When “great customer service” is talked about many people immediately think of large companies like, Amazon, Marriott Hotels, Apple, Nordstroms, and Starbucks. In fact, the first three are among the companies listed in “The 2015 Customer Service Hall of Fame.”
Great customer service is not limited to these large companies. There are many small businesses that make it a delight to do business with them. I know from my personal experience, and if I were to do an interview with 10 people, each person would have a story about at least one business they dealt with in the past that they would happily do business with again and again because of great customer service. In all likelihood, they left the business with a smile.
The possibilities and ease with which great customer service can be delivered is not limited to brick and mortar businesses. Small businesses, including entrepreneurs and solopreneurs who market exclusively online, have an opportunity to build a reputation for great customer service.
Since there is no exclusivity in creating a rockstar reputation for delivering great customer service, what are some actions that can be taken to reinforce this reputation?
Bruce Lee reportedly said, “The possession of anything begins in the mind.” Today we’ll focus on the mindset it takes to achieve this type of reputation.
See an Opportunity Not a Problem
You know how we’re always encouraged to view the glass as half full instead of half empty? That attitude will make a huge difference in how we view complaints.
No one (or almost no one) likes to be criticized. As a result, people often become very defensive when they receive a negative comment or complaint. What if, instead of viewing a complaint as a threat to your competence, your position or your reputation, you viewed it as the greatest feedback you could hope for?
Complaints expose the weaknesses in your business that you wouldn’t have otherwise seen. By seeing a complaint as an opportunity instead of a problem, you can learn which areas need improvement from your customers’ point of view. Because we are usually so close to our business, we could be seeing it from only one perspective. Understanding it from the customer’s perspective will allow you to tailor your business to meet the needs of those you want to serve.
Also, keep in mind also that disgruntled customers who get excellent service from you often turn into your biggest fans.
See Your Dissatisfied Customer as a Solution Partner
You, and your employees, if applicable, may often have to work at viewing your complaining customer as a solution partner rather than an adversary – someone on the ‘other’ side of the table who only wants to focus on the negative.
For every problem there is a solution. Rather than thinking that you have to find the solution by yourself and present it to your customer, what if you enrolled your customer in assisting you to find the solution?
Someone with a vested interest is more likely to cooperate and help in finding solutions. In addition, by involving your customer, you are meeting one of the basic needs: Make me feel important.
Of course, there will be times when the solution desired is against your values and principles, and those should never be compromised.
By adopting the mindset of ‘every problem has a solution,’ you will work with the goal of finding an amicable solution that satisfies your customer and provide a positive outcome.
Your reputation for great customer service is a valuable and precious one for you and your business so you want to pursue every possible avenue to maintain a consistently high reputation.
Sometimes little things can make a huge difference. Changing your mindset is just another “little thing” that can enhance your customer service delivery.
For more tips on attracting and retaining your customers and clients, please visit http://YvonneAJones.com/retention to get your copy of Time-Tested Tips to Grow Your Business with Customer Retention.