Little things make a difference for customer satisfaction


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I distinctly remember the last time I received poor customer service; it was last week when I had an oil change on my car, and the shop I brought it to tried to add-on a list of unnecessary services just to hike up my bill. Needless to say, “word of mouth” is likely to discourage my sphere of influence about doing business with this company in the future.

Customer satisfaction programs don’t have to be confusing; rather the basic premise of little things making a huge difference is universal when dealing with consumers. Our job is to make shopping and services easy; we want it to be easy for customers to find us, easy for people to figure out what we sell or do, easy to pay, easy to return products and easy to get answers, but we never can forget the ABC’s of running a successful business, and that is honesty and integrity. Perhaps the following suggestions might enhance any company’s customer satisfaction experience:

  • Employees have to know that customers are number one. It’s not always about making a profit at that particular time. In the example above, my oil change price was on sale, and an employee wanted to be unscrupulous and tried to sell me something I didn’t need. Was it just for his performance ratings? I don’t know, but that employee cost this company future customers.
  • Don’t argue with customers. Employees have to be cooperative and flexible.
  • Try to have real people answer phone calls, and before a customer service representative answers the phone, ask the employee to smile. We can all tell the attitude of someone on the other end of the line, so why not make it inviting when a customer calls?
  • Have some freebies at your place of business if it involves public participation. There’s always something inviting about a pitcher of lemonade in South Florida or a freshly brewed pot of coffee while customers wait or browse.
  • Make sure that everyone who deals with the public says thank you.
  • Return phone calls within 24 hours, and if you are unable to do that, find someone who can take your place and still do it right.
  • Don’t blame your computer for mistakes or lack of communication. It is far better to apologize and be honest with people; most customers are gracious.
  • Make your products easy to sell.
  • Go the extra mile for a customer. On a recent exchange of a garment I had purchased where the zipper stuck the first time I wore the skirt, the store was gracious enough to replace the garment with another one even though I had made ” a final purchase, no returns please.”
  • Have special or preferred sales for loyal customers and invite them to bring a friend. Here you are rewarding your best customers while nurturing a new relationship with potential new consumers.
  • Use customer service surveys. Don’t make them too general, but hone in on a particular aspect of your business. For instance, poll customers on their satisfaction rate when receiving shipped merchandise and the correlation to delivery promises.
  • Give money back guarantees.
  • Have reasonable solutions when things go wrong in your business and use the experience to enhance your credibility, honesty and integrity.

photo credit: acearchie

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Cheryl Hanna
Service Untitled
Cheryl Hanna is a successful real estate sales person in Florida and has used her customer service knowledge and experience to set her apart and gain a competitive edge in a very difficult market. Cheryl has been writing professionally since 1999 and writes for several blogs and online publications


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