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Customer Service Isn't Dead

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on August 20, 2010

As the Internet becomes more and more prevalent in our everyday lives, customer service should be top-of-mind in every transaction. Brick and mortar stores continue to thrive exactly because they offer personal customer service. Just because humans are interacting more than ever from behind their computers does not mean that companies should give up the intimacy of live customer support representatives. Never underestimate the importance of a personal touch when dealing with your customers—from simply calling them by name to offering a birthday greeting, there’s nothing more essential than making your customers feel important. If your customer service is lacking, here are some tips on how to expand your business through excellent customer service:

1. Empower your employees with the resources they need to provide excellent customer service and support. Push decision-making down to every level of the organization and allow your team to do what it feels is necessary to meet and exceed customer expectations.

2. Don’t let your customers get stuck in the voice mail vortex. There’s nothing more reassuring than hearing a real voice at the other end of the line … the voice of someone who is empathetic and well-trained, who has an intimate understanding of the product or service you offer, and who can offer real solutions to the caller’s problems.

3. Give your customers a voice and involve them in the decision-making process through user groups, surveys, and suggestion boxes to ensure you’re constantly providing products and services that will have a positive impact on their experience. Before you make important decisions that could affect your customers, ask yourself, "Will this enhance the customer experience?"

4. Stand tall when you make mistakes and never misjudge the power of an apology. This could save you from potentially losing a customer.

Bruce Hoberman

Reader Comments

Hal F

August 23, 2010 12:17 PM

Glad to see this article, I have been trying to teach C.S. for 35 years in a Technical High School, and can always use support articles like these to convince the kids,its real!

Mana Chaffin

August 23, 2010 2:52 PM

It is a proven fact for us. We have been in business for over 30 years and regardless of the economy we have steadily grown each year. Our key goal is customer service.

Randy Clark

August 26, 2010 1:35 PM

Last weekend I attended a blogging and social media conference,Blog Indiana, BIN2010. The online marketers, small, and not so small businesses involved and presenting understood customer service. For example Jeremy Dearringer’s (@Slingshot_SEO) discussion focused on search reputation by, among other actions, focusing on customer service. After watching a slow steady decline of customer service from being ignored by the gum chomping, texting, i pod listening, cashier at my local grocery to being caught in the phone "vortex", it is encouraging to listen to business people "get it" in regards to customer service!

Blair Stover

August 27, 2010 12:09 PM

Customer service is extremely important in any business. How you act towards a customer can affect how someone feels about the company and could make or break a sale. It is also important to know how to deal with an irate customer properly and not take what they say personally.

Rochelle Robinson

August 31, 2010 1:04 AM

I'm really glad you highlighted the need for businesses to be mindful of good customer service. I intentionally frequent brick and mortar stores to keep people employed but more times than not I get frustrated by the poor customer service.

Randi Busse

November 15, 2010 2:02 PM

If companies don't make customers feel important, customers will find companies that will.

Gone are the days of no one else doing what you do. Everyone has competition and your competition is hoping that you don't take care of your customers so that they can!

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