26 things you need to know to exceed customer expectations

Exceeding your customer's expectations requires thinking and acting properly with every contact.

Exceeding your customer's expectations requires thinking and acting properly with every contact.

Providing exemplary customer service comes down to taking ownership and responsibility for your relationship with your customer while exceeding customer expectations. Each and every contact is an opportunity for you to impress your customer and deliver service that exceeds their expectations.

If you approach each contact with a “can do” mentality and an attitude of “the buck stops here,” you are in the right frame of mind. In addition to having a positive mindset, you must take action. Without a positive attitude AND action, your level of service will only be satisfactory at best.

As I think back to some amazing experiences that I have had as a customer, in addition to feedback I have gotten over the years from my own customers, I have compiled a list of thoughts and actions that are essential to providing exemplary customer service.

You know you excel at customer service when you realize:

  1. Making a customer is more important than making a sale.
  2. Customers are not in your way, but instead, are your way.
  3. Listening to your customer is more important than telling your customer.
  4. It’s you AND the customer, not you AGAINST the customer.
  5. Leaving your customer with a question or doubt is not good business.
  6. Exemplary service is not the exception, but rather, the rule.
  7. Building business is about building relationships.
  8. All roads lead back to the customer. Without customers, your business will fail.
  9. A loyal customer will go out of their way to get you business. You want loyal customers.
  10. Not all people are potentially customers.
  11. Your job is to make the buying experience as easy as possible for your customer.
  12. Your customer is an insider, not an outsider.
  13. Your customers' needs come before your needs.
  14. Each contact that you have with your customer should leave your customer happier.
  15. You need to exceed expectations each and every time you deliver.
  16. Perception is reality when it comes to your customer.
  17. No matter what your position within your company, you are in customer service.
  18. Your daily goal is making your customers happy.
  19. An unhappy customer creates a lesson for you learn from, not run from.
  20. Long after the money is spent, you create a lasting memory for your customer.
  21. Thinking like your customer is far better than thinking for your customer.
  22. High touch trumps high tech.
  23. Getting lazy gives your customer permission to move to your competition.
  24. Being a people pleaser is not an option, it is essential in keeping a customer long term.
  25. Making a mistake is inevitable. It’s what comes next that’s so important.
  26. The customer is always right. And when he isn’t, figure out how to make him right.

Align your thoughts and actions with the list above and you are well on your way to providing world class customer service. Are there other “rules” that you follow? Which is your favorite from the list? Your least favorite. Add your comments below.

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