Going The Extra Mile

Companies focus on the very reasonthey're in business -- their customers

strategies you can use to provide great customer service:

Don’t view customer service as a huge challenge. Instead, concentrate on making small — but important — changes throughout your organization.

Give your employees a set dollar limit with which to handle a customer’s problem on their own without having to consult with a company manager or executive. (Meaning, don’t waste a lot of time and money by having the company CEO approve refunds or exchanges of less than $100.)

Conduct customer surveys and focus groups to obtain regular customer feedback and use the garnered information to tweak your customer service strategy.

Step back from your business and put yourself in the customer’s shoes. What service would you want and what have you come to expect? What brings you back to repeatedly using a business?

Maintain a customer database to ensure satisfaction and then keep in touch with customers by phone, mail, and/or e-mail.

Implement small, personal touches that say, “I care about you.” For instance, sending birthday or anniversary cards to valued, loyal customers.

Test strategies that take little time and money such as free coffee in the lobby, a bowl of candy on the counter, pick-up and delivery service, and thank-you cards.

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