What is customer service? It’s a highly buzzed-about term, and it’s easy to tell when it’s going right. It’s especially easy to tell when it’s going wrong. Let’s take some time today to define customer service and present a framework to bring it to life!
A Definition of Customer Service
What is customer service? It’s this simple: when you create a culture that recognizes the importance of the customer experience, and empower your team to make that experience special, you’re practicing customer service. However, even the simplest of things aren’t always easy to do. Let’s talk more about why customer service is worth the extra effort.
Why does Customer Service Matter?
Exceptional customer service experiences start from the beginning of their interaction with your brand. When you make service your #1 priority, people can tell that you’re different – in a good way. This experience makes it impossible to commoditize your goods or services! A great customer service experience is that intangible special something that gives your product value. You can’t price match an experience.
Even better, when your customer service is so good that you become known for it, your sales process becomes easier and more effective. Buyers are already warm to your brand and they already want the experience they’ve heard about from others.
Lastly, when you provide excellent customer service, your profit margins will improve markedly. People are willing to pay premium dollar for a smooth and seamless transaction that exceeds their needs and makes them feel valued. An exceptional customer experience makes your goods and services more valuable.
A Five-STEP Framework for Customer Service
Customer service doesn’t have to be confusion. Here’s a five-step framework you can use to begin improving your service in a real way:
- Curate your client list – You don’t have to please everyone. When you’re clear about who your ideal client really is, it’s easier to know what they care about and to cater to those needs with an impressive culture of service.
- Confirm expectations and exceed them – People have different understandings of what it means to accomplish something “right away.” Avoid vague promises, and instead give your clients a clear explanation of what you’ll do for them, and when. Then, do a little extra. Get it done faster than promised or throw in a bonus feature that you know they’ll love.
- Anticipate needs – Your clients are buying what you have to offer because you’re an expert in your field. You know what they need before they even realize it! Be the leader that they need. This might mean sending them an article that would interest them, or having their favorite beverage on hand before they arrive for a meeting.
- Go the extra mile – Do everything you say you’ll do, and always make the effort to do just a little bit more. This may mean structuring hidden “extras” into your service or product offerings, or working on your time management skills. Build extras into your processes so the client always feels special, but you don’t get burnt out.
- Your client is always your client – Establish sincere relationships with your clients, and don’t let them fizzle out just because you aren’t actively working together on a project. Check in from time to time to say hello and let them know you’re thinking of them.
Secret bonus tip: If you integrate these practices into your everyday business practices beyond the client experience, you’ll increase credibility, establish a positive reputation and elevate your brand among all your competitors. Customer service will transform you and your business!
Video Transcript: What is Customer Service?
Below is a transcript of the video, “What is Customer Service?” published March 10, 2020 on YouTube.
Hey there. Thanks for being here today!
I’m Don Mamone. I’m a hospitality veteran. I’m an artist. I’m also an entrepreneur. Today we’re going to talk about customer service. First, we’re going to define customer service. Next we’re going to talk about why it’s so important to your business. And lastly, I’m going to share with you my five step framework for creating an exceptional customer experience and one bonus tip that’s going to elevate your brand and set you apart from the competition.
So how do we define customer service? It’s a company that creates a culture that recognizes the importance of and empowers its employees to actively create exceptional customer experiences. All too often, customer service is thought of as something that happens at the end of the sales cycle. You’ve got branding, marketing, sales, and then customer service when in actuality, we want people to start having exceptional client experiences from the very beginning. So, customer service should be a number one priority when creating your company culture.
When we start talking about the specific benefits of creating exceptional client experiences, one of the first things that comes to mind is differentiation. If you’re in a saturated marketplace like so many of us, you can create an experience that doesn’t allow for a commoditization of your good or service. Your customer will be looking for you, not just somebody that does what you do or provides what you provide. Next, I think about reputation. If you’re providing exceptional customer service and your reputation reflects as such, your customers are coming to you already at the next level of sales, they already want to do business with you. And lastly, pricing. If you offer great customer service, you’re going to be able to increase your margins because we’ve found people are willing to pay for that exceptional experience you’re creating.
Okay, so earlier in this video, I promised you my five step framework for how to create an exceptional customer experiences. One, curate your client list. It’s going to be much easier for you to create an exceptional client experience when you’re working with your ideal client. Two, you need to confirm expectations and then exceed them. Here’s an example: if you tell your client, “I’m going to get that to you right away,” your version of right away and their version of right away might be very different. So, you need to qualify what their expectation is and then aim to exceed it every time. Three anticipate needs. You’re the expert in your field, not your client. If you can be proactive rather than reactive, they’re going to be able to look to you and you’ll be the leader that they need. Four, go the extra mile for your client. Do everything you said you were going to do and make every effort to do just a little bit more. Five, your client is always your client, not just when you’re doing immediate business with them. Establish a relationship with that client. Check in with them frequently. Even when you’re not actively working on a project, they’re really going to appreciate it.
Okay, here’s that bonus tip I promised you: If you can take this framework and the principles we just talked about and you can apply them not only to your client, but to everybody that you interact with in your business, you’re going to increase credibility, establish your reputation, and elevate your brand among all of your competitors.
All right, that’s all we have for you today. We are going to continue to regularly create content, so be sure to subscribe to this channel down below. Also like and comment and share so someone else can benefit from this five step framework and bonus tip on how to create exceptional client expense.