Thursday, August 12, 2010

10 ways to Support your Best Customers-4

Time to continue our series:

10 Ways to Support Your Best Customers

Every company is in the service industry, right? Expert pointers for how to best perform for your best accounts.

By Inc. Staff |

Even if you're not in the customer service business, there's one clear way to please your customers: act like serving them is your first priority. We've compiled tips from expert interviews and articles that have appeared in Inc. and on to find the most poignant pointers for pleasing your most valuable customers.

4. Make sure your staff is equipped.

Your customer-service team is your frontline in making sure customers are not just satisfied – but are genuinely happy to work with you. The most critical person to hire in the customer service schema is the manager, says Andy Fromm, president of Service Management Group, a Missouri-based firm that works with retail and restaurant chains on improving customer service, since employee turnover is directly driven by manager turnover. You want someone who'll stick around, because otherwise, Fromm cautions, "it will be almost impossible to keep up with the hiring challenge." But everyone should care about the product at hand: "Make sure that pet retailers like pets. It's not rocket science." Other qualities to look for, according to V. Kumar, author of the book Managing Customers for Profit, include empathy, consistency and patience. Experience is vital, too, but it can be a double-edged sword: too much, and the representative may sound pedantic or condescending; too little, and the representative won't know how to handle delicate situations. The ideal? Three to five years. Read more.

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