“They couldn’t have been more helpful…”

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When dreaming up a list of the top phrases you want your customers to think and, perhaps more importantly, say about you and your business to the people they meet, this one’s right up there.

At Anorak Cat we believe attentive, accommodating and genuinely thoughtful customer service is key to ensuring that all your customers not only leave you feeling blissfully happy and satisfied but that they feel totally inspired to go forth and tell all their friends.

Here’s a little checklist of our top personal qualities that will have your customers leave you with a fantastic impression and feeling on cloud 9.

MAKING CUSTOMERS FEEL LIKE THEY’RE YOUR ONLY ONE.
You might have clients or customers stacked up for next 3 months, but this lovely new face in front of you doesn’t know, or even necessarily care, about that. They need to feel like they have the full focus of your attention. The best way of achieving this, is to give it! They have personally chosen YOU to meet whatever need it is they have and recognising, respecting and appreciating that is vital. You can do this not only with your sensitive and attentive approach, but also by responding quickly to communication and messages and always doing what you say you are going to do, by the date you said you will do it – or earlier! We’ve all experienced difficult customers and managing these situations can test out our limits, but your professionalism must have no limit if you want consistently happy feedback.
Building and maintaining positive relationships in these ways is crucial to the ongoing success and longevity of your business.

CREATING A FRIENDLY AND SUPPORTIVE ENVIRONMENT.
The word ‘friendly’ can be seriously underrated. We believe there’s so much more behind the adjective. It’s about showing your customer the same positive regard as you would for a friend – kindness, welcoming and always attentive to their needs. No question should feel too big or too silly that it can’t be asked, fostered by a supportive, empathetic and non-judgemental environment where even hints of ridicule or belittling have no place.

ARE YOU REALLY LISTENING?
Leaving a shop and not being given what you’ve asked for is a frustrating and even angering experience (I’ve had it often enough from the hairdressers!). Contrast that to the feelings experienced when you knew you were being listened to, and we mean really listened to, and how valued and respected that made you feel. The feelings of happiness and relief in your customer will stick with them for a long time.
Giving them what they actually want, and not what you think they need is crucial. You can of course offer suggestions based on your extensive professional experience and expertise, but you need to switch on those personal judgement skills to ensure you read correctly whether these are welcomed or not, and respond accordingly.

SHOWING GRATITUDE
You have been hand-picked by your customer to deliver your service and it is therefore essential to show them that you are thankful for their custom. This can be much more than a typical note at the bottom of a receipt or a boring sign on the way out. Here is a list of fun and imaginative ways to thank your customers that we enjoyed reading http://www.helpscout.net/25-ways-to-thank-your-customers/

PATIENCE
You are an expert in your field, but this could be the first time they’ve even so much as dipped their toes into the waters of your sector/business/service, and might be feeling a little nervous, confused or out of their depth. If they’ve asked you same question 3 times already, take a deep breath, keep smiling and happily answer it again, and again. If they are asking more than once, it means they haven’t understood the first version of your answer. Try approaching it from another angle and explain again. Reassure them that it can be tricky and that you’re more than happy to be spending time helping them. They will truly appreciate your time and kindness.

CLEAR AND HONEST COMMUNICATION
If I walk into a shop and there’s not a price on something, to muster the energy to tackle the queue at the tills just to simply find out the price I either have to desperately want it or I’m putting it back! The latter is usually out of stubborn principle. But whatever the reason, they’ve lost the sale.
I realise with many services it’s not always possible to provide an upfront price, but if there’s anything you can offer even as a rough guide, your customers will likely feel comforted by this early admission. Also, surprises can be lovely, but not in the form of a ‘hidden fee’. These can annoy and even anger customers, and even if they do go ahead with the purchase, you can bet your bottom dollar they won’t be sharing nice things about you with the next person they meet.
Don’t pretend to offer something you won’t actually provide or bend the truth even slightly. It always ends in tears.

PROBLEM SOLVING SKILLS
They have the problem, you always have the answer. And if you don’t, you know someone who does! Here’s where networking comes in useful. Share the love between your other local business pals and give the customer the perfect outcome they were searching for. Even if they don’t end up doing any business with you right now, they’ll remember you how positive and helpful you were for future business and, of course, recommendations.

MAKING SURE THEY LEAVE WITH A GREAT IMPRESSION FOLLOWING A WONDERFUL EXPERIENCE.
At Anorak Cat myself and Richard will always treat you as if you were our only customer and never feel offended if you ask for a little more off the top and sides! Our goal is to always give you exactly what you want 100% of the time at a price that is fair, honest and with no hidden fees. Rest assured, as our reviews show, you will certainly leave having had a wonderful experience with the feeling “They couldn’t have been more helpful”.

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