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Customer service has become more important than ever especially in this business world which is fiercely competitive . And if the customer service is not properly handled or botched, it could easily spell doom for a business. No one wants bad customer service and businesses that can’t satisfy their customers usually don’t last very long. Excellent customer service is therefore the key to success for any business.

Related: How to Build a Business While Still Employed

Here are 7 essentials keys of excellent customer service.

1. Be Aware of the 3 things Every Customer Wants.

Customers want to see three things in your customer service;
To be heard: Customers want to be heard especially when they have a problem with the product or service.
To be understood: Make sure you fully understand your customer and always ask questions to confirm your customer’s concerns and needs.
To be cared for: Customers want to be cared for and you must make sure your staff shows concern for their problems and makes an effort to address them.

2. S.E.C.

S.E.C stands for Smile, Eye Contact and Comment; when you greet your customers, give them a friendly smile and make eye contact as a friendly and disarming gesture to put them at ease. It also helps to compliment them on their appearance or make a general comment about the weather etc. Make sure your compliments are sincere and be very careful when you compliment female customers.

3. Listen to the Customer.

Always listen to what your customer is saying and make sure you acknowledge it by repeating back to them to make sure that you are addressing the right issue. Usually angry customers will stop pursuing any further action on your part once they know they have been heard and that you care about them and their needs.

4. Empathize with Your Customers.

Empathize with your customers when they are having issues by listening to them attentively and telling them that you understand how they feel. This will make them more receptive to a reasonable solution.

5. Create Solutions for your Client’s Issues.

Do your best to create solutions for your customer’s issues. Sometimes you have to get creative and do some things you never thought of before. If the only remedy is to give your customer a full refund, it is very likely in your best interests to do just that.

6. Clarify the Situation with the Client.

You need to make sure that the customer is fully satisfied once the issue is resolved since this will save you a lot of inconvenience. Review the remedy with the customer and make sure he agrees that the remedy is sufficient. Remember the customer’s satisfaction is the ultimate goal.

7. Follow Up on all of Your Customers.

Always follow up with clients after the sale because this simple gesture will impress your customers and make them feel cared for. This can be done through phone calls and emails (drip campaign); the aim is to make sure customers are satisfied with the products and services they paid for. It has several advantages including referral business (since customers refer the business to their friends) and repeat customers (customers who become regular patrons).

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