Sunday, May 15, 2016

Customer Service 101; How to deal with your customers




Excellent Customer Service



     Every business knows that their bread and butter depends on customer service, and the more satisfied customers you have, the higher the profits are. Over the years, we have seen various marketing plans, strategies and promotions to support business operations in their thrive to make their customers happy. We have seen much of marketing gimmicks and styles that sometimes makes me wonder to ask what are the keys to maintain the trust and loyalty of one's customers? What must we do to make them stay with us longer, if not forever?

  Moreover, with the worlds technological advancement, much has changed, our world is changing, and so are we. We have evolved in more ways than we realized, and that means that as customers, we are also changing, evolving in more ways than one may like.

"Customer service is the heart of every company's success likewise, a big contributor to one's downfall...", according to Ms. Nimfa Cruz, manager and founder of CHOFB. Corp, one of the top leading distributor of direct selling products in the Philippines, not only it takes skills, it also involves talent in interacting with customers because clearly not every one is cut out to be a customer service agent/ representative."


    Ms. Nimfa Cruz along with her husband, Mr. Ruel Cruz built her company in 2002 with just one branch in Bulacan, Philippines with no idea on how run the business, coming from an accounting background job. She had no thoughts of doing it grand like some big companies whom were giving out lavish promos and incentives to their agent members because of low budget at that time.


"My entire retirement benefit was tied to inventory with few extra loans to credit company to support our cash flow, I don't have extra money to spend on customer give away or promos, instead I focused on excellent customer service, you have to put your self on your customer shoes and treat them with kindness."


     She went back to the basics, focus on excellent customer service and strive hard to gain her customer's loyalty. Soon she gained technical know how on how to operate the business and a deep understanding of her customers, as your business grows old, your perception of what customer service really is also matures and you will learn on how to gauge your customers more and understand their behaviors and what makes them tick.



Dealing with customers, you need to have...




1. Patience.

"Patience is a virtue."



  Patience is essential in dealing with customers. Because really, it takes a lot of courage and fortitude to be able to face and deal with them at their worsts. There are times that we have to bear the brunt of their bad moods, bad situations and bad attitudes. However there also the good side and the good ones, it's not all that bad! The best thing about customer service is that you get to enjoy their company especially those people who are really kind and considerate to sales people.


2. Learn to value the time of others.











  In this modern day, a lot of things are making people busy. And because of the rise of modern technology that developed mobile phones, tablets and others, the attention span of an individual is like-nil. So, you have to be fast to be able to caught their attention in terms of promoting your new products, programs and new information.


3. Be a problem solver.







   Customers turn to you when they have problems, and as customer service representative, it is our responsibility to assist, guide them and give solution to their problem. Job efficiency calls for high aptitude in problem solving.




4. Product knowledge.




 
              



   Technical know-how is very important especially if you are going to deal with customers or any areas of the job for that matter. Its like a soldier facing battle in the front lines without proper training and equipment, you will surely die at first battle signal.

3 P's of Merchandising:


Power of substitution
Power of suggestive selling

Power of recommendation



5. Learn the tricks of the trade.


                 




   Never stop learning. We are in the age where information is very accessible and the modernity of it is changing and reshaping our world, if you are unable to keep up with it, you will be left behind.



Profound Method:

Research

Learn

Educate



6. Be considerate of other peoples feelings.

 
               





  Nowadays, to be able to keep up with the standard living of today, most parents have two or more jobs. So, basically, sometimes they are tired and cranky, and some have no time at all so they're a little bit impatient. It's important for the customer service representative to be more considerate of their time and effort. Customers appreciate front liners in direct selling more if they are fast, efficient and answers their questions correctly and accurately. 



7.Value your customers.



               


  No matter what type of customers you're dealing, no matter how difficult are they, they are the most important people in our business. We have to learn to value them, recognize their importance and to treat them with kindness that they deserve.


      

9. Respect.


        




   Respect. Respect. Respect. This is not a one way street, it should be a give and take process. However, as the saying goes, if they respect you, respect them, if they disrespect you, respect them still because you are not going to lower your integrity for anyone. Easier said than done right? But you can do it.





10. YOU represent he company.



                




   As customer service representative or front liners, you have to remember that you are in front of your customers not because of you alone, rather you are there as a representative of your company. You have to remember that at all times, and whatever you do, it will reflect to your company so be very very careful. Be mindful of the code of conduct, code of discipline and the values that the company though you on how to deal with your customers. Because at the end of it all, integrity is the most important.





11. Communicate and try not to be a push over.








   In sales, it is very important for sales people to have high aptitude in merchandising. As they say, sales talk is a skill that can be learned over time, well for some people. However you have to take note that pushing people to buy your product is VERY different from persuading them to like your product and buy them. Persuasion is like you are creating a need for them to get and buy your product, that way they will be happy to leave your store with something they needed and they may thank you because you are considerate enough to think about their needs.



3 steps in merchandising;

step one: offer you products

step two: try again

step three: try again

step four: move on.



12. Set the boundaries.






   You can give everything to your customers to satisfy them, but not all of it. You have to set your boundaries because you have to take care the interest of your company, you have to take care the interest of your people, and in a way you are protecting the relationship you have with your customers. You have to balance between satisfying the needs of your customers, the needs of your company and your needs as well. You have to create a win-win situation that all the entity concern are happy and contented.




13. Smile.







    You can never go wrong with a smile. They say that music is the universal language, then I dare say that smile is the universal expression of non-verbal language. You can express your current emotions in a smile, be it happy, sad or in between.





14.Be kind.








    Being kind to every person goes  a long way. It is a balm to the wounded soul, a bridge to conflicting souls and really this is what everyone needs, kindness. Your customers needs a lot of this, but be careful in giving and receiving kindness because after all, all that is excessive is harmful. Balance it out. 



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