Customer Service Training Program Guidelines
Creating Satisfied Customers

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Everyone in business wants to have customers but anyone wanting to remain in business wants satisfied customers. A satisfied customer is often a repeat customer and everyone knows that repeat business makes an easier sale. Obviously, creating a satisfied customer is a complex issue; from offering products and services that are reliable and high quality to being responsive when issues arise. The scope of this issue can't be discussed in a meaningful way within a single article; however this article can present some ideas on how to guide your customers to assist them in making the best choice to suit their needs. The customer service training program your employees receive must teach these skills.

In general, the most satisfied customer is the one who knows what his expectations are and knows the most about the capabilities/functioning of the product or service he is purchasing. Many successful entrepreneurs understand that a large part of their role is to assist customers in identifying their needs and in assuring they are fully informed about the products/services they are considering.

There are numerous options open to website owners to assure this need is fulfilled. Here are just a few:

1. Develop buying guides which prompt your customers to think critically about what features are of interest to them. For instance, when purchasing a digital camera they might want to consider first how they will use the camera, what kind of shots they will take, how they will share the pictures, where they will use it, how much they will carry it around, what size prints they will want, how much skill they have in order to use manual controls, etc. This kind of information will then assist them in determining the appropriate the size, weight, speed, and other features that they want in a camera.

2. Develop resources which provide information on how products function and the pros/cons of the various features in an unbiased manner. Back to the example of digital camera, you would be providing information on zoom for instance. Both optical and digital zoom would be explained; what it is, what it does, which is more critical to picture quality and so forth. Be sure that explanations are in "lay terms". Don't insult your customers by assuming they know nothing but avoid using industry jargon without an explanation unless the term is used universally.

3. Be sure to provide pertinent information on important characteristics of your product. Do not misrepresent them. When a product does not have every feature imaginable that is reality. You can't assume that just because a particular camera does not produce good prints over 8x10 that the customer will consider this negatively. It may be of no importance to them. In addition, a good sales person understands that you can state what the product/service can and cannot do but put a positive spin on it. For instance, "Model xyz is not recommended for large prints over 8x10 but it produces excellent 4x6 and 5x7 color images, perfect for the average person wanting photos of the family, nature, and special events. It is our most popular model." The customer needs to be fully aware if a feature that is critical for them is not present. The most successful entrepreneur will focus on providing the product that is right for the customer rather than getting hung up on one single product.

4. Provide contact information for those customers with questions and follow up promptly.

5. Another source of information that is very useful to consumers is feedback from current customers. This can be achieved through a forum, web polls, or by providing information from traditional customer satisfaction surveys such as information from the JD Power & Associates website.

Website owners can present the information in any number of ways but the important thing is to assure that your customers have carefully examined what they want and know what they are getting. Meeting, or exceeding, their expectations is then a much easier task.

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