Overview: Customer service is the service you give to customers before, during and after they buy a product or service from you. Good customer service is when a business experience meets customer expectations. It makes customers happy and generates repeat business, loyalty and positive feedback to others. Bad customer service generates complaints, looses sales, boosts your competitors and damages your reputation and brand.

Meet and Greet: Customers should be greeted as soon as they enter your business. First contact can make or break a sale.

Language: Staff should be provided with required ways to greet a customer. The first words influence how “welcome” a customer feels.

Dress: How staff are dressed sends a powerful message. Tidy, appropriate dress indicates to customers that service is likely to be good.

Smile: Greet with a smile. Smiling generates a positive first impression and loose bond between customers and staff.

Show Interest: Inquiring about where customers are from, what they would like to do and be helped with sets the scene for good customer service.

Do what they want: Some customers may just want to browse on their own. Respect this but offer to be there should they wish any assistance.

Keep watch: Keep an eye on customers. If they seem to need some help, assistance or advice then offer it politely.

Make suggestions: You know more about your business than a customer. Assist them by making suggestions for purchases or services

Answer the phone: Businesses should have a clear policy on answering phones in a certain time. Customers phone for a reason and expect a response.

Phone Manner: Businesses should train staff on how to answer the phone  and deal with customer calls. Standard scripts are useful.

Answer Emails: Email is a key way for businesses to support customers. Emails should be answered promptly and    in an appropriate way.

Social Media: Social media is a useful way to support customers after they trade with you. Information and use suggestions are common uses of social media.

Positive Language: Focusing on a  solution helps customers accept the situation and reduces the odds that they will be upset at product or service issue.

Take Time: Customers who feel that they are getting your full attention and time feel that they are getting better customer service.

Solution Focus: Leaving an issue open is not what a customer wants.  Ensure the  issue has  or is being addressed and indicate a time frame.

Update Them: Use the  process of resolving an issue as a reason to contact the customer. They appreciate being kept informed of progress.

Compensate Them: When resolved send an apology and some token of reward to customers. This helps reestablish a positive impression of your business.

Empower Staff: Empower and trust your staff to resolve issues and compensate customers appropriately. This greatly speeds up the process.

Note It: All customer issues should be recorded and the  solutions / cost fully documented for learning and accounting purposes.

Negative is Good: Businesses can learn most from negative feedback . It tends to be more honest, frequent and likely to identify issues that cost sales.

Discuss It: All positive and negative comments should be noted, analysed and discussed to identify improvements that can be made.

Recontact  Them: If you loose a customer because of a service issue contact them again after period of time and try and get their business back.

Mystery Shopper: Hire someone to test out your customer service. Create an issue and see how your business responds. Do the same to your competitors.

Keep it Human: Customers with an issue should always be treated as a person and not a “trouble ticket number”.  Know their name, issue and issue status.