I recently had the unfortunate privilege of undergoing an emergency appendectomy, and as anyone who has had the surgery can attest to, it is not a pleasant experience.
While recovering in the hospital, and through subsequent followup doctor’s appointments, I experienced numerous example of both good and bad customer service, and had plenty of time to think on how this experience relates to customer service in business.
You must have empathy for your customers. They come to you to fulfill a need; to increase their pleasure or to decrease their pain. Are you able to understand their needs and deliver a better service because of it? The best doctors and nurses are the ones I could tell really cared, not just acted empathetically because their job requires it.
Treat each customer as if they are your only customer, and your business depends upon them buying from you. Go out of your way to make each customer feel special. Whether it’s a follow-up phone call, a complimentary widget, or an unexpected thank you note, surprise each customer by going above and beyond what is considered typical customer service in your industry. A couple nurses went out of their way to make sure I was comfortable, and they’re the ones I remember.
Punctuality & Consistency
I actually walked out of a doctors office after waiting for an hour and a half for a scheduled appointment. Time is the most valuable asset you have. Respect your customers time, and they will respect yours. If you tell a client you’ll do something by a certain time, do it. If you have a meeting or phone appointment scheduled, keep it and be punctual, never late. No one likes waiting, and if your customers have to wait on you, or you’re not consistant with them, they’ll replace you.
Just to summarize. Try to walk in your clients shoes. Treat your customers as you’d want to be treated, and always follow the Golden Rule.