No matter what anyone says, customers are the life-matter of every business, small or large. This sounds like a simple concept, like common sense. Yet if you look around at many businesses, you will find a massive lack of adequate customer service.
Beyond a Simple Welcome
It is very easy to underestimate the complexity of what great customer service is. Even major corporations underestimate the importance of going beyond a simple “Welcome in!” or “Thank you!” Anyone can force a smile and utter a pleasantry, but that won’t elicit an above and beyond experience for your customers. Those are the bare minimum!
In truth, customer service is a relationship. As with every relationship, it takes time, patience, and care. You can’t simply say an empty “I love you” each day to your significant other and expect them to want to be around you. Similarly, your customers won’t feel any inclination to utilize your business if all they have received is monotonous, empty interactions with you or your employees. You must build a relationship!
How to build that Relationship
It is easy enough to tell you that customer service is a relationship and you must build that relationship, but how are you supposed to know HOW to do that? Well, while there is not defined step by step guide, we can give you some tips for improving your business’ customer service experience.
Engage Your Customers
Be it face to face or via the internet, you need to engage your customers. No, you can’t just like their picture or only say “Welcome in”, we went over that. We want you to have a conversation with your customers! Ask them how they are doing, what they are up to, about the town, or their lives. Engage them and make sure they can talk about themselves. Psychology tells us that we all love talking about ourselves, so allowing them to do that will likely yield a positive experience.
Beyond important pleasantries, you need to effectively communicate with your customers. Are you closed? Post that everywhere! Did rain cause a delay in your service? Call every customer, even if it’s just to assure them you will still be on time. COMMUNICATE! We cannot tell you how often we have customers tell us we are the only shop that returned their phone call.
Besides, you also need to ensure your customers are aware of the services you are going to perform or about the product you are selling them. We fully understand that not many people know how a windshield is installed or how a chip is repaired, so we like to let them know beforehand so that expectations are clear. This type of information also makes great blog content for your website too.
Customers: Delightful to Discourteous
As you well know, the customer service relationship is not always a two-way street. You will encounter times where you are giving much more than you are getting. That’s okay. Not everyone is understanding, courteous, or even pleasant.
Rather than matching a customer’s negative disposition, try considering the reason for their discontent. They are likely having a hard day, frustrated by a problem (in our case having a broken windshield), or otherwise in a poor mood unrelated to your actions. Disconnecting any negative attitude as a personal attack allows you to calmly assess their situation and provide reassurance.
For example, customers are often clearly frustrated when they call us with a shattered window or broken windshield. Rather than matching their frustration, we gently acknowledge their frustration and assure them that we are going to do our very best to solve their problem, be that a chip repair or replacement. We find this works extremely well building rapport with our customers, creating a unique and positive experience they will tell their friends about.
What it’s all about
As we mentioned, customers are what it is all about. Customers are the sole reason businesses exist. Equally important are customer recommendations and reviews. While we love repeat customers, that is not the only purpose for building that relationship.
When you have a good experience with a product or service, what do you want to do? Tell everyone about it, right? Exactly. We want to provide our customers with positive, meaningful, and personal experiences that then make them want to tell everyone all about it.
The reason for this being that we often make decisions solely based on recommendations from others, especially our friends. If someone says they hate a certain coffee shop, you probably won’t go there. When someone tells you about their amazing experience having their windshield replaced though, you’ll probably call that shop the next time you need a replacement.
It all ties together!
Now I don’t want you to think it’s all fabricated, planned, and schemed. Our interactions here are genuine as we love to make our customers happy. So should you! That is what customer service is all about. Sure, you can have a plan, maybe even a phone script but your interactions, your efforts of building those relationships, need to be real.
Customer service is simple, but no easy task. If you have any questions about what we do or our customer service techniques, leave a comment or reach out to us!