How do you know you or your employees are providing excellent customer service? The customer lets you know! Sometimes there are obvious clues, such as a rave review, but most of the time the signs are more subtle. Watching for clues that you have a satisfied customer on your hand is data gold. It tells you what’s working and what you should be providing more of. It’ll also tell you how to train other customer service agents.

Customers almost always let you know, and human behavior is pretty easy to pick up on in person. If it’s a virtual transaction, they’ll let you know via their tracked customer journey. Do they return, do their purchases sustain or increase, and how often (if ever) do they initiate communication with you? All of these subtleties are non-verbal communication customers are launching your way.

Here are a few of the tell-tale signs of satisfied customers so you can duplicate the results in the future:

  1. They keep coming back. This one should be a no-brainer, but too often it’s easy to get used to “the regular in the white Jeep who order the all-sugar-free drink.” Learn his name, give him a perk from time to time, and he’ll likely do incredible word of mouth, free PR for you. Watch out for the regulars and treat them like you’re trying to win them over the first time around.
  2. They tip well. If tipping is applicable, this is the most obvious way of a customer telling you “good job.” For tips that are at or above industry standards, reflect on what the rep did to earn it. Showing satisfaction with hard-earned money is the most impressive of all, and you want to make sure those results keep happening.
  3. You find out they have your app, follow you on social media, or have another connection. Maybe they ask about the special you posted on Facebook or you see them tagging you in their tweet. If a customer has connected with you on social media, they’ve brought you into their inner circle. That’s a big honor, and one you should show gratitude for with extra, custom attention (such as a freebie or special discount).
  4. They bring their friends. If it’s clear that a customer has a) been to your business before and b) this time brought along friends or family, they’re putting their reputation on the line for you. They thought your business was good enough to warrant a trip with others to show you off. Make sure to treat everyone in the group like a VIP.
  5. They write a positive review. As previously mentioned, this one is very obvious—but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t deserve followup. It’s a good idea to respond to all thoughtful reviews on every platform, whether positive or negative. It’s disheartening to write a review and get no likes or comments at all. Let the customer and readers know you’re listening.
  6. They linger. Whether in person or on the phone, people don’t stay or linger where they’re not happy. If they stick around, it means they feel comfortable and perhaps like they have a strong connection with the business or the customer service rep. Take it as a compliment and do your best to appease them while still doing your job.
  7. They ask for a business or punch card. Many customers will take a card offered to them to be polite, but asking for one is a customer’s way of saying they plan to come back. It’s the best promise you can snag as a customer service rep.

Customers are always communicating with you, but sometimes it’s difficult to “hear” them. Keep an eye out for signs of both satisfied and unsatisfied customers. It’s the easiest, most affordable way to get a roadmap for what to do, what not to do, and how to ensure loyalty f

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Local Unit Lead for NAACP in Northern California with a mission is to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate race-based discrimination. I enjoy writing and interviewing people making a difference in the World. Former Assistant Editor NY Times. NYU Alum living in sunny California.

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