Quality customer service is the best marketing tool you'll ever have. Bad customer service is the quickest way to ruin your business. Quality repair is important, but a repaired device doesn't always mean a satisfied customer.
Quality customer service is something that is difficult to teach. A quick Internet search of "Customer Service Best Practices" will yield endless lists of "9 Ways to Improve Customer Service" or "33 Ways to Make Customers Love You." Most of these lists will remind you to smile more or will explain how to perform a handshake.
As it turns out, we have our own list—most customer service tips can be summed up in four ideas:
- Do quality work: And when you make mistakes, be honest with the customer and always remedy situation.
- Be pleasant: Smile, make eye contact, be positive, and use the customer's name while you communicate.
- Follow through: Return phone calls, reply to emails, and follow up with other correspondence. When a customer expects something of you, don't disappoint. And, always honor your warranty.
- Go the extra mile: Distinguish your service by surprising the customer with more than they expect.
Note: we think that those little extras are so important that we've compiled some Going the Extra Mile ideas.
We don't want to give you 42 ways to improve your customer service practices. Instead, we want to give you a philosophy to guide your customer service interactions. We think that's a more helpful thing for us to do.
So, here goes:
"Customer service" isn't that interaction that happens once between you and someone you fix something for. It is an ongoing relationship. You didn't just fix that product because you wanted the money; you did it because you want to provide a quality service and invest your talents in your community. Your customer didn't come to you just because they wanted that item fixed; they came to you because they know and trust you.
If you keep that idea in mind, you won't need to constantly remind yourself to smile, be pleasant, or return phone calls.
Developing customer service relationships is all about the personal touch. On that subject, we recommend a book called Hug Your Customer.