Beth Boen is on a mission at The VOICE Customer Service Training - to restore the lost art of providing exceptional customer service and turn the tide on poor customer service becoming the norm! Her blogs contain tips on how to provide exceptional customer service in everything you do!
The 5 W's & H of Exceptional Customer Service Part 4
Common questions people ask me are usually the 5 W's and H of providing exceptional customer service (who, what, where, when, why, and how). My last blog was on where should exceptional customer service be provided? The next few blogs will cover each topic in detail.
When should exceptional customer service be provided? Every time you have a customer interaction, be it on the phone, through your website, in-person, or by email.
The first time a customer interaction could happen is on your website. If you have a “contact us” form on your website, make sure it works properly and someone responds to those inquiries promptly. I cannot tell you how many times that I have made an online inquiry through a contact form and never received a response back. Those companies lost my business. It is a good idea to check your spam daily in case a contact request form goes into your junk mail.
Some websites have an up and coming service called online chat. Online chat can be a good thing if it is not annoying to the customer. Many online chat services have a chat window that comes up repeatedly every time you move from one page to another. I only need that window to come up one time, not every time I visit a new page. Make sure your online chat service can communicate well in the written word, too. Poor product knowledge, broken English, and/or poor grammar is not providing exceptional customer service.
In-person is another time when exceptional customer service is needed. First impressions are important. In-person customer service starts with having a neat and attractive store front or reception area, to the personal hygiene and professionalism of your staff. Greeting customers promptly when they arrive is also important.
Some customer inquire for the first time on the phone. Providing exceptional customer service is needed every time your staff answers the phone. Knowing proper telephone etiquette is crucial when trying to deliver exceptional customer service, from having a professional greeting to knowing the steps in the customer interaction process.
Finally, e-mail is another time to use exceptional customer service. Knowing proper email etiquette is important when dealing with customers. I once had a business owner tell me that he responded to phone calls with more urgency than emails. But, this is not customer friendly. Customers should have the choice of contacting by email or phone, whichever one they prefer. Both should be given equal priority. Sometimes customers prefer email communications to have something in writing to have peace of mind. Let your customer have that peace of mind without making them feel bad about emailing.
Just remember every time you have an interaction with a customer, exceptional customer service needs to be delivered to provide an exceptional customer experience. Always be sure customers are wowed by the customer service they receive.