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Making a customer feel valued is a huge step towards building their loyalty. Every customer is individual, they all have individual needs and understanding these is the first step to good customer service.

Know your customer's name, if you are dealing with a customer on either a face to face basis or over the telephone trying to use their name. Deciding on whether to use the first or last name depends on the setting if the conversation needs to be formal then consider using the full name and title.

Informal situations, it is usually acceptable to use their first name. Some businesses prefer that you use the customer’s full name such as Mr Smith but others prefer the use of their first name, check with your company as to their preference. If they don’t have one and you are in doubt ask if your customer would mind you calling them by their first name. In most situations, they will agree to this.

Using a customer’s name helps to personalise the service and build a solid rapport. If you are not sure how to pronounce their name then ask, you can guarantee it won’t be the first time they have been asked this! Use the customer name at the start, middle and end of a conversation. However, you will need to use your common sense to identify if this is too much or too little.

Treat each customer as your best customer. Customers like to feel that they are valued and that their needs come first, they should have your undivided attention and should never be interrupted. Good customer service means that nothing is too much trouble, always think outside the box for what else you can do to exceed their original need.

Whether you are talking to someone on the telephone or face to face you need to be approachable. Smiling can have a huge positive effect on the customer, it helps to build rapport and lets them know that they are dealing with someone who is friendly and who wants to assist them.

Smiling on the telephone changes the tone of your voice and is perceived in a positive manner by the customer. The one consideration here is that this needs to be appropriate, we do not wish to upset the customer by smiling when they have received bad news or are particularly unhappy.

No one wants to deal with an individual who is unapproachable, this is often seen as unhelpful and does not support the drive of excellent customer service.

When a customer has an issue, then resolve it for them in a proactive and efficient way. When there is an issue resolve it as soon as you can. If this cannot be resolved immediately then take the time to explain to the customer what the issues are and when it is likely to be resolved.

Do not ‘put off’ speaking to them, this will simply cause anger and the situation will escalate. Keep in constant communication with your customer, if you cannot resolve the issue let them know the progress you have made. This ensures that they feel that they are listened to and that you are taking it seriously. Try to be positive in your responses and let them know that they are important to you and to the business.