10 Golden Rules For Customer Satisfaction

1. Accessibility

Your organization should be easy to approach. This goes from excellent customer service by phone to providing enough parking spots and flexible opening hours.

2. Reliability

Reliability means that the customer can count on the product or service and the effectiveness of your actions. The product or service should be perfect from the first time and promises must be kept.

3. Proactivity

The customer expects the salesperson to take the initiative and react as quickly as possible. Time counts!

4. Courtesy

Politeness and courtesy have everything to do with respect for the customer, good manners and consideration.

5. Competence

A.k.a. the required skills and knowledge. This counts for every person involved in the project (salesperson, project manager, administrative staff,…).

6. Communication

Smooth communication means that you should not only listen to the customer, but also speak their language. Different customers have different backgrounds, different styles. Some situations will be more formal than others, it’s important to be able to distinguish between both.

7. Credibility

A good reputation, positive image and personal approach will give the customer the feeling that you always have their best interest at heart.

8. Presentation

Looks count, this is no different for business. Make sure you are well-groomed and pay attention to image and design, whether it’s in your advertising or letterheads.

9. Security

The customer has nothing to fear. You handle money and data with care.

10. Understanding

Your organization should take the effort to truly understand your customer’s situation and needs. This asks for empathy. No standard products or services, but personalized solutions.

Your turn now

Can you give a bad example of  customer service?
What makes you a satisfied customer?
Is a satisfied customer always a happy customer?

Wim

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6 Responses to “10 Golden Rules For Customer Satisfaction”

  • Chris Rollins on July 30, 2011

    Wim,

    Great article. Since customer service is one of the 3 topics I focus on, I will share this with my team on Monday. :)

    As an example of bad customer service, I had a recent horrible example, but won’t provide the details. I will simply focus on the positive “how to” side of giving great service. When a customer is promised a response, especially when given a timeframe, that should ALWAYS be given without fail. Even if there isn’t a resolution yet, it let’s the customer know they haven’t been forgotten about or ignored.

    • Wim on August 4, 2011

      Thanks Chris, I prefer focusing on positive examples too as I’m not a complainer, but I still think we can learn a lot from negative experiences we have as customers. For me a huge part of customer service boils down to “treat others as you wish to be treated”.

      I like what you said about always responding. Communication is at the heart of customer service. If you get that part right, it will go a long way.

      Thanks for stopping by!
      Wim

  • Ashvini on August 1, 2011

    Hi Wim,
    I think you said it all bro :) .
    From my side I would add “Thinking about long term benefit of customer”.
    Many times, I have been saved by employees who have a thought about usability of product and do not recommend it . I think they saved my day and increased my satisfaction with store :)
    I hope you are doing fine :)

    • Wim on August 4, 2011

      I’m great Ashvini, thanks for asking :)

      Good point about employees being knowledgeable and HONEST. It’s not only in the customer’s best interest to set him up with the best fit for his situation, even when it’s not the most expensive option.

      Of course the customer will be happy with the product, but also the salesperson will profit on the long term. Maybe the commission on this one sale will be less, but the customer will come back. Repeat business is where the real money is!

      Thanks again for sharing your insights with us Ashvini,
      Wim

  • Jana Quinn on August 1, 2011

    Wim,

    Another dazzling list with those things we say we know but rarely examine in such a straightforward manner. :)

    I would add “consistency” to this list. Customers are happier when they know what to expect, even if it means a little delay in getting back to them or an extra phone call after the proof.

    You asked if a satisfied customer is always a happy customer; in my mind, they’re not necessarily the same thing. Satisfied falls in line with being content – you got a fair price for a product or service, and it performed as you expected. Truly HAPPY customers feel they paid less than what it was worth – but not suspiciously so – or received more than they expected. They’re much more active sources of positive word-of-mouth recommendations, and they’re more likely to proactively seek your services again.

    But then, I’m a language nerd and love to see nuance in meanings. :)

    • Wim on August 4, 2011

      Thanks Jana, I’m glad you liked it. I’m all for simplicity!

      Consistency is a great addition indeed. Customers don’t really like surprises if they don’t come in the form of gifts :)

      I totally agree with your satisfied vs happy analysis btw. Satisfied customers are loyal for the most part, but they can take you for granted. In other words, they are not your marketing “army”. It’s the happy customers that will spread the word and recruit new soldiers for you. Then it’s your job to deliver of course.

      Thanks for leaving an insightful comment again, I always appreciate it!
      Wim

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