7 Tips to a Exceeding Your Customers’ Expectations
It costs you five times as much to win a new customer than to keep a current one. But, customers are not loyal by nature and research shows that emotion influences purchase decisions six times more than rationale. Connecting to your customers on an emotional level is the key to establishing a lasting relationship. You must go beyond simply delivering your product or service and develop strong bonds with your customers. It is essential that you provide a unique customer experience by proactively anticipating your customers’ needs and expectations and exceeding them, every time!
Service excellence is an attitude to be engrained in every staff member in every company. It requires more than a streamlined customer service department or a slogan on the lunch room wall. Excellence is a consistent, premium service at every touch point set by a service oriented tone that drives your company strategy at every level. The following 7 Tips to Exceeding your Customer’s Expectations will help you to focus on the most important elements of customer service excellence:
1. Connecting With Your Customers – To connect is to join, but to make a connection there has to be rapport. When a connection happens with your customer, you position yourself to make the most of your skills and talents. When you don’t connect, you have a lot to overcome just to get to a neutral starting point.
2. Value Your Customers – You must first value your customer, it’s all about them. Being an expert on your product or service is not enough. Knowing your product or service but not your customers will mean you have something to sell but no one to buy. Your customer must know and feel that you truly value them.
3. Helping Your Customers – Your customers are asking themselves if this person can help me. Nobody wants to be sold, but everyone wants to be helped. In our current, busy world, your customers are bombarded with information about the features of this product or that service. They tend to tune it out. If you want to get your customer’s attention, show them how you can help them with whatever their need is.
4. Developing Trust With Your Customers – Trust is vital to any business. Being open and honest with your customers will enable them to trust you. Follow through on every aspect of what you have promised. If a mistake is made, own it, apologize, correct it and make amends in a way that is perceived with empathy and integrity.
5. Listen To Your Customers To Understand – Many times people only partially listen, focusing instead on their own response. Here the spotlight is on you, not your customer. A customer will only feel heard and that they truly matter, when you are fully present and listening to what they are saying, not only with their words but also their emotion, facial expression, etc. One of the best ways to exceed customer expectations is to use our ears. This communicates to your customer that you care about them and you value them.
6. Overcoming Customer Complaints – First of all, keep your composure and stay calm. Before trying to ‘fix the problem’, ensure that you have listened to understand their concern. Ask validating questions to confirm that your customer is understood. Put yourself in their shoes, take responsibility and give a sincere apology. Next move into resolution. What are they looking for? By taking ownership and providing a good solution it can build customer loyalty.
7. Develop a Mindset of Over Delivering to Your Customers – Remember, it’s all about them. You have to have a heart to serve. Discover what your customer wants and work to over deliver their expectations. You are not in the product or service business, you are in the people business providing a product or service.
With so many choices available, consumers have little or no reason to remain loyal to a company if they are not 110% pleased with the experience. It is no longer viable to provide good customer service, you must exceed their expectations! I wish you much success in your Customer Service Excellence!