1.1 List basic principles associated with good customer care
There are a number of basic approaches and behaviours that contribute to good customer care.
These need to be in place in the organisation as a whole, as well as demonstrated by each individual.
To ensure you provide the best customer service:
Know what your customers consider to be good customer service
We cannot meet a customer expectation until we know what they are. Customer care is not based on how you are prepared to treat the customer but how your customer wants to be treated.
Take the time to find out customers' expectations
This might include carrying out surveys or questionnaires and asking questions of our customers as to what they want and expect from us and the service we offer.
Remember – this is not just about the product we offer. It is also about the way we behave to the customer.
Know where you are now
As with the previous point, we need to know where we are now in order to identify where we could be even more effective. There is no point in being defensive at this point. If the customer perspective is negative, it is time to adapt, not time to defend and place the blame elsewhere.
Follow up on both positive and negative feedback you receive
Feedback is pointless if we do not act on it. Customers will also become more disgruntled if they make comments or feedback and see nothing change as a result. Of course, we need to balance feedback from an individual and the majority but beware of ignoring feedback just because it has come from an individual. Others just may not have told you.
Ensure that you consider customer service in all aspects of your business
Customer service should be at the heart of what do. Everything ultimately impacts on them and subsequently on their perception of you.
Continuously look for ways to improve the level of customer service you deliver.
Service can always be improved. This is not just about speed or the product but also about the delivery. Even a 3 second interaction can leave a customer feeling valued or just a face in the que.
Aim to strengthen loyalty
The point of ensuring we offer good or outstanding service is to ensure we keep the customer. Customer loyalty means they continue to us, give positive feedback and share positive comments to others who may in turn use our business or help influence the decision makers to keep our contract.