How to Improve Customer Service

Learning how to improve customer service can help boost your business. Customer service is an integral part of any business and, when you practice good customer relationship management, you can rely on repeated purchases from the same group of buyers. You might also receive great word-of-mouth referrals from your satisfied customers. If there's one thing that business owners of all types need to practice, it's good customer service.

Make sure you have the right attitude.
Good customer service starts with having the right attitude in good times and in bad. If you are an independent contractor, then you are in charge of your own attitude, but, if you have employees, then you need to train them in viewing customers in the right way. Customers are not simply a way to get more money. They are individuals with individual needs. Even if you're all about the money, you need to treat each customer with respect and with a thankful attitude. Although this inner mindset might not be apparent to the customer at first, it will come through in your actions and words.

Establish clear policies for customer service problems.
Your employees will encounter many common problems when they are working with the public. While each situation will be slightly different, it will help if you develop policies for issues like returns and complaints. You should even discuss how to handle a customer who is demanding no matter what. If your employees have been trained in these policies, they will be able to handle these situations efficiently when they crop up.

Pay attention to the interaction between customers and employees.
Once you've established clear guidelines for your employees, you should monitor how well they handle customer service issues. Do the observing yourself, use customer surveys or hire secret shoppers if you are dealing with a retail establishment. Watch the demeanor and facial expressions of the employees. Even if they are following the guidelines to the letter, they may not be treating the customers with the right spirit. There's a big difference in tone of voice and facial expressions that can make a difference in how the customers receive the employee.

Offer ongoing training.
The key to improving customer service over time is to train your employees about customer service practices often. Employees need to learn new ways of interacting with customers, especially as your business begins to grow. By requiring training at least twice a year, you can ensure that your employees are refining and improving their customer service skills.

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