In a business world with no geographic boundaries, more of the products and services we sell become just commodities. As a result, the only truly sustainable competitive advantage is customer service.
Without setting your customer’s expectations, complaints are more likely to follow. Write your own customer service manifesto and tell your customers and employees what they can expect with your company. Here are 10 points that need to be included:
1. We will deliver on what we promised. Set the standard for your employees, train them on achieving it, and put a feedback loop in place to monitor it.
2. If you are dissatisfied with our product or service, we will listen attentively to all your concerns. Most customer realize that you many not always be able to solve their problem, but they do want someone to listen to what went wrong.
3. When things go do wrong, we will be easy to reach in an economically feasible manner. Post your e-mail, phone number, web page, mailing address, Twitter id, or Facebook page prominently. Be easy to give feedback and any stage of the transaction.
4. We will resolve your issues in a reasonable manner and time frame, or give you a refund or compensate you in a manner that leaves you as satisfied as possible. Realize that the lifetime value of a customer is more important than any one single transaction.
5. We will admit when we made a mistake. It’s hard and we live in a litigious society, but when you admit you made a mistake, it immediately disarms a customer’s anger or frustration.
6. We will empower our employees to solve your issue at the point it occurs. Your employees should almost never say, “You need to talk to my manager.”
7. We will make it easy to end our business relationship. Don’t have a special team for try to convince someone to stay or give them discounts to keeping doing business. Find out why they are leaving and stay in touch with them in the future. Many past clients come back.
8. When we decide to change something in our agreement (raise or lower our prices, alter our hours, drop or add a service or product), we will tell you in advance in a very public way. Do not hide behind small fonts. Most customers accept changes if you give them time to react to it.
9. We will not fill your e-mail or your mailbox with marketing material you don’t want to see. We will make it easy for you to opt in or out of information that we send. It’s the law. Stick to it.
10. In every situation, we will ask you what it would take to make you feel satisfied. Forget “how can I help you?” Ask, how you can make customer’s day better!
Do you or a company you do business with have a manifesto that is effective or inept?
Barry Moltz wears a button that says, “Just Give Me Good Customer Service and No One Gets Hurt.” He gets business owners unstuck and growing again by unlocking their long forgotten potential. With decades of entrepreneurial experience, Barry has discovered the formula to get stuck business owners out of their funk and marching forward. Visit him at www.barrymoltz.com