Among the many things that people want to know about the people who serve them, research shows that four specific items are at the top of the list. Here is what the studies have identified. Your small business customers want to know the answers to four questions. They are:
1. Do you like me?
2. Do you care about me?
3. Can I trust you?
4. Do you know what you are talking about?
The first thing they want to know is if they are sincerely liked by the person serving them. Your customers will know this from how the representative interacts with them. Does your employee use their name, does he or she really listen, and do they have sincere empathy in their voice?
The second thing your customers want to know about your employee who serves them is, does the representative really care about them. The customer can sense this from the questions they are asked, the tone of their voice, how helpful they are and all the little things your employee says or does that shows they really do care.
The third question your customer wants to know the answer to is, can they trust your employee. Indications of trust can be seen in how confident the representative is and does he or she follow through as promised. One example of how trust can be lost by a small business owner or employee is by how promptly a phone call or email is returned to the customer. When there is a long period of time that elapses between the time the customer contacts your small business and is followed up with, or worse yet, not followed up, trust diminishes rapidly. A good rule of thumb is to have all phone calls and emails returned within 24 hours or less.
Finally, the fourth thing people want to know about the employee who serves them is whether or not the person serving them is knowledgeable and competent. Indications of these qualities are demonstrated by how familiar your employee is with the particular situation the customer is experiencing or the product or service they are purchasing. Customers want to know if this employee has solved similar types of problems for other customers in the past. If they have, it builds confidence in their buying experience.
In summary, to build lifetime customer satisfaction with the customers you serve, make sure your small business is able to provide the right kind of customer service training that teaches the proper customer service skills. These skills should empower all of your managers and staff to treat your customers in such a way that consistently answers their four most common questions they have about your small business.
Tom Borg is president of Tom Borg Consulting, LLC. He is a business consultant, trainer and author of the book Making Service Count-Leveraging Customer Satisfaction to Make Your Small Business More Profitable. He can be reached at 734.404-5909 or email@example.com, or visit his website, www.tomborgconsulting.com.