Exceptional customer service and customer relations can make or break your business:
- Focus on providing value – know what your customers’ value (service, price, features, lead time, etc). How can you be better than everyone else in providing your customer’s priorities?
- Don’t over-promise – it is far more important that you live up to what you say you’ll deliver/ provide than it is to promise yet not live up to the expectations.
- Value consistency – if your customers can count on you to deliver consistently, they will return. Unfortunately, you will likely stand out in the crowd by following this simple principle – when the stakes are high, customers will always go to whoever they know has consistently delivered and/or followed through on what they said they’d do
- Treat your customers as though they are the owners of your business or your boss – they are!
- Develop a relationship – although obvious, I find it is sometimes easy to forget that customers are people, not just companies or numbers. Don’t just send an email or merely analyze reports. Pick up the phone or go visit them. Get to know your customers.
- Ask for feedback – you might be surprised at what you learn. Leverage strengths.
- Give feedback/ push back when appropriate – assuming you have developed a relationship, it must go both ways. Customers will respect someone who is upfront with them and will push back when appropriate.