The BallPoint: Your Market & Customer Service

By Tomilola Aiyepola

Customer service is any activity undertaken to create value and enhance customer satisfaction. Customer service has been defined in so many ways that all boil down to placing the customers first and making business decisions that allow the company to respond to market changes while providing customers with the best possible service.

The mistake many businesses make, however, is forgetting that the market is not made up of their clients alone. It is also made up of others like competitors, investors, suppliers and so on. Thus, they must all be put into consideration when aiming for excellent client service delivery because any of these factors might be at the crux of critical market changes that have to be responded to in order to satisfy clients.

To start with, timeliness is very important when providing services. Customers are not willing to have their time wasted especially in a market where there are competitors. Offering timely service will spread good word about your business in due time. Ensure to deliver your best service at promised timelines, always. If this cannot be possible for some reason, you should inform the client, apologize and let them know when you would deliver. Do not wait for the client to become impatient.

Furthermore, it is important to listen. To provide excellent client service as a business, you must also be an excellent listener. You need to take into consideration the needs, complaints and requests of not just your clients, but other stakeholders in order to fully satisfy them. Go out of your way to get feedback from the clients so that you can work on areas you fall short. The feedback would help to improve the quality of services to better satisfy your customers.

As a business, the application of new technology is also important. This is another point where you must consider the market as a whole and not just your clients. Even though it is the client you want to satisfy at the end of the day, the market would give you pointers on what you need to do to serve them better.  Your competitors, for example may be using innovative methods that speeds up their turnaround time.  If you want to serve your clients better, you should apply new technology in your business.

Communication is another very important part of customer service. Ensure that communication lines are always open. Your clients should be able to reach out to you at all times. Be available to respond immediately too. Immediate response is important in servicing your clients effectively. There may be a waiting time that you would make known to them. For instance, you can respond before 12 hours. The important thing is to keep the time as short as possible so as to serve clients better and faster.

Always let your clients know that you appreciate their business. Establish and maintain a relationship with them. Send messages to appreciate or remind them of how much you value their business. Under-promise and over deliver value by going above and beyond the expectations of the client.

Sometimes, when servicing clients, you have to walk in their shoes. You are representing the client and as such, you need to not only get to know them but also have their best interests at heart. Have conversations with them to bring you to a place of great relationship. And don’t forget, it is prospects that eventually become clients. Treat prospects and leads as you would treat valued customers.

In conclusion, excellent customer service is not just about doing your job well, as that is what everyone is doing. To provide excellent customer service, you need to go beyond delivery to adding immense value by being exceptional. Go above and beyond for your clients and build a relationship where your clients trust you to always deliver. Keep in mind that whatever opportunities you have with a client starts and ends with customer service.

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