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Going above and beyond #thatextramile – Part 2

30 January 2019 Myra Knoesen

Anton Schutte, a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® says excellent customer service an integral part of our job and should not be seen as an extension of it.

Schutte shared seven tips in the first part of the article, on what excellent customer service should entail, and in this article continues with more tips.

  1. Give more than expected. Since the future of all companies lies in keeping customers happy, think of ways to elevate yourself above the competition. Consider the following:
  • What can you give customers that they cannot get elsewhere?
  • What can you do to follow-up and thank people even when they don't buy?
  • What can you give customers that is totally unexpected? 
  1. Get regular feedback. Encourage and welcome suggestions about how you could improve. There are several ways in which you can find out what customers think and feel about your services. 
  • Listen carefully to what they say.
  • Check back regularly to see how things are going.
  • Provide a method that invites constructive criticism, comments and suggestions. 
  1. Treat employees well. This is crucial. Happy employees are likely to look after the business’s clients. Employees are your internal customers and need a regular dose of appreciation. Thank them and find ways to let them know how important they are. Treat your employees with respect and chances are they will have a higher regard for customers. Appreciation stems from the top. Treating customers and employees well is equally important. Ask yourself whether your culture is to as quickly recognize staff as you are to reprimand them. And remember, praise in public, reprimand in private. 
  1. Train employees to make decisions on their own to help a customer without talking to “the boss.” This needs to happen 95% of the time. The boss should only handle exceptions. Give them authority and allow them to make mistakes. 
  1. Give the customer the opportunity to tell you what they think in many ways at

different stages of the transaction. Follow the Three Times Rule—if you hear something about your business three times, whether you like it or not, pay serious attention. It is probably true. Take action. 

  1. Provide a facility for online references written by customers on the level of quality or service in your company. This is sometimes called an open reputation system. 
  1. All companies have customer “pests” These are customers the company may need to fire to be more profitable. Be quick to identify and replace them.

Clients tend to do business with people who care about them and go the extra mile. That type of treatment makes them feel important, and they come to rely on businesses they know they can trust to have their needs and interests at heart.

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