Was It Good For You? 5 Ways to Improve Customer Service

Here are five basic principles of customer service, which if mastered, will help you succeed as a small business owner.

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4. Perform for your customers

Customers have the right to demand performance. They aren’t interested in your problems and excuses; they want you to take care of them. You can be polite and courteous but, if you don’t do what you say you will do, you will not meet the standards of good customer service. If you say you’ll call a customer on Tuesday, do it. If you say you’ll ship the product on Friday, do it.  Do what you say you will do—and do it with speed and accuracy. If you ship a product when you say you will, but you ship the wrong product, you’ve taken a giant step backward.

5. Listen carefully

Few companies do this well.  If you don’t listen to what the customer is telling you, you cannot give that customer what he needs. Listen to the customer, then clarify what he has said by repeating it.  For example: “Ted, let me repeat what you said so I’m sure I’m on the right track.”  Ask questions, get involved, and show that you

These five principles might appear to be common sense, but common sense seems to be in short supply these days. If you focus on these principles, these fundamentals of customer service, you will keep your current customers and attract new customers.

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Photo Credit: GQ France

John Tschohl, an international service strategist and speaker, is founder and president of the Service Quality Institute in Minneapolis, Minnesota, which has developed more than 26 customer service global training programs. Described by Time and Entrepreneur Magazine as a “Customer service guru,” he has written several books on customer service, including Loyal for Life, e-Service, The Customer is Boss, Achieving Excellence Through Customer Service, Ca$hing In and Empowerment: A Way of Life.


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