Providing smart and reliable customer service is a key factor to successful business management. Retaining loyal customers keeps a company in business over the long haul. Some people do not remember the thousands of times they have engaged in a positive interaction with a customer service representative, but many of us tend to remember the bad experiences. As a student in a business management degree program, you will learn the most effective ways to work with customers and develop long-lasting, mutually beneficial client relationships.
Identify Your Customers
Every business has customers, and everyone in the business world deals with customers to some degree. Nearly 2.2 million people in the U.S. work as customer service representatives
, handling customer questions on a day to day basis, mostly over the telephone and online. Yet, even workers who do not speak directly with buyers of their company's final product have customers. When you work for a company, large or small, it is important to identify who your customers are and ensure that you are meeting their needs on a daily basis. For example, if you work in the payroll department, your fellow employees, whose paychecks you prepare, may be considered your customers. Another payroll customer might be the government, to whom you remit payroll taxes. By understanding who you are working for and the role your job plays in assisting customers, you will be able to establish stronger business relationships.
The Customer Deserves Respect
Sometimes things go wrong in the process of delivering a product. When this happens, customers may become frustrated and look to you for advice and assistance. If a customer does not have the correct information, it is your responsibility as an expert in the business to work towards a positive resolution. Take the time to set realistic expectations for your customers and educate them in a respectful manner. If the mistake was on your end, take steps to solve the problem quickly. By expending the effort to fix an error the first time a customer complains, you will save your company additional work down the road and possibly strengthen your customer's loyalty.
Follow Up on Your Promises
degree students learn that if you make a promise to a customer, you must follow through on your commitment. This principle applies to something as small as calling a client to inform them when an issue has been resolved, or something as large as researching a problem and coming up with a resolution. If you can be counted on to do the right thing in the business world, you will build a loyal customer base who will return to you for repeat business.
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