Customer relations is an essential part of any business. Of course, you want to attract customers, but just as importantly you want to develop a relationship with them that will be long term. In order to create lasting business for you and the best service for your customers, here are a few best practices in maintaining goodwill.
Solve Their Problems
No matter what customers are technically coming to you for, in the end, it all boils down to a problem they want a solution for. People who go to a hairstylist pay for a service, but in the end are wanting to feel good about themselves; customers at your restaurant pay for food but are looking for a fun, delicious evening. Your product will help solve whatever your customer’s problem is—but you can also help or hinder that solution. Things like listening to their complaints and going above and beyond with your service are ways to truly leave a customer satisfied.
Handle Customer Relations Delicately
Talk about how you can be delicate in customer relations, especially when denying service. For a variety of reasons, customer relations can get a bit delicate, and so should be treated as such. For example, a banker may not be able to approve a loan based on their institution’s lending standards–many financial institutions have to write adverse action letters to customers. How can you deal with such issues while still maintaining goodwill? The most important thing is to never make a customer feel personally attacked, and frame an undesirable outcome as situational instead of fault-based.
Above all, prioritize communication. One of the biggest customer service problems that customers have is not being told or made aware of something that later affects them, followed closely by not being listened to. Taking that extra second to clarify what you think a customer means, or warning them in advance of a problem, deflates a lot of future anger when something inevitably does go wrong. For instance, if there is a long wait for a response time or for an over-the-phone representative to pick up, customers are much less likely to be upset if there is a system in place to warn them of the long wait.
Whether you work on the infrastructure of your business, the products, or the employees, in the end, it’s all for the customers. Consider the general problems you’ve faced trying to improve goodwill and implement a few of these. You really can’t overestimate the impact of improving your customer service.
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