Customer Service Etiquette – 8 Back to  Basics to Implement Today

Customer Service Etiquette – 8 Back to Basics to Implement Today

Customer service experts have been talking about these most basic of processes for years. And yet it baffles me that most businesses don’t take the time to implement these no-cost strategies.

Basic manners, eye contact, perhaps a thank you every now and again would instil a level of loyalty from customers. Without customers you don’t have a business. However, in many businesses today, even the most basics of customer service strategies are not applied. I find it astounding that people would start a business without implementing a service excellence strategy. Within that strategy there is a courtesy that can make or break a transaction with customers, and will determine whether that customer will return. It’s called Etiquette.

Here are eight simple no-cost strategies to keep our biz social graces in check and to create a loyal customer base:

  • Smile. But not just any smile. You need to ensure that it’s a warm, genuine smile – straight from the heart. Your eyes need to convey a welcoming message too. Smiling eyes is an age old expression, but serves to display inner emotions. A smile costs nothing, but the value placed on it by the customer can be priceless. Being greeted by somebody who is smiling creates an instant warmth and kindness to the transaction.
  • ‘Check in’ with yourself prior to having any dealings with customers/potential customers. It is important to ensure you are in the correct frame of mind before dealing with a customer. A bad or lacklustre attitude in business is poor conduct and may result in you losing customers. Your customers won’t comment on your lack of grace. They may however, put it up on a social media site for the world to see. Remember, we are all dealing with very savvy people in today’s market. And you may never get the opportunity to apologise because they will have taken their business elsewhere. Remember, first impressions count.
  • Ensure your systems, processes and procedures are all customer focussed. Ensure they are written with the objective to have the customer feel valued, and not written in a fashion that makes the lightest workload for you. This displays the utmost professionalism and courtesy toward your clientele and conveys a message that you are there to make their life as easy as possible.
  • Maintain a sense of urgency when dealing with customers. We are all time poor and your dedication to completing the transaction in a timely manner is critical to retaining their business. It portrays a message to them that you respect their time. However, don’t be too hurried that you make the customer feel like they’re intruding on your day. This includes dealing with customers via phone.
  • Always, always, always use manners. In an age where some people think please and thank you don’t matter – they do. It’s a sign of respect, both for yourself, and for your customer. A genuine please, thank you, you’re welcome, have a great day costs absolutely nothing. It is appreciated more than you realise. Try it as an exercise and watch the positive reaction on your customer’s face.
  • If you’ve said you’re going to return a call – return it.
  • Don’t abruptly interrupt if a customer is talking to you. As eager as you may be to interrupt them before they go too far into their story do not cut them short. If they take umbrage at your interruption it will distance them further from being a loyal advocate. There are ways you can navigate the direction of the conversation without abruptly interrupting them mid flow.
  • Multi tasking is almost a must in today’s society. However, if you choose to eat your lunch whilst returning people’s calls you will alienate most of your clientele.

Another benefit of using etiquette when providing service excellence is that when you display professionalism, courtesy and etiquette to a customer, guess what? They generally respond with the same courtesies! So not only does your business retain that customer, they will most likely refer your business to others, you will also have a very satisfied employee.

Diplomacy, etiquette, discretion, trust, loyalty, respect – these qualities need to underpin every service you provide to your customers. Build brand loyalty and your bottom line profits the easy way.

Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
About Liz O'Dwyer

Liz sees a distinct difference between business owners who live consciously and the impact it has on their business, to the business owner who goes through the motions of the day to day running of business, with no level of personal consciousness. All business owners need to have integrity and alignment between their business and personal goals in order for the business to truly thrive AND to be able to provide service excellence. Service with Soul can help you achieve just that.

Leave a Comment

*

Password Reset
Please enter your e-mail address. You will receive a new password via e-mail.