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5 Principles for Delivering Exceptional Customer Service

We all understand the importance of customer service, but what does it really mean to put this into action? It all comes down to some simple yet fundamental principles that you need to live by. Whether you’ve been in business for five years or 50, let’s go back to basics and take a look at what it means to deliver customer service that will wow your customers and keep them coming back year after year.

Understand your customers’ needs. People seek out your business because they have a problem you can help solve. It’s as simple as that. When you understand the specific needs of each customer and tailor your services to accommodate those needs, you’ll end up with more satisfied clients. Assure them that you’ve got their best interests in mind by taking the time to listen, empathize, and understand what they’re looking for before diving into your sales pitch. If you want to improve your listening skills, here’s a great resource to help you get started.

Know your stuff. Your clients are counting on you to be the expert they need. That means knowing your product or service inside and out and educating them about the best options for their situation. This positions you as a valuable resource they can trust. Spend time each day educating yourself on your specific market, and keep up on the latest trends and industry best practices. In addition, stay connected with other cross-industry professionals so you can make quick recommendations to your clients and create a more holistic, positive customer experience.

Be accessible and responsive. Communication is key to any healthy relationship; why should it be different with your customers? Keep the lines of communication open, respond to questions promptly, and follow through with your promises. Set expectations, so they know when they will hear from you. An excellent way to do this is by crafting a welcome email or letter for each client that outlines your sales process and the value you bring to the relationship. This will help set the tone for their customer experience. Click here to download a sample letter.

Be professional – always. When dealing with people, there’s bound to come a time when you and a client don’t see eye to eye. Whether they’re right or wrong, always address these situations professionally. Keep emotions out of it, and don’t argue. Focus on the resolution, not being right. Most importantly, admit when you mess up. Clients will appreciate your authenticity.

Think long-term. The best customer service looks beyond the here and now and seeks to gain customers for life. Go the extra mile to exceed expectations. Think about what sets you apart from your competitors, and play up those unique strengths to deliver an unforgettable customer experience. Show your appreciation for their business by sending a thank you card or following up with a thank-you call. Also, be sure to thank anyone who provided you with a referral or vice versa, as it provides a perfect opportunity to reconnect and find a way to partner together in the future. Last but not least, keep in touch after the sale with value-added communications to continually nurture your client relationships.

By incorporating the above principles into your day-to-day activities, you can guarantee a memorable, high-value experience for each and every customer. Be sure to capture positive feedback from your clients with online reviews. Click here to learn how.

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