Little Things Part 6: Make customers feel important.

The average customer who calls customer service, technical support, billing, etc. is generally not too happy. Even when a customer calls sales, he or she is often frustrated because the answer couldn’t be found easily on the web site or in the related informational material such as a brochure or mailing. One of the best ways to bring the customer’s mood right up is to make the customer feel important. Despite what people say, they almost always want to feel important.

Some good ways to make a customer feel important:

  • Respond. When a customer makes a suggestion, a representative shouldn’t just go “That’s nice.” The representative should tell the customer “That’s a good idea. I’ll mention that to my supervisor.” and actually do it. Same thing if the customer makes a comment about something – respond to the comment and let the customer know that you heard the comment and value his or her opinion.
  • Don’t be cheap. Accounting departments often don’t like customer service because they do have to give credits every now and then. A good customer service department will give credits whenever there is an inconvenience outside of normal support (i. e. Dell doesn’t have to credit me if I break my OS, but if my computer is damaged during shipping, they should give me a free RAM upgrade or something along those lines.). Billing mistakes should normally get credits as should sales mis-communications. Don’t base the credit amount on the customer’s profitability. Even if you lose money on the customer, be prepared to give an ample credit or that profitless customer may cause you to lose other profitable customers. Give out credits or even better, discounts on services (good ones), without too much hesitation. A happy customer referring you to his or her friends is worth the price of a credit.
  • Tell them. When you’re about to give a credit, add a line such as “because you’ve been with us for a while and have sent us some work, we’re going to be giving you a credit for such and such an amount.” Add a line or two like that, and your customers will feel important.
  • Go out of your way. A great way to make a customer feel important is to actually go above and beyond the call of duty. Do something you don’t usually do, help a customer with something your company isn’t necessarily involved with, and go out of the way to help a customer. When a customer knows you’re going out of your way, it’ll really improve what the customer thinks of your company and service.
  • Follow-up. Anyone that knows about customer service preaches about following up. It is probably one of the most important things in customer service. There’ll be more about follow-ups on Thursday and this blog will constantly echo how important following up is.

Make customers feel important and they’ll be happy. If you make customers feel important, they realize you care, which is extremely important. If you make all of your customers feel important, all of your customers will be happy, and you will subsequently have really good service. However, don’t tell anyone that, because they need to be convinced that making customers feel important is just one of the many things that have be to done.