When you get down to the nitty, gritty of it – the end-goal is always about keeping your customer happy. Your “happiness goal” would be comparative to say, that of an ANC Comrade with a tender, a chubby Asian kid with a Big Mac, or a Vegan with a slab of tofu…I could go on with these horrible stereotype similes for a while – but I think my point is made. Customer is king when it comes to a service industry such as ours. And no matter how painful your beloved customer is, it’s all about catering to their needs – but all within reason.
In my opinion, the only thing that is worse than bad customer service, is a company that over-compensates, promises you the world and only delivers an impoverished third-world country. In fact, this may be worse, because your expectations have been build up and in the end, the delivery is just a let-down. And nobody likes a let-down. Unfortunately bad news travels fast, much faster than anything good. To add to this, it takes countless years to build up a good reputation and just one or two bad customer experiences to tarnish all your hard work. According to Unilever South Africa Customer Service stats, it takes 12 positive customer experiences to make up for just one bad experience. Ouch.
So what are ya gonna do? When your client comes in for their first meeting, and I’m pretty sure this applies to most industries…we recommend you follow these steps:
1. Ensure you listen carefully.
2. Do some research on the client beforehand if possible.
3. Always take notes.
4. Always ask questions if you are unsure of what the client means.
5. Speak up if you know a client request cannot be met.
6. Use examples to illustrate a point more easily.
7. Always keep it professional, no lewd remarks or personal marketing.
8. Don’t ever talk over people, wait your turn dammit.
9. Watch your body language – it’s all about eye contact.
10.Work on your hand shake, make sure it leaves a great first impression.
The Webhouse Group is a successful business with a vast client base, in operation for over 10 years now. We pride ourselves on ensuring our clients are treated with respect, humility and offered the right amount of guidance where needed. We acknowledge that IT is not a field that is particularly interesting or engaging for most people, that the ins and outs and technicalities of this field appear complicated to many. Therefore, it is our job to best explain our products clearly and concisely, without making our clients feel like a huge ignoramus.
Customer service is an entire experience, not just a formality. These are the people you rely on to make your business a success, to spread your name in good faith and keep coming back for more if they have received what they have been promised. Oh, and having some “people skills” also helps. If you aren’t good with people, I got nothin’ for ya.