customer

How to win back a customer after you screw up!

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winbackWe are human, we are all bound to make mistakes. Its however almost an unacceptable reason for a screw up in business but screw ups happen, even in business. it could be a deadline missed, bad delivery or just plain disappointing a client, we all mess up.

In business and professional life, you and your organization are going to make mistakes, you are going to mess up one time or the other. Of course, as a leader you should work to minimize them as much as possible. But, just like your own personal examples, when you make a mistake, what matters most is how you respond after you know a mistake has been made.

A service mistake can, and should be, seen as an opportunity to regain trust and create a lasting connection with the customer. Done well, service recovery is one of the most powerful tools for building lifelong relationships with Customers.

  • Apologize. You learned it as a kid, and teach it to yours. When we do it, it makes a difference.
  • Take responsibility. The offended party doesn’t want excuses or rationale, he/she wants results (and so do you when the tables are turned).
  • Do more than talk – take action. What that action is could be very different based on the situation, but the truth is that people look to our actions as much as – and often more than – our words.
  • Make amends. The action should be more than just a nice gesture; it should focus on fixing the initial mistake, problem or misunderstanding.
  • Don’t wait. Do the above steps sooner rather than later. It is perhaps even more powerful if the other party sees that you went out of your way to make things right as soon as humanly possible.

    Winning a customer back is more than the product or service you are selling, it is a responsibility we have to eachother

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8 Rules for Excellent Customer Service

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Customer Service

Good customer service is the lifeblood of any business. You can offer promotions and slash prices to bring in as many new customers as you want, but unless you can get some of those customers to come back, your business won’t be profitable for long.

Good customer service is all about bringing customers back. And about sending them away happy – happy enough to pass positive feedback about your business along to others, who may then try the product or service you offer for themselves and in their turn become repeat customers.

If you’re a good salesperson, you can sell anything to anyone once. But it will be your approach to customer service that determines whether or not you’ll ever be able to sell that person anything else. The essence of good customer service is forming a relationship with customers – a relationship that that individual customer feels that he would like to pursue.

How do you go about forming such a relationship? By remembering the one true secret of good customer service and acting accordingly; “You will be judged by what you do, not what you say.”

I know this verges on the kind of statement that’s often seen on a sampler, but providing good customer service IS a simple thing. If you truly want to have good customer service, all you have to do is ensure that your business consistently does these things:

1) Answer your phone.

Get call forwarding. or an answering service, Hire staff if you need to. But make sure that someone is picking up the phone when someone calls your business. (Notice I say “someone”. People who call want to talk to a live person, not a fake “recorded robot”.)

2) Don’t make promises unless you will keep them.

Not plan to keep them. Will keep them. Reliability is one of the keys to any good relationship, and good customer service is no exception. If you say, “Your new bedroom furniture will be delivered on Tuesday”, make sure it is delivered on Tuesday. Otherwise, don’t say it. The same rule applies to client appointments, deadlines, etc.. Think before you give any promise – because nothing annoys customers more than a broken one.

3) Listen to your customers.

Is there anything more exasperating than telling someone what you want or what your problem is and then discovering that that person hasn’t been paying attention and needs to have it explained again? From a customer’s point of view, I doubt it. Can the sales pitches and the product babble. Let your customer talk and show him that you are listening by making the appropriate responses, such as suggesting how to solve the problem.

4) Deal with complaints.

No one likes hearing complaints, and many of us have developed a reflex shrug, saying, “You can’t please all the people all the time”. Maybe not, but if you give the complaint your attention, you may be able to please this one person this one time – and position your business to reap the benefits of good customer service.

5) Be helpful – even if there’s no immediate profit in it.

The other day I popped into a local watch shop because I had lost the small piece that clips the pieces of my watch band together. When I explained the problem, the proprietor said that he thought he might have one lying around. He found it, attached it to my watch band – and charged me nothing! Where do you think I’ll go when I need a new watch band or even a new watch? And how many people do you think I’ve told this story to?

6) Train your staff (if you have any) to be always helpful, courteous, and knowledgeable.

Do it yourself or hire someone to train them. Talk to them about good customer service and what it is (and isn’t) regularly. Most importantly, give every member of your staff enough information and power to make those small customer-pleasing decisions, so he never has to say, “I don’t know, but so-and-so will be back at…”

7) Take the extra step.

For instance, if someone walks into your store and asks you to help them find something, don’t just say, “It’s in Aisle 3”. Lead the customer to the item. Better yet, wait and see if he has questions about it, or further needs. Whatever the extra step may be, if you want to provide good customer service, take it. They may not say so to you, but people notice when people make an extra effort and will tell other people.

8) Throw in something extra.

Whether it’s a coupon for a future discount, additional information on how to use the product, or a genuine smile, people love to get more than they thought they were getting. And don’t think that a gesture has to be large to be effective. The local art framer that we use attaches a package of picture hangers to every picture he frames. A small thing, but so appreciated.

If you apply these eight simple rules consistently, your business will become known for its good customer service. And the best part? The irony of good customer service is that over time it will bring in more new customers than promotions and price slashing ever did!

Why CustomerNG ?

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Why a need for a blog like this? 

“The customer is always right” is a famous business slogan. The underlying truth behind this statement is recognizing that customers are the life blood for any business. Understanding the importance of good customer service is essential for a healthy business in creating new customers, keeping loyal customers, and developing referrals for future customers.

In Nigeria today, there are tons of businesses providing goods and services in return for money, rating these goods and services from the Nigerian customers has become very imperative, considering a growing culture of poor customer service and relations by businesses in Nigeria.    The culture of excellent customer service and products is yet to be popular in the Nigerian market today, a platform like this will catalyze a process towards excellence. We are creating an online community-based rankings of good (and bad) customer service in Nigeria, this will enable real time analysis of Nigerian customer satisfaction issues.

We at customerNG believe that  “it’s a free market and you the customer, says who is and stays market king”. There are several ways this project is useful and we will be revealing them from post to post.

Thank you.

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