The first rule in the service industry is “the customer is always right.” In today’s current economy, the new normal is the customer wants to spend as little as possible to get the job done, or else they will go somewhere else
As customer loyalty plummets and more competitors enter the service industry, businesses now have to fight harder to thrive. Following these simple rules can help any service business stand out from their competitors and continue to retain their clientele.
1 – Be reliable. A businessperson is as only as good as their word. If you can’t consistently hit simple deadlines or provide the quality of the product that you have promised then your customers will find a competitor that will deliver on what they promise.
2 – Be unique. Increasing competition increases the need for service companies to have a distinguishing quality that helps them stand out. If a company can deliver a product via new means or find a way to pair it with another necessary item they will be easier to remember and are more likely to call for repeat service.
3 – Great service beats fast service. Customers love fast service but if the quality of your product is compromised by getting the job done quickly, they will go elsewhere next time.
4 – Personal touch. Fast, quality service is great, but the customer will always want more. Many customers want friendly, attentive service along with their product. Speaking to a customer rudely can drive them away even if you deliver a high-quality product. Treating the customer professionally in a friendly tone will cause them to feel obliged to continue using your service.
5 – Well informed staff. Your service company is only as good as your weakest or worst employee. Encouraging all staff to learn as much about your product or service as they can will go a long way in increasing professionalism. Customers don’t want to pay for a service where they know more about it than the staff.
6 – Deal with customer complaints professionally. In any business there will be problems. The sign of a good company is how they deal with the problems and how they resolve customer complaints.
Taking a customer’s complaint seriously, you are halfway to resolving it. If the treatment they get from you is dismissive or even insulting you create an extra issue to on top of the initial complaint. If a problem is dealt with professionally, customers will often see it as a mistake and not a sign of a poor company.
7 – Persuasive attitude. Customers greeted with a smile from a knowledgeable employee are more likely to relax. This act will help them relax and spend more. A good company will encourage their employees to do all they can to make the customer at ease.
8 – Go the extra mile. These days where profit margins have been squeezed so much and wage budgets cut, you get the feeling that some companies think customer service is an old fashioned concept. Carrying a customer’s bags to their car is a small gesture can make a difference to the customer’s perception of your service.
9 – Manage the customer’s expectation level. Don’t promise what you can’t deliver. If something is going to take a week, do not say you can do it in 4 days. They might be pleased to hear they will only have to wait four days, but they will only be irritated and disappointed when you don’t keep your promise. They won’t return.
10- Provide a way for customers to leave feedback. Whether it is a suggestion box or simply asking customers how they have found the service the more feedback you get, the more you can make changes where needed before they become serious problems. Adapt and survive!