Small Business Talk
The Podcast to Grow your Business Faster
Why Customer Service Needs to Be More Than Lip Service!
Today’s guest is Emma Cava and Em is from Em’s Forever Lips. On this episode we’re going to be talking about how real customer service is more than just lip service.
Em is a creator of magic, and manifestor of dreams.
With a passion for helping other women look and feel good, Em mentors women to help them fulfill their potential and reach their goals.
Learn from Past Bad Customer Experience
Sometimes it actually takes for us to have a bad customer service experience ourselves, going out and about in our day-to-day business, for us to actually understand, “I didn’t appreciate that experience, that wasn’t very good.” And sometimes it just takes that to make us re-evaluate how we actually show up with our customers, and the experience that we are providing.
Em used to work in a retail industry. This was a great experience really, because now in hindsight. Em can look back and think, “Do you know what?
Because my experience within this particular retail environment was how not to treat customers. Which at the time, as I’m sure many of you can appreciate, when you work somewhere and it doesn’t resonate with you how things are run, it can be very difficult. Now she can look back and use that experience and say, “Hey, do you know what? I’m never going to show up in that way, and I’m never going to put my customer in those positions. The same positions that I witnessed in this other environment.”
Em says she thinks it’s very important to always try and change your perception. A bad experience can actually be made into a positive experience.
For example, what I just said. It was a bad experience at the time, for me, however she can look back now and see what she learned and be very grateful for having that experience.
Controlling Your Emotions
A lot of the time when we are liaising with our customers, everything runs smoothly and it’s all hunky-dory. It’s normally when there is some kind of objection or some kind of disappointment that’s things then more become a little bit more difficult and that’s when customer service really needs to step up quite a few notches and we need to turn an possibly unhappy customer back into a happy customer. The way in which Em advises people is to do that by controlling your emotions a little bit. Now that sounds a little bit strange really, doesn’t it, for me to talk about emotions?
However, you think about it this way, especially if you’re running your own business, your business is your baby and you have worked so hard. You’ve worked day and night, you’ve put effort, you’ve put time, blood, sweat and tears into this project, and you feel very emotionally connected to your business. Sometimes, if you have some kind of objection or you’re experience something negative with a customer, your first emotion can be hurt or it can be anger sometimes, because it’s almost as though this amazing project, your business, your baby, is being attacked.
Somebody is not happy and they are telling you, “I’m not happy with… “
Maybe it’s a product or maybe it’s a service that you have provided. So quite often your go-to response will be a negative one, and it’s very important to take a breath.
Meeting Customer Expectations
Sometimes it can be, not that the product or the service is not actually good, it’s the expectations that weren’t set correctly. If somebody is expecting something to be urgent, and to them urgent means one or two days, but to you urgent means four or five days, then that expectation is not going to be met. They’re going to be upset. So, sometimes it’s a case of, in the actual sales process, is making sure that the expectations are clearly set out. If it’s something that’s out of stock and it’s going to take several weeks, then you need to let them know that, and they might decide not to buy, and you might lose a sale. But then, you’re not going to have an unhappy customer, because they wanted it for the ball or the 21st, or the whatever it was that was in a week.
Communication is the Key
Communication really is key with what you do. You provide a product, but you’re also providing a service. You need to communicate with those customers what it is that they should be expecting from the product that you are providing them with. I live by this, it’s a little saying, and you may have heard it before. It goes on this, “Under-promise and over-deliver.” Now, that might be something that you have heard time and time again, but for those of you who haven’t, basically it just means that you’re not going to be promising the world, and then disappointing the customer. You may be a little bit not quite as enthusiastic with explaining what’s going to happen. For instance, if I know that this product is going to arrive within three days, I will say to that customer, “I will have this product for you within the week.”
Don’t Over Sell Your Product
It’s very, very important to not oversell your product as well. I know sometimes we can be so enthusiastic about our product and our service. But if you oversell the product, you’re guaranteed that that is going to be a disappointment somewhere along the line with that customer. You have to be reasonable.
It’s so easy to run away with the enthusiasm and the excitement about your baby, your project, your business that you love and adore.
Educate Your Customer
It’s holding their hand through the process.
Don’t just shove a product in their face and away they go and they have to figure out how to do it. They need to know how to use the products, how to work it.
Let’s say you’re selling furniture polish.
- How often do I have to apply this?
- What shall I be expecting from this product?
- Does it stop chips or does it just make it water repellent?
It’s so important to be communicating and educating your customers. It’s very important to be checking in with your customers as well. Because sometimes, especially when you first start out in a business, the prospect of having any kind of rejection is frightening and that actually will sometimes put you off going to your customer and just getting some feedback from how you’re going with your product.
Is there anything that I could do to help you?
Because you are afraid that that customer is going to turn around and say, “Actually, I don’t like it.”
Or, “Actually, I haven’t been using it because I don’t know how to use it.” If that’s the case, you need the feedback because you need to be learning from their experiences.
If a customer turns around and says to you, “I don’t know how to use it,” well, then there’s a failure on your part there, because you haven’t explained to them, or maybe you have, but you haven’t explained them in a way that that customer understood how to use the product.
Remember that if a customer complain it is actually a blessing because they care enough to let you fix the problem and often these customers are the ones that become your advocates, so treat them well. Appreciate the gift that they have given you.
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