What Your Customers Really Want:
Seven Qualities of Customer Care
By Laurie Brown
people believe that the hardest part of starting and maintaining a
successful business is finding the right product or service. In
reality, this is hardly ever enough; it is simply the starting
point. To be truly successful, you need to see your business
through your customer’s eyes. What do they want and need to keep
coming back to you time and again?
are seven qualities of customer care that will take a business from
the great product or service to the great company that will keep
customers coming back for more. Here’s what it takes to win and
keep your customers.
Accessibility: It starts by making it easy for your customer to
do business with you. Accessibility includes things such as ample
parking, phone systems that are easy to use, returning e-mail the
day it is received, and a website that is clear and easy to
navigate. It means you use language that is clear and easily
understood by all. If you have diverse customers, it means
translating your materials into their native language.
2. Availability: Are you there when your customers need
you? Make sure that your business hours are compatible with your
clients/customers needs. If your business takes appointments or
reservations, allow your customers to make them for the same day
that they call you. On days when your business is closed, have a
place or person that your customers can go to get information. This
could be a website, a person on call, or a helpful message on your
phone system. Nowadays, people seek information 24/7 ‑‑ make sure
that they can get what they need when they need it.
3. Affability: Everyone wants to do business with nice,
pleasant people. Seems simple, right? But sometimes the simplest of
things are the hardest to accomplish. Having to deal with the
realities of life, like traffic, arguments or just not feeling well,
can make being pleasant seem impossible. However, making a point of
warmly greeting your customers on the phone or in person can have an
amazing impact on the success of your business. Everyone (from the
janitor to the CEO) should greet customers warmly. Affability is
everyone’s responsibility. This will help ensure your customers get
the treatment they deserve.
4. Agreeability: Customers want to hear “Yes” when they ask
you for something. But, how many times do you say “No” to
your customers? Perhaps you hide behind policies and procedures. Do
you really think that it feels better when your customers hear, “No,
sorry it’s our policy?”
obviously you can’t say “Yes” every time your customers ask for
something. So how do you know when to say “Yes” without it becoming
a problem? Put it through a very simple filter. If it isn’t illegal,
immoral or unethical, say “Yes.”
you can’t say, “Yes,” don’t say “No.” Instead, stop, take a breath
and say, “Let me see what I can do.” Then do something: find a way
around the issue-- call a supervisor ‑‑ be creative ‑‑ show the
customer that you are doing everything possible to accommodate
them. When you say “Yes!” you are showing your customer that you
value their business and that you care about their best interests.
5. Accountability: Take ownership of your customer’s needs
and issues. Let them know that you will do what it takes to make
them happy. If there is a problem, be the one who gets it resolved,
even if you didn’t create the problem. See it through until it’s
resolved. When other people need to be involved you should still
follow-up to make sure that the problem was resolved successfully.
6. Adaptability: Your customers’ desires are constantly
changing. Make sure that you keep up. Adaptability is essential.
Don’t just wait for their requests, talk to them, ask them about
their experience doing business with you. What do they like about
your business? What do they dislike? Then give them what they want.
than keeping up, make sure you are exceeding your customers’
expectations. If you always provide something exceptional, they will
grow to expect it, and it ceases to be exceptional. When exceptional
becomes the norm you need to figure out new ways to surprise and
7. Ability: It might seem strange that ability comes last
on the list. If you do all the things described above successfully,
customers will be far more willing to accept that you are not
perfect. But this doesn’t mean that you don’t have to strive for
customers are getting more and more knowledgeable. The Internet has
made it easy for them to gain expertise. You need to do as much
research as they do. More than ever, you need to be an expert about
your products and services. Take 15 minutes out of your day and
learn something new: read what your customers read; find out what
others are saying about your products and services; learn about your
truly set yourself apart from the competition when you strive for
more knowledge and expertise every day.
on what is important to your customers allows you to truly set
yourself apart from your competition. Strive to embody the seven
qualities of customer care and create customers for life.
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