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customer-service.0822.12-e1403361957791     Customers are the life line of any business and keeping them satisfied is non- negotiable. The defunct Intercontinental Bank slogan put it better when it said ‘Happy customer, happy bank.’ It’s therefore safe to say every business stays happy as long as its customers stay happy. This is why it is highly imperative that businesses have their employees trained in the handling of their customers. The art of quality customer service provision is not one that should be taken lightly. It is no news that customers often rate excellent customer service high on the list of things they look out for when choosing a company to do business with. However, in spite of customer demand, most companies keep on offering customer service that is mediocre, or bad. Getting it right in service provision is not always about the big stuff. Sometimes it’s the little things that matter most and you can begin to put these little changes into effect right away. Some of them include: 1. Always wear a smile: A smile is a sign of cheerfulness. Wearing a smile when in contact with a customer is always welcoming. It loosens the customer up and makes them open to doing business with you. This is why the instinct of most customers is to approach the customer agent who has a smile on. Smiling costs nothing and can make a whole lot of difference in your dealings with your customer. 2. Treat your customers like the humans they are: Your customers are not just customers; they are humans deserving of respect and dignified treatment. This also means expecting them to act like responsible adults. Too many businesses believe that quality customer service means caving to the whims of every customer with a complaint. While that may solve the immediate problem of a customer, it’s sometimes not for the best. Know when there’s a real problem that needs fixing and fix it well, but don’t let people walk all over you in the name of being customers. 3. Be willing to go the extra mile: Sometimes a customer may require services that demand a little extra effort or a little more time. In such situations, be willing to go the extra mile. Make an effort to know your customers personally and address them by their names. This way, you can easily anticipate their needs and they’ll totally love you for it and also keep coming back. 4. Don’t just find the solution, find the root cause of the problem: Sometimes, certain issues may arise which you’ll have to deal with from the source. After solving the challenges with the customer, management may need to investigate the root cause of the issue to prevent a repeat of the same issue. 5. Don’t take things too personally: In dealing with customers, always remember that you are the face of the company and as such, customers will direct their complaints and frustrations at you, not because of personal intentions but because of your position as the representative of the company. By doing this, you can maintain your calm even if the customer goes haywire. 6. Listen to your customers: This is very important because a lot of customer service agents tend to assume they know what the customers want. However, this isn’t always true. Consequently, you need to listen to your customers and also carry out periodic surveys to know what they want and also observe trends to help in future planning. 7. Look for avenues to improve: The competition in the business world is much too fierce for businesses to stay the same. There is always room for growth and for improvement. On the part of the management, trainings and seminars on customer service provision should be organized to keep employees abreast on ways to get and keep the customers happy and satisfied. If you want to stand out from the crowd and offer truly great customer service instead of just empty promises, these tips are things you can’t afford to throw out of the window. Keep your customers as happy as you can and you’ll be sure to stay happy

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This article was first published on 21st June 2014

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