Is customer service dead?

When was the last time you really got excited about a company or product? In this day and age and if you are like most people, it’s been quite a while.  What is “service”, and what does a company need to do to earn your trust and business? To get you excited?

I had the opportunity the other day to visit a local store.  I’m not in there very often.  And, when I am, I usually encounter clerks who are concentrating more on the number of times their gum pops or what their colleagues did last night then on who might be in the store and how they can serve them.  But something was different this time.  One gentleman, and I use that term appropriately this time, actually asked if he could help me find something.  And, when I told him what I needed, actually directed me personally to the item in question.  Unlike other times I had been in this store, this time I sought out the manager/owner to express my appreciation of the young man and the outstanding job he did.  Do you think I will start to frequent that store more?  Definitely!  Why?  Because of the impressive service I received.

What strategies can be implemented in a business to help strengthen customer relations?  Here’s a simple one: Always have a smile on your face.  Even if you are not face-to-face with your customer.  A smile is just as important in a telephone conversation.

Listen to your customer with interest.  A wise man once said, “We all have two ears and one mouth for a reason.  Listen twice as much as you speak.”  If you listen and ask leading questions, your customer will tell you just about everything you need to know.

Have a knowledge base.  And use it!  Don’t act like you know everything, because your customer will quickly figure out that you know very little.

And finally, attend to the little things and you will have and, more importantly, keep happy customers.

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