We are all consumers and therefore subject to customer service on a daily basis. We have all had the experience where as a consumer we have a good experience and then in our next encounter with the same provider, it falls short of acceptable. Like most things, if we set an expectation high, we are disappointed when we don’t get what we are expecting.
When we deliver customer service, sometimes it is because a customer made a fuss. A customer that is high need has called us out and we are doing our very best to be responsive. If things go well, we pride ourselves on being successful with the tough situations. Really good customer service is based on consistency and establishing expectations for all staff, all of the time.
Consistency is important because it builds loyalty. We want to:
- Reach out to individuals before there is a problem
- Start with empathy to everyone, all the time
- Listen and listen with patience, before speaking
- Apologize sincerely
- Take action yourself
Doing something by yourself makes a big difference. Don’t be patting yourself on the back for transferring a call. Only pat yourself on the back if you have walked the person through the issue and they came out the other end successfully.
If you do this every time with your customers, you will find that people will:
- Respond well to you
- Calm down more quickly when agitated
- Be open to listen to you and their options
- Feel validated
Lather, rinse, repeat.
Do it well, every time. Makes every interaction a successful one. Don’t wait until you have a really tough customer because your best and loyal customers are missing out on your best customer service.
We all love to tell stories even if some are better at it than others. It has been said though that we are eight times more likely to tell a negative story over a positive one. While we cannot make everyone happy all of the time, we can give our customers a positive ending to their negative story.
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