Customer Service Really Can Make or Break Your Business

I’m on the road or in the air a lot, speaking at industry events and coaching and consulting with clients. That kind of travel can become a real bear if you let it. All those hours in the car or in flight, or waiting for delayed flights, or for the hotel wifi to actually work, can feel like a complete waste of time. But it can also teach you a lot about the power of customer service to make or break a business.

1. Empathize with your clients. We all know the people behind the ticket counter can’t control the weather, but when they announce your flight has been pushed back yet again, it’s natural to want to take your aggravation out on them. The best customer service reps use empathy to defuse these situations. Simply and sincerely saying, “I completely understand your frustration. Let me see if there is anything I can do to help you” can be all it takes to change the customer’s mindset.

Have you trained your team to respond to unhappy clients with empathy, even when the issue—like the weather—is out of your team’s control?

2. Ask for feedback and use it. Recently I checked into a hotel and had barely made it to my room before I received a text from the hotel welcoming me and telling me to text them if I needed anything. I got another text a few minutes after I checked out asking me if I would recommend their hotel to a friend and to reply with a simple YES or NO. I typed NO to see what they would do and they had a manager reach out to me right away. Now that’s a company who cares about their customers’ experience and is serious about getting better. They’re also smartly, intently tuned in to how their guests’ online reviews can drive—or destroy—future business.

Do you check in with your clients throughout the life of a project to see how it’s going? Do you survey them upon the job’s completion and share that feedback with your team? Do you monitor how customers rate your company online?

With spring just a couple months away, now is the perfect time to focus on getting your customer service right.