These customer service tips equally apply to service contractors doing business with other businesses, as in my case, or to retailers doing business with the general consumer.
Customer Service Tip Number One - Build Business to Customer Loyalty. This is a number one customer service secret, and is by far one of the most important one. Show the customer that you care for them by learning their name and something personal about them to make a human to human connection.
Customer Service Tip Number Two - provide true customer service. In today's market environment, service has become a cliché and it seems like "everyone's doing it." So, if everyone is doing it, why not jump ahead of the wolf pack by providing even more creative, personalized service to your customers than your competitors can?
Customer Service Tip Number Three - "The Customer Is always Right." If a customer comes to you about a complaint, be very serious about how you handle it. Is the customer upset and angry? First, calm him with words and action and show that you are serious about doing something to correct the problem. Even if it is obvious that he is wrong, sometimes it is better for repeat business to take the loss and compensate the customer.
Then, when your customer is satisfied that his complaint has been properly addressed, thank him for bringing the problem to your attention. Remember, no amount of advertising can repair the damage done by failing to properly address a customer's concern. Even more damaging to a small business is the "silent complainer." That is the customer who simply walks out of your shop without saying a word, and you never see him again. These silent complainers have friends. And their friends have friends.
Customer Service Tip Number Four - be honest with your customers. If your customer even suspects that you are trying to pull something over on him, you can kiss that customer goodbye - permanently! Were you fortunate enough to purchase an item from a wholesaler at a discount price? Instead of being tempted to richly improve your bottom line, pass that saving on to your customer. This will ingrain confidence in your customer so that, in the future, your customers will know where to come for REAL savings.
Did you manage to pick up some out of date or reject item? Do not be tempted to pawn it off on your customers at a regular price without at least informing your customer that it is a reject or of inferior workmanship.
If your customer asks you for advice on a product, do not try to sell him the item that best enhances your bottom line. Sell him the item that is best for your customer. In the long run, your bottom line will thank you for having made this choice.
Customer Service Tip Number Five - educate your staff to be equally as concerned about your customers as you are. There is nothing worse than an employee who ruins a relationship with a customer because they will not directly feel the pain of the lost business.
A final bit of advice about customer service - "If you are not taking care of your customers, your competition will." Print that advice out in large, bold letters and past it above your cash register.