Showing customers you appreciate their business

The company owner sets the rules, and employees need to live and know them. The old adage “the customer is always right” isn’t realistic, but empowering employees and rewarding employees for superb service helps each customer sense your appreciation.

Perhaps sharing the following with the front line people can add to the desired goals of dependability, promptness and competence. Helping the customer service representative communicate in an upbeat, positive way, may just help the customer feel appreciated. Here are some useful phrases to incorporate in customer communications:

– “Good morning. How can I help you?” This starts the conversation in a friendly, non adversarial tone plus invites discussion. A customer feels you want to help them and not sell them a product and also putting them at ease.

– “I can help you solve your problem.” Now the customer service professional places the customer as the most important participant and promises a positive outcome. The positive statement inspires customer confidence.

– “I am not sure of the answer but I will find out for you by ……”. A sophisticated buyer could be bating a customer service representative for an answer the customer already knows, so it is always best to be honest and not just try to wow a customer with some fancy rhetoric without a definitive and honest answer. Honest answers inspire integrity.

– “I am responsible for this and I will take care of it.” A customer knows what to expect and can depend on the customer service representative to stick by the agreed upon terms, price and if applicable… the promised delivery date.

– “I will call you on Friday ( or whenever) and update you on my progress.” If you promise to call on Friday with updates, make sure you follow-up and make sure you call.

– “Your delivery date is set for ….” If a delivery date is set for Thursday, it is the company’s job to make sure the delivery day is met. Sometimes it takes a better relationship with vendors to ensure delivery dates. When companies pay vendors on time, learn to deal with honorable vendors, insist on reliability and dependability of their vendors, delivery dates happen at specified and agreed upon dates and times. Efficient pre-planning and efficiency don’t just happen; they are cultivated and nurtured.

– “I have the particulars of your order. Let’s go over it.” Each order must be exactly what the customer ordered. Customers don’t want to hear of a similar product or a promise that what you are going to deliver is better. They want what they ordered.

– “Did you get everything you ordered and are you satisfied with your order?” The order should be complete and the customer should have everything they ordered, in the time they ordered, in the method agreed upon when ordered, and in great condition.

Superior customer service includes, the infamous “I appreciate your business, and is there anything else I can do for you?” Follow-up with surveys, thank-you notes and, more service; customers are sure to keep coming back.

Posted by Cheryl Hanna

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