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Putting the customer above the money

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“Put the money over the customer and you might get a sale. Put the customer above the money, and the money will eventually follow – and you are on your way to building a long-term, loyal customer relationship.” So said Shep Hyken, customer service/CX expert.

You cannot over emphasise the importance of the customers’ experience during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. In fact, service and product quality should be elevated during this busy time to build customer loyalty.  It’s an opportunity to turn one-time seasonal shoppers into lifelong buyers.

One of the biggest mistakes businesses make is to sacrifice good customer service for a quick sale. I am a stickler for good customer service. I have experienced amazing service locally, and I’ve also experienced really bad service. The consistent thing about really good service and really bad service is that they are both very memorable.

Jenna fuchs, Director of Consulting at ideba said “a bad experience starts when something goes wrong. It becomes even more memorable when the response to the incident is poor.” Here’s an example –
I recently patronized a restaurant and in consuming the food I had to remove a piece of a pot scrubber from my mouth. I reported my experience to the supervisor, whose response was “next time lunch is on us. Just ask for me.”

The response from the supervisor compounded the situation. It’s one thing to make a mistake, it another thing to take responsibility for it. Here are a few simple things to do to avoid sabotaging your business when a mistake happens: listen and empathize with the customer. Take responsibility for the problem. Offer a heartfelt apology. Be sincere and genuine. Let the customer know how much you appreciate their business and that you are sorry for the problem. Ask what you can do to make it up to them. Do not misconstrue the complaint as a request for a freebie. Provide a tangible solution.

It’s very rewarding when businesses take customers complains seriously and create tangible solutions.
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