Upside-Down Thinking by Patric Fransko
by Patric Fransko
August 6th, 2014

Three Traits of Superior Customer Service

I recently wrote a blog entitled “What Are People Saying About Your Business?” that discussed conducting business in the age of social media and review sites. By now, even the biggest critics of these sites must admit that buying decisions are being influenced by these reviews. So, what do you need to know to ensure that your business survives and thrives in 2014 and beyond?

Given realities discussed in that article, here are three principles of customer service that you should embrace in your business to succeed in 2014 and beyond.

  1. Treat Every Customer Like Your Best Customer

Don’t judge the value of a customer by the size of their purchase. A customer that made a small purchase with you but posts a great review and brags about your company to their social network can drive a large amount of business your way. Likewise, that customer that you blew off because you considered them too small to worry about can create havoc for you with a bad review and by posting something unflattering about your business on social media. You never know the potential impact one customer can have on your business. Treat them all like your favorite customer and you never have to worry about this.

  1. Do Everything Reasonable, and Even a Few Unreasonable Things, to Keep Your Customers Satisfied

Most of us have been in business long enough to realize that the customer is not always right. However, I would argue that you might be better off acting as if they were. Within reason, work to come up with a solution to the customer’s issue that leaves them satisfied and feeling like you cared. This may involve taking care of an issue that you know you were not responsible for. Within reason, this is ok. You may never get a positive review or endorsement from that person, but you are trying to avoid aggravating them enough that they write negative things about you. There is a value in avoiding a negative post or review that should be considered when looking for a resolution. Consider how much lost business costs you before you say no.

  1. Admit When You Have Failed and Take Action to Remedy The Situation        

When you make mistake, be quick to admit the error and go above and beyond to make the situation right. The worst thing that you can do when a mistake has been made is to make excuses. There is no faster way to put a customer on the defensive as when we begin to justify our mistake. The best thing to do is take ownership of the problem and offer something that slightly over-compensates them for the inconvenience caused. This diffuses the situation immediately and demonstrates to that client just how much you value their business. This will certainly help avoid the negative review and may even get you a positive review as a result of the way you handled the situation. Remember, more is learned about a person or business by the way they handle a failure than by the way they handle success.

While these rules seem simple, I am constantly amazed at how often they are ignored. The momentum based on a single customer interaction in 2014 as a result of these rating sites and social media has made superior customer service imperative. Follow these basic principles to avoid negative customer interactions while leveraging the positive momentum potential that these sites create.

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  1. Very Good

  2. Thanks Gil! Glad you liked the article.

  3. Really nice Patric – I must admit you got the 3 key points here!!!
    If you understand this, you understand it all!

  4. Thanks Michael. Glad you enjoyed the article and agree with the points.

  5. Thanks for the reminder Patric – This is basic common sense for all businesses that we sometimes forget. I try to get a positive note or letter from the customer. I also send thank you notes when time permits. The customer rules!

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