This is the first in a series of a new category on the blog – The Rice Report – written by #Strella team member, Stephanie Rice.
I have what some would call an infectious personality. In my father’s words, I would talk to a stop sign. Growing up with a teacher as a mother, school was a priority in my house. This meant no extracurricular activities, friends, or even a job that could contribute to a potential drop in grades. As a rebellious middle child, I got my first part-time job at the age of 15. I was a cashier at a local restaurant – and I absolutely loved it! I got to know regulars and perfect my customer service skills. I’ve always believed in four golden rules of customer service. I’ve followed them from my days at the restaurant to the days on the internet.
Golden Rule #1: The customer isn’t always right, but love them anyway.
This may not be popular opinion, but it applies in our line of work. If you want a successful business, take this rule to heart. There will always be an angry customer that thinks they know everything and you know nothing. Why? Because some people are wired to be angry and hostile. Regardless of fault, how you treat the customer is important. If they have a bad experience, they are going to race to social media and tell the world. Just because someone is difficult, does not mean we should be rude. Kill them with kindness.
Golden Rule #2: Be responsive!
I love listening to a 30-minute flute solo while on hold, don’t you? Please! The longer I wait, the angrier I become. Nobody likes waiting. If you’ve ever done business with the online pet supply company Chewy, you know they deliver phenomenal customer service. When you call, someone picks up the phone. No automated messages to ultimately fall on voicemail. And, they are friendly and helpful. Now that’s customer service. Fellow pet lovers unite!
Golden Rule #3: Go the extra mile.
I spent most of my young adult life (I say that as if I’m 50) in the restaurant business. I started as a waitress. My southern charm earned me some great tips! Eventually, I was promoted to management. I strived for perfection in our restaurant – from the food we served to the service we delivered. Do you know what our customers loved the most? They loved our personalized birthday experience. We didn’t just sing their name in some quirky song. I would write their name on the dessert of their choosing. They ate it up (pun intended)! It’s the little extras that mean so much. Our customers at #Strella love our personalized attention to their needs. And they love that we go above and beyond the call of duty.
Golden Rule #4: DEAL WITH COMPLAINTS.
Sweeping problems under the rug will only result in a huge lump. Eventually, you’ll trip over it! It’s better to deal with the challenges – face them head on – and work to fix it. Do it quickly, too. (Rule #2 applies here!) Working in an online business, I’ve seen what happens to those who let complaints surmount. People demand to be heard – and they will blast you on every social medium available – if you ignore them.
Without customers, there would be no business. Remember the golden rules!
What other ways do you help your customers?