There are lots of different elements to good customer service, and some of them are a lot more complicated than others. If you ask me, though, I’d say the heart of customer service can be found in just a few simple things. In fact, the most important customer service tips are so basic that anyone can do them. If you have a few people on your team who can’t quite seem to get the hang of customer service, but you know their hearts are in the right place, I’d recommend coaching them to start off with simple things like these. It’s a great way to build confidence within your team! Even if your customer service efforts are going well, it won’t hurt to review these pointers once in a while.
The most important thing that you can do in customer service is smile. Research has shown that the human smile is virtually universal: It is one thing that will show goodwill and kindness to just about everyone. Even if your interactions with a customer are brief, you should always be smiling unless it’s clearly inappropriate.
2) Make Eye Contact
Good eye contact is a fundamental building block for going from “okay” customer service to great customer service. People usually perceive a lack of eye contact as signaling a lack of honesty or believability. Understand, though, that strong eye contact is a challenge for people who feel anxiety around social situations. As the boss, it’s important that you model and champion good eye contact. Be encouraging!
3) Say Hello
When it comes to customer service, it is almost never wrong to say hello. A customer will communicate clearly if they are not interested in talking and just want to be left alone. However, if you misread the signs that a customer is giving and fail to greet them at first, you could leave them feeling that their visit is not important to you. It is hard to change this impression once formed, so be sure to greet customers as they arrive.
4) Use Their Name
Not every retail business or restaurant is conducive to getting your customers’ names, but when you can, you should do your best to use them. Psychological studies have proven Dale Carnegie’s old dictum that a person’s name is “the sweetest sound in the world” to them. Each person is deeply conditioned to respond to his or her name. However, there is an art to this. Overusing a customer’s name can leave them feeling uncomfortable. The first few times my team members put this tip into action, I support them to make sure they aren’t overdoing it.
5) Get Feedback
The difference between a good business and a great business can be made in whether or not leaders pay close attention to customer feedback. Customers are used to businesses that do not make any effort to get their feedback, so any attempt is a step in the right direction. Open, empathetic communication with customers can help them feel as if their voices are heard. Just as importantly, it can help you learn what you are doing well and where you need improvement. Want more ideas? I’ve got you covered! Visit 6 Old Fashioned Tips for Exceptional Customer Service over at Sweet Tooth to get started. If that’s still not enough, Unitiv has some great ideas at 7 Incredibly Easy Ways to Improve Customer Service. Enjoy!