At TMR’s Travel MarketPlace conference this week, Buddy Rice, consulting partner at Shepard Presentations, noted that 40% of customers who say they are satisfied with an experience still never come back, according to a recent Vanderbilt University study. So just keeping a customer satisfied is not enough.
Here are 10 tips to take your customer service to the next level and keep your customers not just satisfied, but coming back.
1. Manage the first impression. Set a professional tone from the beginning to establish credibility and confidence.
2. Build your knowledge and skills. Invest the time it takes to be a real expert. And build the relationships that let you call on someone when you don’t have the answer yourself.
3. Build rapport. Think like the customer and communicate on a personal level rather than always talking business. Find a common interest before talking about work
4. Be enthusiastic. Show passion for what you do and pride in your work.
5. Communicate. Then communicate some more.
6. Make no mistakes. Turn every error into a moment of magic; use the recovery to show them just how good you are at what you do. Acknowledge the error; apologize; fix it; own it with no excuses; and do it immediately.
7. Offer a quality product. Make sure you at least meet the competition on product—and then beat them on service! Build a culture of innovation and continuous improvement.
8. Under-promise and over-deliver. Deliver ahead of schedule; exceed expectations whenever you can; offer unexpected surprises that delight.
9. Show appreciation. Recognize special occasions with a handwritten card or note – and always say thanks for the business when they get home. Set the standard for service excellence by following the Employee Golden Rule: Treat your employees as well as you expect them to treat your customer.
10. Be consistent. Sure, you know all these things. But do you do them every single time? Let your clients know that you not only deliver great service, but you do it in a predictable, consistent, sustainable way that will never leave them disappointed.