Customer Service vs. Customer Respect

Rodney Dangerfields Board GameWhen it comes to serving your customer, do you give them respect?

In sales, the most important aspect is getting the sale, but what happens afterwords is just as important.  Making sure your customer is treated well after the sale can lead to additional sales from the customer and create a strong referral source.

So, what do you do after the sale is done?  Most will answer with,

Give great customer service.

But what is great customer service?  A great answer will, at least, include the following these three items.

  • Customer Acknowledgement
  • Customer Resolution
  • Customer Appreciation

Each item is just as important as the other and together proves to your customer that you respect them.

Customer Acknowledgement

Do you call your customer by name?  Do you know what your customer does for a living?  Customer acknowledgement starts with knowing your customer’s name but goes way beyond that.  In banking, we use the term know your customer.  This means exactly what it says and, when done correctly, has a positive impact on customer service.

  • Compliance: When you know your customer you have done your due diligence by finding out important information.
  • Marketing: When you know your customer you can create target marketing and cross selling opportunities that have a higher Return on Investment value.
  • Service: When you know your customer you can provide extra services like Cash Management, Remote Deposit Capture and Mobile Deposit.  These services have a higher risk than standard bank services, but when you know your customer you can limit the risk factor while providing exceptional customer service.

Even though these examples come from the banking industry, it doesn’t mean they are exclusive to banking.

Customer Resolution

Regardless if you are selling a product or a service, a customer is going to run into an issue or problem.  What you do at that moment can have a lasting impact on future sales and successful referrals.

  • Speed: How quickly do you resolve the issue?  Quickly resolving the issue goes a long way for a customer, but “quickly” can mean different things.  Be sure to define what “quickly” is for your customer and get to it.
  • Accuracy: Does it take only one time to resolve the issue?  Issues that are often repeated can cause a headache for a customer.  Do your best to solve the whole problem the first time, so there won’t be a next time.
  • Empathy: How do you empathize with your customer?  Showing empathy is just as important as speed and accuracy.  Put yourself in your customer’s shoes and understand why the problem is such a pain.

These three examples in customer resolution ultimately boil down to communication.

Customer Appreciation

Everyone loves being appreciated.  Here are just a few examples of small tokens of appreciation.

  • Cards: It only takes a few minutes to mail a thank you card, a birthday card, or an anniversary card.
  • Meals: Taking a customer to lunch, hosting a lunch and learn or host a cookout at your office.
  • Gifts: A gift during a special occasion or holiday.

Of course there are other ways to show appreciation.  Just remember to keep your customer in mind by doing something they would see as appreciation.

So, do you give your customers respect, or do you leave them feeling like Rodney Dangerfield?

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About Jeremy M. Price
For twelve years, I had the pleasure of working in community banking. Starting in customer service, I worked my way up to a senior level marketing and human resources director. It was great leading teams that improved strategic initiatives including, but not limited to brand awareness, digital communication, employee development and product development. This experience has now led to an exciting role with CRS Data. As the Product Marketing Analyst, I am currently reviewing the company's banker suite product. This product is able to help community banks reach their fullest potential in real estate lending. I am extremely fortunate to share time with my son while enjoying life in East Tennessee. The two of us enjoy the views of the Smokey Mountains, eating good food and having fun. During my free time, I enjoy running races, traveling and listening to great live music.

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