Customer Service: Going Above and Beyond

September 20th, 2010 by The Franchise Development Team

Competition is tough.  In fact, your competition is probably plotting to attract your customers as you read this!  To achieve long-term profitability you should offer more than great service – you have to help customers solve their problems. Develop strong customer relationships that will enhance loyalty and provide solutions to problems that may arise.  Commit to these efforts and gain a competitive advantage in today’s tough economy.

Listen to Your Customer: Customers want you to understand their problems, needs, expectations and priorities. If you do not listen, they will find someone else who does – your competition.

You Are in Sales: No matter what your position may be, you are a salesperson. You must keep that in mind with every interaction and decision you make. Customers are constantly evaluating you and whether they will continue to do business with you. Every time they have contact with you, it is important that you show care and concern. What type of answers do you give? How is your tone of voice? Do you sound professional and happy to be serving them – even though you may not feel like it? Everything you say and do has an effect on business and customer loyalty.

Every current and prospective customer should be treated as valuable, priceless resources to be cherished and handled with delicacy.

Create a Quality Service Culture: A quality service culture recognizes opportunities to exceed customer expectations.  If everyone commits to a high level of service in every aspect of customer interaction, your business will be in a better position to maintain a profitable business.

Referrals: Market to your existing long-term customers; they are more likely to refer others.  Focus a significant amount of your time, effort and resources on your current customers.  They are already doing business with you and are apt to discuss the merits of your business.  Referrals are a great way to reach your target market and can be an inside shortcut to supercharging your business.

By providing excellent customer care in addition to a referral bonus program, your current customers can become an invaluable marketing tool in helping you increase your sales. Give your current customers something to talk about, and offer them an incentive to use their bragging rights!  Providing the best service is half the equation, encouraging happy customers to spread the good vibes is the other half. Satisfied customers are your best salespeople, because they spread the word about your quality, value and service to their friends. Consider implementing a loyalty program, where your long-term customers are rewarded.

Have fun!: Be sure to have fun. It is easy to get caught up in goals, outcomes and deliverables. These are important, but customers also want to deal with people who enjoy what they do. The more fun you have while providing outstanding service, the longer your customers will stay.

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