1. Do what you say
Many people have a hard time with trust because they have an ex who still lives in the back of their mind. They have an ex-boyfriend, an ex-husband, an ex-wife, or an ex-buddy who stole from them, went all around town telling lies about them, and isn’t even sorry! They ate their lunch and drank their punch! And now they’re wounded from the experience.
You’d be surprised how far doing what you say will take you. Make a commitment to keeping your word even if it means you have to stay up late or work on the weekend.
2. Respond quickly
One of the biggest frustrations people experience with customer service interactions is having a problem and not being able to reach anyone who will help them. At the same time, our society has been conditioned to expect instant gratification. When you respond to emails, texts, and calls quickly you show that you care and are there to help.
3. Don’t be an order-taker
Sometimes people don’t know exactly what they want and don’t see obvious problems on the horizon. Don’t approach customer service interactions like an employee at a fast food drive through window. Be proactive and anticipate issues the customer may not have thought of themselves.
4. Do the unexpected
Being put on hold endlessly, hidden charges, and unpleasant surprises hidden in legal mumbo jumbo that nobody can even understand. These things are commonplace and have come to be accepted as normal, but they actually border on criminal exchange.
If you really want to get referrals, promotions, and repeat business do something extra. Throw in something complimentary.
5. Listen more than you talk
Most business interactions are basically about solving a problem. Beyond basic needs, people buy things they hope will make them happier, wealthier, more attractive, or will make their life more fun and less boring. What problem are you being asked to solve? Let your customer talk, ask good questions, and they will probably tell you!
6. Be organized
It would blow your mind how many supposed “professionals” lose critical customer information. I ordered a picture of an old cobblestone street to hang up in my house. It was sent promptly, but when I went to pick it up at the Post Office they told me they lost it and would call me when they found it. That took at least a month.
It’s even more frustrating when what has been lost is an important password rendering an account unrecoverable. Simply not losing or forgetting important information is appreciated tremendously given the degree to which people have come to expect sloppy work.
Eric Eisenhammer is a political strategist and technology entrepreneur in northern California.