Customer service basics are virtually free. Ask employees to be polite to customers when providing telephone support, even if customers are not in the most rational state. Make it a requirement for small business employees to provide service with a smile. It’s not a big deal unless it’s done wrong. I’ve seen numerous customers bail after a single bad experience with a rude employee. However, awesome customer service can cost a company hundreds of dollars.
I would suggest you ask yourself a simple question before always adhering to strict policies.
Is it worth more to offer a refund when it’s the right thing to do or not and risk the customer spreading the bad word through social media?
How to Address Customer Support Challenges in Difficult Industries
The service industry is notoriously challenging for customer service representatives. Often, businesses with tight margins want employees to stick to the protocol, no matter what. Death? Who cares. You need to pay the cancellation fee. Terminal illness? It happens all the time, take a number. Flat tire before the road trip of a lifetime? That will cost $600 and take seven hours.
Promoting empathy and honesty among employees is an integral step to providing great customer support, even though it can cost hundreds. The right online custom support software is only one cost associated with turning a small business into a thriving brand.
My Personal Battle With the Local Automotive Repair Industry
Just to clear a few things up, I’m not a gearhead, but I know when something is broken. I also have access to the Internet and a healthy dose of common sense. After seemingly endless arguments over unnecessary repairs and unresponsive mechanics at the dealership, I lost it. I took my car to a local mechanic with an average reputation.
The mechanic called later that day with a laundry list of minor repairs. I gave the thumbs up, and we made arrangements for the pickup that evening. I got another phone call a few hours later and cringed when I saw the number. He reported that he had forgotten to mention a $160 repair, and he would happily complete it for free. Additionally, he would stay late to ensure that everything was done properly.
Needless to say, he gained my trust, my respect, and my business for life.
Doing the Right Thing Turns Irate Customers Into Customers for Life
Every customer request is not reasonable. When there is a blizzard and a standby list of 45 passengers, getting on the next plane out might not happen. Similarly, I still had to pay for a new radiator cap, an oil change, and a new air filter, which I was happy to do.
Empower employees to determine when something is simply the right thing to do. Bump a customer in a unique jamb up in line, and resist the urge to interrogate customers that request a discount on travel expenses due to a death in the family. Follow the golden rule, and turn first-time customers into customers for life by spending a little extra on awesome customer service.