At the core of every business plan and mission statement is the goal to always meet the needs and exceed the expectations of customers. When you do this, you succeed, if not, it could be considered a failure. How can you avoid potentially disastrous customer service fails? While meeting the needs and exceeding expectations of customers will slightly differ from one industry and business to another, we’ve put together a few ways that you can avoid disappointment in everything you do.
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Think Before You Guarantee –The Dictionary.com definition of the word guarantee is: “a promise or assurance, especially one in writing, that something is of specified quality, content, benefit etc., or that it will perform satisfactorily for a given length of time. Guarantee is a strong word. When you make that promise to your customers, you must be willing to follow through. If you do have a guarantee in place, make sure that everyone in your company is aware of it and how to resolve the situation if a customer contacts the firm regarding a guaranteed product or service.
Set Expectations on Which You Can Deliver – To exceed expectations, you need expectations you can achieve. Don’t set the bar too high or you will never be able to reach it. Not only will you risk disappointing your customers, but you will always be chasing a carrot you can’t catch. That risks frustrating your employees and leads to a stressful work environment. Expectations can be challenging, but they need to be doable—if you want success.
Know Your Business – One way that you can exceed your customers’ expectations is to be a knowledgeable leader in your industry. Knowing everything you possibly can about your business takes time and effort, but it will pay off in spades. When you study, learn and grow, you can answer questions, and you immediately sound like a leader in the community. Another advantage this gives you is when it comes time to publish content, you are not stabbing in the dark, you are posting thoughtful, well-researched information. Knowing your business is crucial!
Take Responsibility – If something goes wrong, accept responsibility for it. No one likes to see “finger pointing” and trying to shirk blame. Suck it up and make things right. If you were to gather real-time customer feedback during the event, you would be amazed by how much this simple act impresses those you have wronged and even those who see the issue from afar. Taking responsibility isn’t always the easy thing to do, but it is the right thing to do if you hope to avoid disappointing anyone.
Be Consistent – Finally, one of the most important ways that you can avoid customer service disappointments is to offer consistent service. Even if you can’t always be perfect, being consistent is a good thing. People like to know that they have something to count on. When traveling, why do many people choose a well-known chain restaurant versus an unfamiliar local diner? Because of the consistency factor. When they walk in the door, they know what they will get. Providing a solid, consistent customer service experience means that your clients can count on you too.
As you can see, avoiding disappointment in the customer service experience involves quite a bit of common sense. Once you implement these skills within all levels of your business, make sure you survey your customers and see how your process is working.
Also published on Medium.