Presenter:  Debbie Webb, APR, Executive Director for Hope Clubhouse

Customer service performed through building relationships.   You will be judged by what you do, not what you say.  If you truly want to have good customer service, make sure your business consistently does these eight things:

  1. Answer your phone.  Get call forwarding or an answering service.  Hire staff if you need to.  Make sure callers can get a live person.
  2. Don’t make promises unless you will keep them.  Reliability is key to any good relationship.
  3. Listen to your customers.  Let the customer talk.  Acknowledge them and make appropriate responses; suggest how to solve the problem.
  4. Deal with complaints.  Give it your attention and you may be able to please this one person this one time.  
  5. Be helpful, even if there’s no immediate profit in it.  It will build loyalty.
  6. Train your staff (if you have any) to be always helpful, courteous and knowledgeable.  Empower your staff with information and power to make small customer-pleasing decisions, so they never have to say, “I don’t know,” or, “I’ll have to ask a manager.”
  7. Take the extra step.  Don’t just point the way, lead the way.
  8. Throw in something extra.  It doesn’t have to be a large gesture to be effective.

Surveys are critical to providing good customer service.  This is how you know whether customers are satisfied or not. Ways to ask them… face to face, phone, mail, email a questionnaire or email an invitation to participate in a survey.  (Be careful not to violate the spam laws, though!)

The best time to conduct a survey is right after the service or contact.

A survey of one question, “will you buy from me again?” makes it too easy to answer yes, whether they mean it or not. Ask more questions to collect information about what to change, what not to change and buyer behavior.

However you decide to do your survey, the imporant thing to remember is to fix what people say they want fixed.  Let your customers guide your business.