The answer to this question is simple: what customers want is a product or service. It’s inherent in the very nature of the definition of “customer”—“one that purchases a commodity or service.” So it’s a perfect set-up, right? You have a product, so you must have customers. No? You say you don’t have customers? Well, maybe what customers want is more than just a product or service. In addition to these, what customers want is effective customer service skills.
Customers want to know they’re valued
When it comes to customer service, show genuine appreciation toward the people who pay your salary. Go the extra mile to learn their name and listen to them. Take their concerns to heart. Treat customers like a friend, or at least a very good acquaintance.
Customers want to know they’re cared about
Always be looking out for their best interests. Your job is more than supplying a product or service; your job is making people’s lives better, in some way or another. Try to go above and beyond with your customer service skills. If someone accidentally calls your place of business trying to order a pizza, why not take a couple of seconds to provide the correct number by Googling it for them? Maybe they’ll remember, maybe they won’t, but you’ll have demonstrated a genuine care using your customer service skills.
Customers want to be able to trust you
Salespeople in particular have got a bad rep over the years because of “snake-oil salesmen” shouting false promises from the back of a caravan. If a customer emails you, respond as soon as possible and certainly within 24 hours. Pick up customers’ phone calls on the second ring with a pleasant, caring greeting, and respond to voicemails in a timely fashion. What customers want is follow-up and follow-through; without that, trust and reliability are lost.
Customers want you to know what you’re talking about
Learn your product and stay up to date. In the technology age, customers already have a pretty good understanding of what you have to offer. You should, too. If you’re going to try to sell ice to an Eskimo, you’d better know more than that it’s cold. You should at least understand the Wegener–Bergeron–Findeisen process, and know that falling ice is formed when droplets of two-part hydrogen and one-part oxygen are vaporized and frozen in mixed phase clouds.
Above all, what customers want is to interact with someone who is genuine, professional, real, informed, and not only looking out for their best interests. Customers really do matter to the success of your company, so treat them right. Don’t gloss over their requests or insult their intelligence—after all, you should be more knowledgeable than them when it comes to your product or service. Choose the words you use wisely: customers in a hotel or restaurant, for example, are “guests,” whereas customers in a retail store are “business partners” and should be treated as such. What customers want is a product, not a pitch. They understand that you’re human, too, and if you treat them with respect, they’ll understand occasional imperfections. Just be real with them. Be humble and gracious with them, and you’ll ultimately provide customers with what they want.
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I am a Certified Value Builder, C- IQ Coach, Author, and approved Business Growth specialist, providing expert, tailored business and executive coaching in London and the UK.
I am passionate about business and service excellence, and I want to connect with the owners of SMEs, managers and corporate executives in the private, public and third sectors; individuals who are looking to achieve superior performance, and obtain guaranteed service improvements results, and increases in turnover and profitability.
Book Research Project
I’m currently doing research for a new book I’m writing based around my 45 min business turnaround. What I do is typically charge my clients £1300 for a 45 min business turnaround where I essentially find £10,000 hidden in their business within 45 mins of sitting down with them. Not a bad investment when you consider I will quadruple their investment in 45 mins.