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The News Chair

Customer Service with a Smile

Just less than two weeks shy of my wedding day, I found something that translates from pre-wedding “goof ups” by vendors to public relations, marketing — and the world at large. And that is customer service.

Just as each vendor should bend over backwards to fix their mistakes and make my order correct, so should we in the public relations/marketing industry do so for our clients. Courtesy of About.com, here are a few ideas to keep in mind:

  1. Don’t make promises unless you WILL keep them. Not plan to keep them. Will keep them. Reliability is one of the keys to any good relationship, and good customer service is no exception. Think before you give any promise – because nothing annoys customers more than a broken one.
  2. Listen to your customers. Let your customer talk and show him that you are listening by making the appropriate responses, such as suggesting how to solve the problem.
  3. Deal with complaints. No one likes hearing complaints, but if you give the complaint your attention, you may be able to please this one person this one time – and position your business to reap the benefits of good customer service.
  4. Take the extra step. Whatever the extra step may be, if you want to provide good customer service, take it. They may not say so to you, but people notice when people make an extra effort and will tell other people.
  5. Throw in something extra. Whether it’s a coupon for a future discount, additional information on how to use the product, or a genuine smile, people love to get more than they thought they were getting.

So the next time, remember customer service with a smile — and hopefully the rewards will follow. [I wrote a thank-you e-mail after a company promptly corrected their mistake and rushed my order — they said how appreciative they were to get the good news!] 🙂


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