No company is too big or too small to avoid the effects of customer interaction with current, new, or potential customers. If a company has good customer service, people will assume they also have good products.
And since customers will remember if they have a bad experience with you or your employer, it’s extremely important to maintain a positive attitude and provide excellent customer service every day. To help you put your best foot forward, take a look at these reasons why customer service is important. Then, check out a few quick tips to remember when you interact with customers.
Positive customer service can help your career path.
Employers keep a close eye on their employees to ensure they are doing great work. This means you have a perfect opportunity to stand out and shine in your role. Show up to work on time, maintain a positive attitude, answer customers’ questions quickly, be helpful, and go the extra mile when you can. It may seem like a lot of work, but when your employer notices how important customer service is to you, it may lead to promotions, raises, bonuses, or other rewards. And if you’re on a temporary assignment, great customer service can even lead to a permanent job.
Good experiences lead to return customers.
Customers who have positive interactions with employees and experience a high level of service will likely return to the business. If you went to a restaurant that had poor service, would you return? Most likely, the answer is no. Likewise, if you went to a restaurant with exceptional service and a positive atmosphere, chances are good that you’ll return. The same goes for customers who visit your workplace. In fact, a study by InfoQuest found that a totally satisfied customer contributes 14 times as much revenue as a somewhat dissatisfied customer.
Customer service can separate you from the competition.
Companies must compete for business, and customer satisfaction can be the one thing that sets them apart. If there are two businesses that sell similar products, but one has a poor customer service record, which business will likely receive the most customers? The one with the better service, of course. Today, reviewing companies and receiving recommendations for businesses is easier than ever. Even one poor customer service interaction can lead to a negative review, which could lead to lost customers.
Happy customers can lead to a happy work environment.
When a company keeps its customers happy, it usually creates a trickle effect on employees. According to Forbes, positive customer interaction leads to great work, which “leads to greater productivity, less absenteeism and turnover, and reduced retention costs.” If your supervisors and co-workers are as determined as you are to be great every day, your work environment is sure to improve. As Forbes states, “Often, doing things for your customers also works better for you.”
Now that you know how important customer service is, how do you make sure you’re doing your best?
Evaluate your own customer service experiences.
When it comes to how people interact with your company, it’s about more than products. People are interacting with you, and they expect to have a positive experience. Taking the time to be courteous and respectful goes a long way. Think about your own experiences and the businesses that left you either smiling or steaming. Consider adopting the positive elements from those experiences so you can help your customers enjoy the interactions they have with you.
Be positive from the start.
Excellent customer service begins with the first word you say. Whether it’s a greeting as customers walk in the door, an exchange over the phone, or the opening line in an email, you set the tone for your customer interaction. Remember to smile, offer assistance, and speak clearly in all communications.
Lend an ear.
It isn’t always easy to be on the receiving end of customers’ frustrations, especially when you are not to blame. But, attentive listening can be a catalyst for breaking down barriers and creating a fix for the situation. When you listen politely to a customer, you help them feel valued and may be able to solve their complaint more effectively. Remember to ask for assistance from your supervisor if a complaint is out of your control or you cannot remedy the situation.
Follow up in a timely manner.
When a customer has a question, always be as helpful and quick as you can. If you don’t know the answer, let the customer know that you will find out as soon as possible and follow up with the answer they need. If a customer has a complaint you can’t resolve, let your supervisor handle the situation, but be sure to follow up with the customer to ensure they received the help they needed.
Whenever you can, go above and beyond. Anticipate your customers’ needs by offering assistance, making suggestions, or following up with them. Impress your supervisor by exceeding quotas, asking if you can help with additional tasks, or offering to stay late if the workload is overwhelming. When you go above and beyond, customers will notice and may even tell your supervisor. As much as a positive review can help a business, it can also help your career.