Little Things Customer Service Reps Can Do to Build Loyalty
Guest author Brad Shorr has agency, in-house, and entrepreneurial marketing experience. He writes frequently about social media, SEO, content strategy, and other business issues of interest to small and midsized companies. He lives in the Chicago area and has been blogging since 2005. Connect with Brad on Twitter.
We’ve all heard the expression,”little things go a long way.” This is as true in customer service as anything else … maybe more? As a company grows, one of the dangers is allowing the customer service function to get caught up in programs, initiatives, strategies and the like — and forgetting about the little things.
This trap can be deadly, because customers remember a bad service experience for a long time, and will go way, way, way out of their way to tell people about it.
Here is a list of 20 little things a customer care person can do that go a long way.
What can you add to the list?
- Express empathy: “I understand how upset you are.”
- Use the customer’s name: “Melissa, I understand how upset you are.”
- Get personal: “Happy birthday!”
- Confirm understanding: “Let me make sure I understand what you want …”
- Commit to a resolution: “We will get this problem corrected …”
- Commit to a timeframe: “We will get this problem corrected by end-of-business tomorrow.”
- Exceed expectations: “We got this problem corrected a day early.”
- Do the unexpected: “I gave you a $25 courtesy discount on this order, just to let you know we really appreciate your business.”
- Be precise: “The product is on sale with orders shipped by the end of the month;” not, “The product is on sale until the end of the month.”
- Be thorough: “Here are all five things you need to qualify for this offer. Do you have something to take notes with?”
- Be honest: “We screwed up.”
- Defend your company: “We don’t screw up like this very often, but when we do, we fix it.”
- Take responsibility: “I will see to it that this gets done.”
- Show business interest: “Has business picked up as much as you were forecasting?”
- Show personal interest: “How are your daughter’s college applications going?”
- Offer help: “Do you have any questions about the product?”
- Invite suggestions and opportunities to vent: “What do you think we can do to improve our products and service?”
- Present better ideas: “You can save 5% with this product, and it will work just as well for your application.”
- Keep the focus on resolution: “If we work together, I’m sure we can find an equitable solution, regardless of how we got into this situation.”
- Say thank you: “Thank you for reading this post.”
Note: Brad Shorr works for Straight North, an SEO company in Chicago. They work with small and midsize firms in niche industries such as restaurant merchant processing and coated knit gloves. Brad’s business experience includes many years in sales and customer service management.
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