer the phone like they’re talking to themselves. Treat your customers like they want to be treated. Companies that provide great service all have employees who think like customers. These employees make it easy for you to buy things. What a novel idea?
Correction – Believe it or not, great service is really how well you correct things when they go wrong. When you do things right, it is the natural expectation. When you bollix something, that’s when your actions count. This is when you get a chance to think like a customer. This is when you get to apologize in a way that’s believable and credible. If you’re really sorry and will go out of your way to make it right for your customers, you become a star.
Credibility – Let’s face it; it’s easier to just move on when things go awry. It’s what the airlines do, it’s what companies you hate doing business do. Forget them! Think about the companies with which you love doing business. They go out of their way to make your experience a good one. You are likely to recommend them to others.
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