The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
In the world of business, one of the primary theories is that when you have a happy customer, your business is thriving. The day you have one unhappy customer – that day would be the start of the downfall of your business.
You must have heard – ‘The Customer is always right’.
When you are in the process of making a transaction, the main motive is to make the transaction, and the rest is all history. As the market goes global, you get to see a variety of people – some of them are pleasant and some of them not so much. It takes a huge effort to be the smiling person, while the one in front of you is not being very nice and at times, reaching to the level of abuse.
First, let’s understand who is a customer. A customer is one who receives goods or services for a value. This value can be either monetary or otherwise. The person or agent who sells these goods or services can only price the goods or services depending on the customer’s capabilities. For example, if you are selling a pen for $10, your customer would only be those who are willing to pay $10 for a pen. If you want a customer who cannot afford a $10 pen, you would have to mark it at a price that they can afford, and at the same time, ensure that you do not go into a loss of profitability.
A customer is officially made by three criteria:
- Interest in the goods or services
- Willingness to buy the goods or services
- Actual Purchase of the goods or services – which in turn makes the customer a consumer
In this article when we are talking about a customer – They are the end users of the goods and services.
Qualities of a Good Agent
Most of us take this aspect for granted. We happily assume that we are a people person. We love talking and meeting new people – so of course, by default we are a people person. In reality we are far – far from being a people person. A people person is not someone who can talk easily – but someone who can engage the other person in their conversation.
To be able to get someone’s attention is the biggest gift any person can get. A person in reality could be an introvert and might not talk all that much, but when they talk – it is possible that the person they are talking to is definitely listening. This is the best quality an agent can have.
Power of Speech and Believe
Not everyone is an orator nor can they move a thousand souls by the power of speech, but one can definitely hone this skill. When you have to sell something, you have to be able to talk it up. No one is asking that you should be about to quote sonnets, but you should know every single detail about the product being offered. If you do not know or believe in the product, you will never be able to sell it to anyone.
Not too Strong, Not too Mellow
You should never come on to strong towards the customer. There should be a balance. When speaking to a customer about a product and trying to make a sale, it should never feel like you are forcing them to buy something. On the other hand, it should not feel like you do not care or are too lazy to care. Always think about how you would sell something to yourself, how would you like a salesperson to talk to you, and follow that method with all your customers.
There is a stark difference between hearing and listening. You have to follow the latter. You have to be a good listener and only then can you be a great agent. You have to be able to understand what the other person is saying.
What do they want? What do they expect out of you? When you know the answers to these questions – You yourself would be able to pitch your product better.
As your product has a value, so do your customers. Your customer’s value is an inch higher than your product. The value is Time and Money. The customer is offering you their valuable time and their money for your product. You need to make sure your customer gets that message clearly. They are of most value to your company and you cannot do without them. You need them just as much as they need your product.
Trust and Promises
It is easy to build trust. It is also difficult is to keep up with trust. Product value will only last as long as the customer has faith in it. For example, if you are selling a shampoo that advertises anti-dandruff, but the shampoo does not actually remove dandruff, and instead, damages hair, how do expect your customer to react? You made a promise on with your product, and you broke the promise when it did not work. The trust and loyalty from the customer to your brand is now lost. Once the trust is lost, it is very hard to gain back.
You can glorify your product as much as you want and promise the world, but if the results do not guarantee the promise, the product will suffer, and customers will turn elsewhere. Do not not cross the line and make promises that you know your product will not deliver, otherwise the customer will not only stop trusting your company for one product, but every product that is sold as well.
A product that ensures promise and trust and makes a customer a repeat customer – is what makes a business run. If they don’t return – you have nothing left.
Gratitude and Apologies
Always show gratitude. Rude and snotty behavior would be an end for your business and career. Fall in love with the word “Thank You.” It has more power that you think. By showing gratitude and acknowledging the customer’s value, even in times of complaint or dissatisfaction, a customer will appreciate the company and be more willing to return again.
Learn to say “Sorry.” Apologize when you think that the customer is not happy or feels insulted, even when you feel that you are right – do not show hostility or anger. Keep calm. If they are abusing, be polite and say they should not talk that way. Always try to solve the customer’s problems; if you can’t, than ask your superiors on how to do solve it.
Feedback & Learning from Mistakes
Always ask for feedback. This is a learning tool. This helps you to grow and understand where you stand. You are a human being – bound to make mistakes, but the difference lies in whether or not you are ready to learn from your mistakes and apply them to your work routine.
Additional Learning Techniques in Dealing with Customers
Every business has one aim – get customers. Over the years work has been segregated into job profiles, while some deal directly with customers and others don’t. In the end, all businesses have the same aim – get the attention of the potential customer. Make your product or services the best in the industry.
Educational courses have been on the rise – especially for Customer Service Specialists, such as an MBA in sales and marketing, certificate courses in Public Relations and Client Servicing, Call Centre Training, etc.
The main aim for any of these courses is to make you an efficient Customer Service Manager. They train you in techniques and how to deal with irate customers to confused customers, how to pitch a product, how to sell a product, etc.
To get a happy customer, one needs to understand the requirement of continuous improvement. Nowadays, big corporations offer training to their agents and assist them in finding new and better ways to deal with customers – making their workers more efficient and capable of coping and managing customer issues and complaints.
If you are in the business of customer service, you should abide by the rules thoroughly, and when you miss a step and fall back – always learn to introspect yourself and understand where you went wrong and what would it take to get back in the game.
About the Author
Trisha is a professional writer and adviser on education and career. She is an ardent reader, a traveler and a passionate photographer. She wants to explore the world and write about whatever comes across her way.