We have an amazing team here at ACHS and super high satisfaction ratings. #humblebrag
And, we’ve won a lot of accolades this year, including being named a Top Workplace by the Oregonian, #6 out of 100 Best Green Workplaces in Oregon by Oregon Business magazine, a When Work Works winner, and even more! Check out our awards here. It’s safe to say we have happy customers and staff – which is a pretty special intersection of happy.
So who better to ask about outstanding customer service than my own team! I really wanted to know what our staff would say when asked for their #1 tip for showing customers you care. Here’s what they said:
1. Listen to your clients and customers.
Stop, listen, and be warm and genuine. Most people just want to know they are heard and understood. Listening is a conscious act and a skill you need to develop. ACHS Community Programs & Events Manager Stephanie Torres has a great article on how to master active listening here.
2. Learn and use their name.
Nothing says, “I hear and understand you,” like hearing your own name. As Dale Carnegie writes in his seminal text How to Win Friends and Influence People, “Remember that a person’s name is, to that person, the sweetest and most important sound in any language.”
3. Take a lesson from the “Vanilla Ice School of Customer Care.”
Stop, collaborate, and listen! If there was a problem, yo, I'll solve it.
But seriously. When answering a customer’s question, don’t forget to take a moment and pause. Ask yourself: how can I best solve this issue? This will help you be less reactive and more responsive. Then, don't forget to collaborate with your team members if you get stuck or need help. Ultimately, your co-workers are your strongest allies in solving problems and answering questions.
4. Write a personalized note.
Tell your customers that you care–some people rarely hear kind words. A quick note, whether a personalized email or handwritten card, can show your customer that you really do care and you are a real person. It’s nice to have someone in your corner who is interested in your wellbeing.
5. Follow up when you say you will.
When you say you are going to call someone at a certain time, do it. Take meaningful action. No one likes lip service. Following through on your promises is key to building customer trust. People want to do business with someone who is reliable. Use tools like Google Calendar, Siri, or even my new favorite, Amazon’s Alexa, to set yourself reminders! (Alexa: Remind me to write a blog post on Alexa versus Siri…) Alexa just GETS me!
6. If you make a mistake – own up, apologize, and fix it.
We’re all human. Mistakes happen. But when they do, be prepared to make it right. First: apologize and acknowledge the mistake, but don’t make excuses. A simple, “I’m sorry, I was wrong. Let me see how I can fix this,” can turn a disgruntled customer into a happy one in seconds, provided you follow through on your remedy. Next, do everything you can to make the situation right. That may mean offering a discount, a refund, or a free gift. When a customer sees that you’ve done everything you can to fix a mistake, they are almost always willing to continue giving you their business.
7. Empower customers and clients.
One way to delight your customers is to provide comprehensive and user friendly resources about your services on your website. You can do this through free eBooks, blog posts, an FAQ page, or even your “About Us” section. Then, when your customers are ready to contact you, they will have knowledge that can help you give them specific suggestions to meet their specific needs.
8. *Truly* listen and show genuine concern and interest.
Noticing a trend? Listening is key to wow-ing your customers. When someone feels heard, they are far more likely to bring their business to you and remain a loyal customer. Many times, a prospective or current customer might tell you a personal story or share an anecdote. Listen and respond appropriately with empathy. Remember, we’re all human, and people like to do business with, well… humans!
9. Offer individualized service when you can.
What is the one truth we repeat in the holistic health industry often? We’re all individuals. Treat each person as an individual; every situation is different and should be treated as such. Base your recommendations off of your customer’s unique wants and needs, always being sure to do what you have to do in terms of compliance.
10. Give your full attention.
When you’re working with a customer, don’t multitask. Turn off notifications, make eye contact, put your phone down, and listen. It’s a fantastic feeling to know that someone has your full attention. Give your customers that feeling.
Did you see how often listening was included? This is an essential element to exceptional customer service.
What are your strategies for exceptional customer service? Tell me in the comments!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I am the CSO of American College of Healthcare Sciences, the Institution that publishes this blog. However, all opinions are our own. If this blog contains affiliate links, they will be marked with an asterisk. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent disease. This article has not been reviewed by the FDA. Always consult with your primary care physician or naturopathic doctor before making any significant changes to your health and wellness routine.