Inspired by February, the Month of Love, we are dedicating this blog to customer love – that is, our love for and commitment to our customers. Without customers, no business would thrive! Since our goal is customer retention and loyalty, we should always think of ways to keep our customers happy.
Fulfilling our responsibility begins with making a promise and keeping it. We live up to our words with consistent actions that demonstrate our commitment. Companies usually create a ‘customer pledge’ that outlines their promise.
Customer Service Pledge
A customer service pledge that all employees are required to learn and commit to during their onboarding process is the foundation for establishing a customer-focused culture. It outlines the way all employees should think about and serve customers. Here is an example of a customer service pledge:
We pledge to provide exceptional service to our customers by:
- Understanding that customers come first
- Delivering a smiling, helpful, positive, professional outlook and attitude
- Treating everyone with respect, fairness, dignity, and nondiscrimination
- Listening to our customers with a caring demeanor
- Returning phone calls and emails within one business day
- Providing knowledgeable answers and resolving issues promptly and accurately
- Keeping customers informed about their purchase, project, or any other concerns
- Thanking and acknowledging customers
- Continually exceeding customer expectations
- Soliciting customer feedback to improve our services
This pledge should also apply to internal customer service – i.e., how co-workers serve and treat each other. A commitment like this creates a common intention and positive attitude so customers experience the same level of service across all interaction touch points.
Customer Service with HEART
A module we teach here in our Certified Customer Experience Professional training program is the H.E.A.R.T module. If followed faithfully, it is equivalent to ‘putting a ring on” our customer relationship! Let’s go over the five ways we can demonstrate our commitment to customers using the HEART method.
- H is for Helpful – This first and crucial step is demonstrating a sincere intention and desire to help the customer. A helpful attitude includes making ourselves easily accessible – making an effort to proactively solve for the customer until they are satisfied (or, preferably, delighted) – even if it means seeking help from a co-worker or supervisor. The result is that we provide consistent, reliable, and helpful service.
- E is for Empathetic – We have written several blogs on the importance of emotional intelligence and empathy for anyone in a customer-facing role. We exhibit empathy by really listening, giving the customer our undivided attention, and treating each customer as an individual – with respect and courtesy – while taking care of their specific needs.
- A is for Able – We demonstrate credibility and gain our customers’ confidence by possessing extensive and up-to-date knowledge about our product or service offerings. We continue to develop ourselves professionally to provide the highest service level.
- R is for Responsive – By promptly responding to customer inquiries, quickly resolving any issues that arise, and delivering our product or service efficiently and accurately, we demonstrate that we are both responsive and proactive.
- T is for Trustworthy – Most relationships only succeed with a high level of trust. By demonstrating integrity and honesty, we prove that we act in the customer’s best interest, thereby gaining their long-term trust.
We hope this will inspire you to ‘have a heart’ during all customer interactions. Remembering these five pillars of service excellence will guarantee a long and happy customer relationship! We’ll leave you with a relevant quote from Jim Bush, Executive Vice President of World Service, at American Express:
“Getting service right is more than just a nice to do; it’s a must do…Consumers are willing to spend more with companies that provide outstanding service… Ultimately, great service can drive sales and customer loyalty.”
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