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What do you know about YOUR Customer Service?

I know there have been hundreds if not thousands of articles, books, studies, statistics, ad nauseam – about customer service.  In fact we all could write a book on what we consider such service.  However, the truth is, we don’t practice it, at least not consistently and it’s mainly due to the fact that we do not have a grasp of our own service level.  


 


Remember this; one happy customer can generate future business exponentially


 


What do you know about your customer service?  Is it important to know? Ask yourself this question. “What kind of service do I offer?”  Did you answer “It’s good”, or, “I’m not really sure.” 


 


Here is the dilemma; the only way to find out is to ask the customer.  Ouch!!  In that lies the reality.


 


Sure we love to hear how well we did and how good we are, but are we really interested in knowing what we did wrong?  Granted not every customer will be a happy camper, but if the same problems keep coming up, then it’s time for a gut check.  Do you have what it takes to ask this question…”Did you/do you like my level of service?   Did I/do I represent my business well?”


 


Now if you do a great job you will know it throughout the business process – because customers usually tell you and everyone gets that warm fuzzy.  But if that warm fuzzy is growing cooler and cooler or, it never happens at all, then you probably need to know why.  You need to know what slipped through the cracks.  Remember you may want this customer to send you future business (I say ‘you may’, this person may have been a bear).


 


I want to know why my customers like my service as well as what they dislike.  From this, I can improve on all aspects of my business.


 


I see two problems in building customer relationships regarding the evaluation of customer service:  


First of all, we don’t ask for referrals.  We may be too afraid to because we are unsure of the customers’ post-transaction temperature.


This leads to the second problem; we don’t ask the customer if they felt they were represented and treated fairly throughout the process.


 


Most of the time customer’s don’t know what goes on behind the scenes.  And they should not!  All they need to know is that they are your #1 priority and nothing else matters!  They just need to feel and trust you have their business as a top priority.


 


But, are we too afraid of the truth?  Listen, this is my livelihood and I want to know not only what I did right, but what I did wrong.  If I treat my customers like a transaction – then they are nothing more than that.  And how many transactions refer business to you?  Hum??


 


Here’s my thought.  Find out what and how you are doing; whether good or bad.


 


Ask the tough questions and find out about your business.  You can’t be all things to all people but there is always room for improvement for the things you can be.


 


Here are some ways to evaluate your customer service performance:


 


·         Find out about your business.  A phone call or face to face is my preference.  Do what works best for you.  Ask questions like – “How am I doing?”  ”Did I put your matter(s) first?”  “What can I do to improve my service?”


·         Improve on what you do right and do that well.


·         Fix what ‘slips through the cracks’ and then do that well.


·         Oh, and no matter what, if they are a small purchasing customer or if they make large multiple purchases, treat both equally.   The small customer could purchase more over time; but more importantly, and they may refer you to your next large customer.


·         Stay in touch with your customers.  You are their advisor; this is not a title, it is a perception from this belief they will promote your good name to their circle of influence to seek you out for the products and services you offer.


 


Remember one good referral is gold, one bad referral could be career changing.

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