Good customer service can be made easy

BOSTON – There are four secrets to providing good customer service, Wendy Miller, BOCO, facility accreditation director, Board of Certification/Accreditation, International, said at the American Orthotic & Prosthetic Association National Assembly, here.

“The customer’s perception is your reality,” Miller said.

The first secret is to acknowledge that the customer is always right, and one of the best ways to ensure an accurate customer perception is to use surveys to listen to customers and discover their perceived reality.  She also recommended keeping files of customer testimonials that “define you and your business character and add value to your reputation.”

The second secret is “getting the right people on the bus, but more importantly in the right seat,” she said. The people hired are a business’ brand. Miller recommended using personality testing and research on the front end to ensure the people hired will be a good fit for the job. She also stressed the importance of helping new hires develop their strengths.

“All too often our natural talents go untapped. From the cradle to the cubicle, we spend more time fixing our shortcomings than developing our strengths,” Miller said.

The third secret is what she called employing “the beginner’s mind,” full of dreams, ideas and possibilities.

“Sometimes we become complacent and we don’t see the potential for our growth. Go back to the beginning. What do you clients, employees and referral sources know about what you do?” she said.

Reigniting the possibilities and ideas one had when he or she started out in business can be just as exciting for customers.

Secret number four is to serve customers virtually with social media. Social media outlets like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter allow businesses  to go where customers are and listen to them in real time. Effective stages of social media use include listening, participating, building your own presence with your own content, and sticking with it and follow up in actual practice.

“In time, you can join many different organizations and groups that can keep you in the know of what’s going on in industry,” Miller said.

For more information:

Miller W. Providing excellent customer service-from the phone to Facebook. Presented at the American Orthotic & Prosthetic Association National Assembly 2012. Sept. 6-9, Boston.

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