5 Successful Business Leaders Give You Their Top Customer Service Tips
Did you know that the term “customer service tips” is searched thousands of times on Google each month? So many business professionals are actively seeking top advice on how to improve their business’s customer service experience. Being leaders in customer service, we want to help.
Below are 5 inspirational quotes and lessons that can help guide your customer service department in the right direction.
Customer Service Tips From Influential Business Leaders
1. Accept Who’s the Boss
“It is not the employer who pays the wages. Employers only handle the money. It is the customer who pays the wages.” Henry Ford
Back in the early 1900’s, Henry Ford realized the importance of customer satisfaction. His century-old business advice still holds true today. It’s imperative that business owners realize that their customers can make or break them. Handle your customers as you would handle your boss and watch their reactions to the elite treatment.
Here are 3 ways to remind your customers of their worth to your company:
- • Send personal notes or small gifts to mark important dates; birthdays, anniversaries, personal or professional milestone achievements, etc.
- • Get your customer’s opinion and/or feedback about a specific product or service before it’s launched.
- • Arrive early and leave late when it comes to servicing and communicating with your customers.
2. Learn from Your Customers
“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning”. Bill Gates
With a net worth of $83.8 billion, Bill Gates is an ideal mentor to listen to when it comes to building a successful business. His inspirational business advice helps you turn negative experiences into positive lessons.
Next time you receive a failing grade from a customer, take the time to communicate with them. Find out what upset them and really listen to their core complaints. In order to fix a bad customer service experience, you must first diagnose the problem area. Your customers can be effective educators if you take the time to listen.
Try this 3-step tactic to learn from your next unhappy or disgruntled customer:
- • After receiving a refund request, pull the customer’s file. When was their first purchase date? What did they purchase? How many times have they purchased your product or service? How many times have they communicated with your customer service department? What was the listed reason for returning your product or requesting a refund for your service?
- • Next, reach out to your customer with a phone call after you’ve learned more about their history with your company. Ask them about their customer service or product complaint and really listen to their response. After hanging up, brainstorm with your customer service management team on possible solutions to the chief complaint.
- • Finally, once you have a solution to your disgruntled customer’s core problem, reach out to them again. Let them know that you and your team have spent a considerable amount of time in reaching a resolution. Allow them to try your product or service again free of charge or at a discounted rate. Give them your personal contact information to reach out to you with their opinions of the change in product or policy.
For more customer service tips on handling angry or disgruntled customers, check out our detailed article: How to Respond to Negative Feedback.
3. Focus on What Matters
“If you’re competitor-focused, you have to wait until there is a competitor doing something. Being customer-focused allows you to be more pioneering.” Jeff Bezos
Do you remember the world before Amazon.com was launched? CEO and Founder of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, initially created the online store based on consumer demands for literature. Before his company went live, buying books online was just a curious and novel (pun intended) idea.
By focusing on the needs and wants of consumers, he was able to be an innovator and pioneer of online retail stores. And now, 22 years later, Bezos and his team have created a global giant enterprise that sells over 480 million products just in the US market alone. Always focus on your customer rather than your competitor and increase your business’s chance of success.
Here are 3 ways to build a successful niche business that focuses on your customers:
- • Start by brainstorming the industry or market you’re looking to get into. Create a long list of products or services that you’d be able to offer. For every product or service listed, expand on the people who need that service or product; the geographic location of that target market; the unique qualities you can offer in that area; and, designate potential unique selling points available. Perform focused market research and document your findings.
- • Analyze all of your options and market research to select the niche business idea that makes the most sense to venture into. You want to be detailed in your idea and make sure you cater to a highly specific audience. Once you have determined the niche area you’d like to explore, start putting yourself out there as an expert in the field. Write educational content, opinion blogs supported by relevant facts and find opportunities that allow you to showcase your expertise.
- • Focus on building a brand that is geared towards reaching your niche community and market. The more specific and focused your marketing and online presence is, the more chance your target market will find your product or service. Live, breathe, eat and sleep the unique offering you’re putting out there.
Keep in mind, when Amazon first started, Jeff Bezos created a list of 20 potential products to market online. Sources then reveal, “he narrowed the list to what he felt were the 5 most promising products which included: compact discs, computer hardware, computer software, videos, and books. Bezos finally decided that his new business would sell books online, due to the large world-wide demand for literature, the low price points for books, along with the huge number of titles available in print.”
4. Speak Your Customer’s Language
“Don’t find customers for your products, find products for your customers.” Seth Godin
When thinking of digital marketing done right, Seth Godin is one of the top players in the Internet’s global arena. His 13 books are listed as bestsellers around the world and have been translated into more than 35 languages. He was, “recently inducted into the Direct Marketing Hall of Fame, one of three chosen for this honor in 2013.”
What makes Seth’s business advice so helpful is that he reminds us how the digital world of information works. As promised in the 1989 flick, Field of Dreams, “If you build it, he will come.” Seth reminds us that the goal should not be finding customers to sell to, but rather, building something so useful and incredible, your customers will find you.
One way to reach your customers is to speak their language and know their needs, wants and obstacles. Step into your customers’ shoes to really understand them so that you can tailor your customer service experience to their exact specifications.
Learning what your customers need can be accomplished by performing intense target market research. Check out our latest article, 3 Free Ways to (Really) Get to Know Your Customers, to learn how to start speaking your customers’ language.
5. Hire Customer Service Leaders
“Employees who are controlled cannot respond caringly, you need superior knowledge and real leadership, not management. Because of this we specifically developed a selection process for leaders; we don’t hire managers.” Horst Schulze
Horst Schulze is the former president and COO of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company; he has a special talent for creating superior customer service. Now, he is the CEO and Founder of Capella Hotel Groupand is focused on redefining luxury by continuing to focus on delivering customer service excellence.
Who is answering your business telephone lines and handling your current customer service? It’s essential to have a team that is highly skilled in giving your customers the best experience possible. Take Horst’s advice and opt to hire leaders rather than managers.
If you don’t have a particular team in place to handle your customer service, consider outsourcing this department to service experts. For example, here at A Courteous Communications, we have been entrusted with leading the customer service department for countless businesses since 1986.
Our team of virtual customer service agents are award winning and highly trained in providing helpful, friendly and expert call handling for our customers’ customers.
Achieve Excellence with these Customer Service Tips!
We are hopeful that these 5 successful entrepreneur quotes and customer service tips inspire you to reevaluate your customer’s experience.
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