Jean-Pierre Lauzier, sales consultant, lecturer and author of the book “Le coeur aux ventes”, regularly gives his personal and commercial development advice on Isarta Infos. Today, he takes a look back at the fundamentals of customer relations, and in particular at the 6 reflexes to adopt if you really want to help your customers.
As a customer, you expect the best service when you do business with a company (organization, institution, store, professional…). When you receive this high quality of service, you come away feeling very satisfied and confident, which makes you want to continue your relationship with that company and even recommend it to your friends and family.
There are a number of reasons why you should make every effort to offer your customers a memorable experience:
- For you: to feel more pleasure at work, to be more in control of different situations, the satisfaction of a job well done that makes a real difference, job security, etc.
- For your company: an enviable reputation in the marketplace, employee loyalty, easier recruitment of new employees, etc.
- For your customers: improved performance and efficiency, feeling truly supported in achieving their objectives, revenue growth, etc.
The role of customer service
Your role here is paramount: to HELP your customers to be more efficient and effective, to make their lives easier, to save time, to make better decisions, and so on. In other words, you have to help your customers succeed in their work and activities.
Your customers are all the people with whom you collaborate in your work, be they colleagues, managers, employees or external customers. By developing a helping attitude with all these people, you’re bound to generate a great deal of satisfaction at every level, ensuring the best possible impact.
How do you achieve this expert attitude? By developing the following reflexes:
- be more proactive, take greater responsibility for customer satisfaction, and be accountable for the relationship you establish with them;
- building customer confidence through maximum integrity and ethics — always giving the customer the straight goods — empathy, patience and consistency of attitude;
- communicating well by really listening and asking the right questions, personalizing exchanges, communicating short and to the point, on the phone, by e-mail and in person;
- always strive to improve the quality of customer service: technical expertise and human relations (the customer will remember the strongest emotion he experienced with you and your company), a company code of conduct known and applied by all;
- effectively manage customer expectations: find optimal solutions for the customer, handle surprises flexibly and follow up regularly until satisfaction is clearly expressed by the customer.
People forget what you tell them, but they never forget how they felt during a contact, especially a negative one. Generating positive and pleasant emotions, and managing negative comments and attitudes, is therefore a priority. By committing yourself to genuinely helping your customer, you greatly increase the likelihood of a successful relationship.
Since it’s always the customer who determines the value you deliver, your ability to propose a solution tailored to the customer’s needs, objectives, concerns and desires remains the cornerstone of your expertise. Your expert reflexes will greatly enhance this ability.
However, if you feel limited in your expertise in a given situation, don’t hesitate to ask for help. Don’t wait for a problem or obstacle to become dramatic, because it doesn’t take much to lose a customer’s trust and commitment to our service offering.
Finally, you’ll make sure that all problems are resolved in the customer service process. It’s important never to close a file until the customer tells you they’re satisfied. With this expert attitude, you’ll have a memorable time, and so will your customers.