Reliability, the Keystone of Customer Service

By February 20, 2018Business

Stone arch with keystoneYour customers want to count on you. They want to believe you’re going to treat them right, keep your promises, and fix any problems that arise. This is especially true if you have a service business. It is crucial that you make sure your service is reliable.

In his book, Repeat Business, author Larry W. Dennis defines reliability as:

  • Keeping your agreements
  • Keeping your promises
  • Keeping your word
  • Doing what you explicitly say you are going to do
  • Doing what you imply you are going to do
  • Doing what needs to be done

This shouldn’t be too much for customers to expect, yet it seems like it is harder than ever to get reliable service these days. There is no point in telling a customer what they want to hear just to get their business. If you don’t stick to your agreement, you’ve lost any chance for future business from that customer. And they’ll tell everyone they know about their bad experience.

Don’t make promises you can’t or won’t keep. “This may well be the most important of all of these eight rules for good customer service.” Customers do not forget broken promises.

Another aspect of reliability is handling customer complaints effectively. A complaint is an opportunity to engage with a customer in a positive way. If you resolve the problem politely and promptly, you will have made a long-term customer. “Make sure you do not disappoint that customer again. By effectively managing customer complaints, you can build a stronger bond with the customers and build better relationships.”

Nothing is more frustrating to a customer than a business not following through on what they said they would do. The customer feels they’ve been lied to, neglected, and disrespected. Stand out from the crowd of competitors. Provide reliable service, and be the business customers can count on.