1. Money

Your suggestion is on its way!

An email with a link to:

http://sbinfocanada.about.com/u/ua/customerservice/customerservicetips.htm

was emailed to:

Thanks for sharing About.com with others!

You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Readers Respond: What Are Your Tips for Better Customer Service?

Responses: 40

By

Good customer service is vitally important for small businesses. It gives them a way to differentiate themselves from bigger competitors and carve out their own market niches. What are your tips for better customer service?

You never can tell

The worth of a customer cannot be told by just a singular purchase. Hence, I concur that the best salesperson should also think of convincing this customer over and over again. That way, every stakeholder goes away happy. Organizations should turn around and take customer service seriously; otherwise, many of them may face the consequences direly.
—Guest Aderogba Adewusi

Offering your opinion

I love helping my customers in the fitting room. I ask them if they would like to show me their outfit and they often come in regularly to make other clothes purchases. It is great having trust in each other and builds a sound honest sales foundation. It is super when they come back and ask for you by name and express their satisfaction to you.
—Guest Angie

Make It Personal

Try remembering some things about your customers. Listen to their stories about where they've been or something interesting they have done and told you about. Remembering names is great, but some people aren't good at that. But most of us can put a face with a story. Then the next time they come in, and you ask them about the trip to see the grandkids, they'll just glow and they will make a connection to you too. I like hearing about why people decided to move into this area. This gives me an idea of what kind of things they like, and enables me to serve them better. I hardly ever see a customer more than twice before they come in the door and can't wait to share more of their life stories or heart breaks with me, and usually it ends with a hug, and suggestions of other things in the area they might like to do. You have to really care about them...its pretty simple.
—WendyHenkel

Customer Service

I work in an area where most gift shops carry similar items. I have always thought it to be good customer service if my store doesn't have what the customer is looking for to call around until you find it. Yes, my store might lose the sale but at least the customer is satisfied. In this particular situation, all the money essentially goes in ONE pot, so who cares where the money came from. It is not a competition to see which store makes the most money!
—Guest HM

Excellent customer service

Providing excellent customer service - providing service beyond what is expected by the client from your company. Not only that, GlobalLink BPO provides quality service from quality people.
—Guest GlobalLink BPO

Great article

I enjoyed this very much, especially the part about it being a relationship. This is exactly what I like to stress. Every customer service experience is part of building a relationship and takes more than the employee to pull off.
—Guest Tanya Reimer

Customs in Customer Service

7) Take the extra step. I like this step a lot. This could mean much more I believe. In my book Excellence in Customer Service I describe an extra step as finding out the customs of the customers that you serve. Each custom that can be used for you to relate to the customer the better customer. I have always found that taking that extra step has improved customer service scores dramatically.
—Guest Matthew Collinson

Excellent Customer Service

Customer service is about giving your clients warm welcoming, positive impact before the business and after the business.
—Guest ireti

Tolerance

Sometimes a customer will be in a bad mood before coming for your service so any little action which seems unpleasant to him he overreacts so we the service provider must be ready for anything and keep it at the back of our mind. We need the customer's money and not the customer's anger.
—Guest DOREEN

The 5 Step Guide to Empowering Consumers

First, we all need to realize that when we are not working, we are the customer. Read the book #The 5 Step Guide to Empowering Consumers. This will help you understand what you expect as a consumer so that you can live up to the expectations as a worker.
—Guest Ray Chubb

For the Best Customer Service

Leave your home life at home. No guest needs to know you are having a bad day or have issues at home. Once you step into the business... smile, and carry on.
—guestspecial

Good Customer Service Means You...

Always wear a smile; this makes the customers relaxed and also eases their stress. Try and be calm, even when the customer is rude, and wear a smile and explain things.
—Guest moimo

Answering Service

As the owner of Communication Business Services, Inc. (CBSI), an answering service, I was very pleased to see that point number one is "Answer your phone", and you even suggest that one should consider utilizing an answering service. Thanks for the plug! It amazes me that so many small businesses and start-ups are focused on attracting customers, particularly with latest fads and buzzwords like "social media", but then, they pay so little attention to what matters most and have their potential customers, not to mention existing customers, talk to a machine. For a small business, it can cost as little as $25 per month to have a trained, professional operator available to answer your calls 24/7. If you're serious about your business, why would you forego such a small cost and have your customers talk to a machine? Bravo on a great article! Jeff Anderson President/Owner CBSI 404-913-1393
—CBSI

Avoiding stock replies

Natalie commented above- "What I find is the most annoying is when they don't read the complete email and make suggestions that you have already tried." Yes, this can be very frustrating. Rather than use pre-written email responses to your customer questions, we would suggest trying a new customer service technique. We wrote our own app "FAQ", now available on the App Store for iPhone and iPad for others to use. This lets you combine predefined elements in your reply to uniquely match the tone and specific needs of your customer. Using FAQ you can often reply to a customer question with a detailed, but customized email in under a minute, even when mobile. Disclosure: I am the developer of this app, and may benefit from its sale - but then so may you :)
—solublepeter

8 Tips for customer service

I found this to be very helpful. I am trying to train my Resident Assistants on the finer points of good costumer service and this is an excellent start!
—Guest Yolanda Cato

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.