How to have happy customers

A happy customerThe saying “Fast, efficient service with a smile” sums-up what customers want. But how often do we get excellent customer service?

Good customer service people care about their customers. They treat them well, and they make their customers feel happy. And happy customers mean a higher chance of return business, less chance of customer complaints, better customer relationships, and more.

Avoid being the Basil Fawlty of customer service by using the tips below.

  • Make customers feel good. Make them want to come back again for our product or service. Make them happy, and we’ll have return business. Make them want to recommend our business to others. People are emotional – they remember how we make them feel. Make them feel good about what we sell, and give them a happy shopping… experience.
  • Treat customers how we would like to be treated – with respect and dignity.
  • Make every customer feel special.
  • Be warm, patient, polite, kind, courteous, approachable and helpful.
  • Have good manners.
  • Care about customers’ needs, wants and feelings.
  • Have empathy. This is especially important with customers who are ill, injured, grieving, very stressed, and so on.
  • Smile. In every language, a friendly smile conveys warmth and kindness, and helps put customers at ease.
  • Speak in a kind and friendly tone of voice.
  • Don’t belittle, abuse (physically or verbally), humiliate, patronize, tease or taunt customers.
  • Have an even temper. Some customers are so rude to us that we might want to strangle them. But is it worth losing our jobs or having fights? Probably not. Perhaps these customers are very stressed, hurting, or going through tough times, such as the death of loved ones. We may never know why some people are rude to us, however having compassion for them can help us stay calm in difficult situations.
  • Don’t huff, roll our eyes, look bored when customers speak to us, and so on. Show that we care about customers by using positive body language, facial expressions, etc.
  • Use the appropriate language, tone of voice… for the customers we’re talking to.
  • Resolve customer complaints quickly and kindly.
  • Be a good communicator. This includes listening well, speaking clearly, and talking in a friendly tone of voice.
  • Listen to a customer’s wants and needs, and tailor the products/services to each customer accordingly.
  • Respect cultural differences. What might be good for one nationality or race… might not be appropriate for another.
  • Be flexible. Customers sometimes change their minds, and their circumstances might change. Respond appropriately.
  • Be reliable. Do what we say we are going to do. If we can’t, follow it up with an email/phone call/in-person chat… briefly explaining why what we said wasn’t done, or the product didn’t arrive, and so on.
  • Be honest. If we don’t know the answer to customers’ questions, etc, tell the truth, and whenever possible either try to find the answer ourselves or pass them onto someone else who can help them.
  • When dealing face-to-face with customers, have good personal hygiene. Fresh breath, personal deodorant, clean nails, and so on, make a difference.
  • Be the opposite of the character Basil Fawlty in John Cleese’s hit TV series Fawlty Towers. For those of us unfamiliar with Basil, he was a very rude hotel manager. He didn’t like hotel guests, and it showed. John Cleese based Basil on an actual hotel manager that John had met. Fawlty Towers is one of my favorite comedy series, but I wouldn’t like to stay in Basil’s hotel, and I’m not the only person. So be the anti-Fawlty of customer service: kind, caring and professional.

written by Nyomi Graef

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