Like most companies, we like to think that we are good at what we do. Being involved in a service industry, we have to get that service right otherwise we have no right to expect our clients to come back to us. But how often do most of us take time out to consider precisely what it is that constitutes excellent customer service? What are the building blocks that need to be in place in order to ensure that our clients place repeat orders or bookings?
We looked at what people value when buying goods or services and came up with our own golden rules (in no particular order) for keeping customers happy:
- Treat your customers the way you would want to be treated. Put yourself in their position and ask yourself how you would have judged the quality of service you’ve given. If the answer is less than outstanding then ask yourself what you could have done better and do it next time.
- Everyone works in the ‘Customer Service’ department. Each member of staff has a part to play in making any company a pleasure to deal with. It’s important to create a culture of helpfulness so that it becomes second nature and an integral part of what you do. If people enjoy working for a company it will be apparent to their customers.
- Be customer-driven. Understand what your customer needs and do your best to provide it. Don’t try to mould your customers around your range of services, listen to what they really want and try to adapt your offering accordingly. The more bespoke the service, the more value you add.
- Be honest! There may be times when things haven’t gone to plan, you’ve made a mistake or dropped a bit of a clanger. Whatever has happened, if it’s going to impact on your customer, then bite the bullet, grasp the nettle, grit your teeth …. and tell them! Honesty should be the only policy. Don’t forget though, that the up side to letting your customer down is that it’s an opportunity to put things right. Don’t just present your client with a problem; give them a solution at the same time.
- Only make promises you can keep. It’s tempting at times to promise something that you know your customer wants to hear but you have little hope of delivering. This is a recipe for short term gain and long term pain. Inevitably you will end up making excuses to your client and eroding trust. However much you want to impress in the first instance you will gain more in the long run by delivering more than you promised.
- Speedy service. No-one likes to be kept waiting so we answer the phone promptly. We have a maximum three rings policy because when clients call us it’s often because they need something collecting in a hurry. Speed of response is also critical when dispatching couriers so we have invested in technology to track our vehicles enabling our controllers to identify the one best placed to get to a client quickly
- Stay calm. At some point every business will come under pressure; be it from a demanding or dissatisfied client, a job going pear-shaped or when the volume of work stretches the resources available. Whatever the source of the heat it’s vital that everyone stays cool and deals rationally and logically with the issues. Never lock horns with a client. We’re taught that the customer is always right and there is reason behind this. But even if you think they’re wrong and you’re right, empathise with their problem and try to find a solution that leaves both parties feeling that they’ve won.
- Have helpful friendly staff. We make sure that whoever takes the call can help the caller! It may seem we’re stating the obvious but it’s vital that clients aren’t passed from pillar to post – it wastes time and irritates people. We encourage our team to take ownership of issues until they’ve been resolved. Be efficient and professional, of course, but be friendly and light hearted when appropriate.
If you want to find out if we practice what we preach, book a same day courier today!