Four Best Practices for Excellent Customer Service

Steve Kedzior is Senior Vice President at Paradigm Technologies. Kedzior has over 25 years of experience developing and integrating excellent customer service practices in the IT field.

1. Be Nice.

Be respectful, polite, and patient. Try to see the other person’s side of things. Sound familiar? Everything you need to know about customer service, you learned in kindergarten. The basic rules of customer service are simply the basic rules for interacting with people. Do right by your customers and they will do right by you.

2. Be Proactive.

Customer service has always been a vital part of business, but in the days of Yelp and Twitter, how you treat your customers matters more than ever. Consumers are a click away from sharing a negative – or positive – experience with the entire world. If you anticipate situations that will be difficult or taxing for customers, communicate clearly about the potential issues and solutions. Try to head off potentially negative situations ahead of time, rather than being forced to do damage control later.

3. Be Quick.

Customers who have extremely favorable experiences are likely to promote your company to two or three people, but those who have an extremely negative experience may share the story with ten people or more. The good news? Great customer service can turn a detractor into a promoter. 80 percent of disgruntled customers will change their minds if you respond to their concerns quickly. Impress detractors with your quick response, courteous listening, and commitment to rectifying the situation. Don’t miss your opportunity to turn a negative impression into a positive one.

4. Be Forward-Thinking

Great customer service starts with employees. It’s important that all of your employees know and recognize how valuable customer relationships are to your success. Build frameworks that encourage excellent customer service, whether that means maintaining a consistently staffed web help button, giving front-line employees the authority to fix a customer’s problem, or mandating that customer inquiries are answered within a specific time period.

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