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Educational Consumer Tips

Customer Service

Author: Better Business Bureau
Published:
Category: Service

With an increasing number of large, national chain stores popping up everywhere, small businesses sometimes find it difficult to compete. Mastering the fine art of providing excellent customer service is the best way to attract customers to your business and your products.

Oftentimes, customers are willing to pay a little more if they are getting that little something extra along with the product or service they are purchasing. Two basic rules to follow: train your employees and treat your customers as you would want to be treated.

Train your employees to treat every customer who walks through the door as an individual. Also stress the importance of simple tasks like being courteous, greeting customers with a smile, and respecting a customer's decision. Develop training programs that will make your employees knowledgeable on all aspects of your services and products. Nothing impresses customers more than realizing a store's employees are knowledgeable their product or service. A recent study found that three out of four consumers know more about the products they buy than do the salespeople. A big part of selling is education; employees need to know what they are selling, and why it is valuable to the customer.

Some customers want to have a "relationship" with a salesperson, they just want to know where a product is located. Others want a little courtesy and even a little pampering. Teach your employees how to read a customer's needs, and treat him or her accordingly.

When dissatisfied customers present problems, make certain you know how to handle the issue. Acknowledge your customer's complaint, apologize, and respond quickly. Don't forget that if you resolve the problem reasonably and fairly, the customer is likely to tell others about the wonderful customer service at your company.

Prominently posted signs, such as the following, send a strong message that tells customers they are important and the company will listen if there is a complaint: "We will be happy to discuss any concerns with you. We appreciate our customers and we want you to be satisfied."

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