Thriving businesses don’t exist without satisfied customers. Actually, thriving businesses don’t have “satisfied” customers at all. Rather, they have HAPPY customers. Scaling a business without happy customers is all but impossible. That being said, you can never meet everyone’s expectations and eventually you will encounter unhappy customers (hopefully in limited occurrences). Let’s look at the 3 secrets to customer happiness that will keep your business going strong.
1. Pay Attention (Active Listening)
Active listening is a communication technique which requires the listener to fully concentrate, understand, respond, and remember what is being said. The ability to listen actively is a learned skill that requires conscious effort during every call/interaction, but doing so will help you identify deeper customer needs, build comfortable relationships, reduce the chances of miscommunication and tension, and problem-solve more easily. Check out these active listening exercises from Mind Tools to start improving your listening skills.
2. Manage Expectations… Then Exceed Them
As a service provider , it is important to remember that keeping customers happy is a total team effort. The business owner and office staff to technicians must all be knowledgeable of the services offered and must give customers the same information and customer service. Empty promises are the quickest way to lose customer trust and will certainly result in unhappy customers. Giving customers realistic expectations is the better route and what all customers will take note of. When you exceed customers’ expectations, that’s where you’ll likely turn a one-time customer into a repeat one. Contacting your customers in a timely manner, staying transparent and honest with them, and showing that you are doing everything you can to resolve the issue is a way to exceed expectations. Want to learn more about managing customer expectations? We like these five tips from Forbes.
3. Be Proactive – Not Reactive
There are always going to be times that require reactive customer support. However, great customer support teams focus on being proactive rather than reactive (*Again, EVERY team member plays a part in customer support!). Prepare in advance for the foreseeable issues. You’ll be surprised how many crisis situations can be averted through proactive planning. Knowing your customers and your product inside out will help bridge the gap. By taking the time to plan and think strategically, you can prevent rash decision-making, which can lead to problems. For more tips and information about proactive customer support, check out this blog post.
Ultimately, customer support is one of the only areas in business that allows you to turn a negative situation for a customer into a positive one. It’s inevitable that your customers will at some point experience problems or issues. An employee that’s well trained on customer support can turn customer issues around by providing world-class customer service, helping to create a loyal and HAPPY customer base.
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Last modified: March 19, 2019