Ditch the Frustration! Keys to Better Customer Service

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Ever had to wade through scores of automated voice prompts without any way to reach a live customer service representative? Tired of enduring …

Six Tips to Improve Your Customer Loyalty

<b>Six Tips to Improve Your Customer Loyalty</b>“></td>
<p>(NewsUSA) – Statistics show that, on average, U.S. companies lose half of their customers every five years.</p>
<p>It’s true that acquiring new customers will help your business grow. However, your current customers are the lifeblood of your business and keeping them happy should be your highest priority. Here are a few ways to make sure your customers keep coming back.</p>
<p>* Understand lost customers. Many business owners mistakenly believe that customers choose to patronize other companies solely because of better prices. While pricing can be a concern, customers often head to the competition when they don’t feel valued.</p>
<p>A change of lifestyle may have also created a situation where customers no longer need your product. By staying in touch with their needs, you might be able to adjust your offering to continue servicing them.</p>
<p>* Know your customer’s top priority. Maybe it’s reliability or speed or cost. Your company should know your clientele’s No. 1 priority and consistently deliver it. Remember, customers’ desires change frequently, so ask yourself this question every six months.</p>
<p>* Acknowledge the lifetime value of customers. The lifetime value of your customers is the income you would gain if a customer stayed with you as long as they could possibly buy your product or service.</p>
<p>For example, the lifetime value of a customer employing a financial adviser could be several decades and could span several generations. Treat the parents well and you could win the children’s business.</p>
<p>* Create a positive first impression. Good first impressions tend to generate loyal customers, and you get only one chance to make a positive first impression.  Appearance is important. The exterior and interior of your business should be neat and clean.</p>
<p>* Listen to the customer. Employees should listen actively to customers. Reassure your customers that you genuinely want to help them. Customers will judge your business based on the politeness, empathy, effort   and honesty of your staff.</p>
<p>* Address and resolve complaints quickly and effectively. Inevitably, your employees will encounter unsatisfied customers. Whether they’re returning an item or changing a service, customers expect a fair policy. If you cannot offer a resolution immediately, let the customer know when he or she can expect an answer.</p>
<p>Demos Parneros is president of U.S. stores at Staples Inc. Staples invented the office superstore concept in 1986 and today is the world’s largest office supply retailer serving small businesses.</p>
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‘Date’ Your Customers; Keep Them Coming Back

<b>‘Date’ Your Customers; Keep Them Coming Back</b>“></td>
<p>(NewsUSA) – In business, the customer is always right – sometimes confused, misinformed, rude, stubborn and changeable, but never wrong. Ever date anyone like that?</p>
<p>Customers are the reason you have a business. Without them, no matter what you do, there isn’t any business.</p>
<p>Therefore, you should approach customer service the same way you approach a date. Nurture it with good habits and relentless care. Each date builds on the previous one. Each sale does the same in building customer retention.</p>
<p>So, here are the simple suggestions for “dating” your customer and enhancing your business relationships.</p>
<p>* Dazzle customers with your service. The key to good customer service is treating all your customers well but not necessarily the same. Respond to their needs as individuals. While one customer might need a ton of help and attention, another might prefer an opportunity to browse with privacy.</p>
<p>* Anticipate the needs of your customers by emphasizing service over sales. Good service sells. But pushy service people who are always trying to sell more can be a major turnoff to all customers.</p>
<p>* Treat your customers well by being a problem solver. If you can’t help the customer, help him or her find someone who can. Customers appreciate your help – even when you aren’t directly profiting from a sale. Just consider it an investment. They’ll appreciate the advice and remember your business the next time they need your goods or services.</p>
<p>* Innovate by understanding that most rules   should be flexible. Don’t ever say, “No, that’s against the rules,” to a customer who’s making a reasonable request. Your main rule – one that should never be compromised – is to keep your customers happy and satisfied.</p>
<p>* Nurture your employees by giving them the care and respect that you want them to give your customers. If you treat them well, your employees will be great ambassadors of service. If you treat them poorly, they’ll treat your customers badly in turn.</p>
<p>* Guarantee that your customers keep coming back.  Have a great customer service plan and post it in a central location for all to see. Once employees understand the importance of great customer service, you will have customers returning over and over.</p>
<p>James Feldman is a motivational speaker and business consultant. For more information, visit www.shifthappens.com, e-mail customercare@shifthappens.com or call 1-888-SHIFTHPNS.</p>
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