Customer Service Basics: Avoiding A Bad Reputation
Darryl Saull, January 19, 2015
If you want to have a successful business, you will need more than a great product, you'll also need great customer service. Quality customer service strengthens the relationship you have with your customers and leads to brand loyalty and higher sales. Poor customer service can lead to a poor business reputation which is the last thing any business needs. Here are some basic tactics to help your business improve its customer service and prevent a bad reputation.
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- One of the fundamentals of customer service is having the proper amount of staff to handle customer complaints. Consumers will become more frustrated if they cannot reach your company to address their issues.
- Handle complaints effectively and efficiently. You have to attempt to satisfy your customer within reason, and within a reasonable amount of time. Don't waste their time or yours by making negligible concessions. While there may not be a prestigious award for successfully satisfying a customer, the real reward is customer loyalty, word-of-mouth promotion and revenue growth.
- Be courteous and sympathetic when listening to what the customer is saying. If it's your intention to make it right for the customer, but you're rude or dismissive about their problem, nothing you do will make it right. Always remember that they reached out to your company to have their issue taken care of because they were unhappy with your product or service.
- We live in a society where everyone is digitally connected over the internet and one person's bad experience can be broadcast on various online outlets, i.e., Facebook, Twitter, Blogger and more. This can put your company in a negative position, thus hurting your reputation, diminishing your brand and affecting your bottom line.
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Customers hate to be mislead. Make sure your business is as transparent and honest as possible when it comes to promotions, sales and promises. Take for instance ‘bait-and-switch’ promotions where customers are baited by merchants advertising services or products at a special price. When a customer tries to claim the promotion, the specially priced product or service is no longer available or the merchant tries to switch their interests to purchase something higher priced. Not only is this practice false advertising, but it can ruin the chances of that customer ever using your business again.
Most people start businesses because they feel they can fulfill a need for people while at the same time fulfilling themselves by doing what they love. Businesses with poor customer service tend to have forgotten the former. Online Reputation Management is critical to business success, and instilling some of these tips can help deter bad reviews and negative connotations about your business.