Remarkable customer service, i.e. customer service that is so good customers remark on it, is not always easy to come by. Some companies just don’t put any value on employees spending the necessary time listening and exploring solutions with customers, while other companies try their best but fail with the wrong systems in place. And of course, even the companies that get it right a lot of the time can and do make mistakes.
The software arena is not necessarily renowned for its customer service skills, but at The Consultancy it’s always been given top priority. It’s not easy when you’re busy trying to get the job done at the same time, but it is essential. Our customers often tell us we’ve got it right in this department, so we thought we’d share a few of our thoughts about what makes for a good customer experience.
Top tips for customer service
Fix everything two ways – almost every problem has two solutions. The first is a superficial, immediate fix, but the second is thinking about a wider solution that prevents the same problem from happening in the future. If you can do this enough, the end result is that all the common problems are solved.
Make customers into fans – whether in our personal or business life, we probably all have brands we go back to because we trust them. But what have they done to build our trust in them? Most likely they have gone above and beyond to help give us what we need. Customers remember over and above levels of service and are likely to repay that service with loyalty and ongoing custom.
Take the blame – sometimes when things go wrong it’s the fault of the supplier and sometimes it’s the fault of the customer and while it’s not useful to take the blame when you’ve done nothing wrong, it is useful to put your hand up when you have made a mistake. Why? Because it defuses the anger we feel when we’re not getting the service we think we deserve. Just three small words: ‘It’s my fault’, when it’s true, makes the customer feel better.
Greed will get you nowhere – when things are going well and customers are seemingly happy (at least they’re not complaining), some suppliers make the mistake of thinking they can get more from the relationship. However, as soon as customers feel the relationship has become unfair or unreasonable, they will start to complain and if they can’t be bothered to do that, they’ll vote with their feet. If you’re offering a great service and customers are happy – run with it! Your customers will recommend you and your business will thrive as a result. There’s no need to get greedy and try to exploit your customers in the process.
Honesty and openness go a long way
We’ve got thirty years’ experience doing what we do and at the heart of our approach is working closely with our customers to deliver what they need. Mistakes happen and problems arise, but our customers tell us that part of the reason they stay with us for the long-term is because we respond quickly when there’s an issue, we always maintain an honest approach and we keep the lines of communication open. It may not sound like much, but it’s sometimes the small things that make all the difference.