Why do we frequent the shops and restaurants that we do? Why do we continue to go back to the same suppliers? I believe it is because we receive excellent customer service. As customers, we like to feel special. We want the provider to pay attention to our needs. I like when people remember me, when we have a relationship. As I frequent the many shops I learn about the owners, and they learn about my likes and dislikes.
The number one priority of every establishment is to train our staff on the “rules” of customer service.
- Be a Good Listener- Take the time to listen and identify your customers’ needs by asking questions. Listen to their words, the tone of voice, body language, and most importantly, how they feel. Do not make assumptions, thinking you know what the customer wants. Effective listening and undivided attention are particularly important to customers and can often diffuse and irate customer and turn them into a lifelong customer.
- Make Customers Feel Important and Appreciated. Thank them every time you get a chance. Often a simple thank you will suffice. If you are looking for a nice gift for them, check out our online store of every promotional item you can think of. Coffee mugs, squishy balls and chocolates can make anyone feel appreciated. http://onestoppromoandapparel.com/
- Appreciate the Power of a simple word “Yes”. Always look for ways to help your customers. When they have a request never say no outright, instead say, “I would be happy to look into that for you and see how we can take care of this.” You didn’t say you could do it, you simply said you would look into it. People appreciate that you are trying to help them. If you are confidant in your staff, give them a little power to rectify certain situations on their own. You can set guidelines on what they can take care of and what needs to come to you.
- Learn How to Apologize. When something goes wrong, apologize. It’s easy and customers like it. The customer may not always be right, but the customer must always win. Deal with problems immediately and let customers know what you have done. Make it simple for customers to complain. As much as we dislike complaints, these can be used as training exercises, teach your staff what went wrong and how it can be prevented in the future. Even if your customers is having a bad day, go out of your way to make them feel comfortable.
- Treat Employees Well. This is the most valuable lesson. Your employees are the face of your company and often the first and only thing your customers see and hear. Appreciation stems from the top. Treat your employees how you want them to treat customers. Find ways to let them know how important they are. Treat your employees with respect and chances are they will have a higher regard for customers. Treating customers and employees well is equally important.
Ask yourself why you frequent certain stores, what makes them special? Often times the answer will be the staff. The staff will truly cares about what they are doing and will reflect in how they treat you. They want to ensure that every detail is taken care of. If an issue arises, you know it will be taken care of.
When I used to work in a restaurant I was given a copy of the following poem. It has always stuck with me. I believe it is valuable for everyone to read. Unfortunately, I do not know who wrote it. But it is very helpful.
I’m the person who asks: “How long is the wait?”
You tell me ten minutes…. but it gets very late
I’m the person who sees: The whole staff loiters
While my waitress does everything but take my order.
I’m the person who says: “That’s not what I ordered… but its O.K.
I’ll eat it anyway.”
I’m the person who calls: To see if my lost item was found
And all I get is a run around.
I’m the person who leaves: With a slight frown
Cause the hostess is no where to be found.
I’m the person who should: Write a negative letter
But feel it wouldn’t make anything better.
Yes, you might say that I’m a good guy…
That I understand that you kind of try.
But, please read on and you will see…
That there’s another side of me.
I’m the person who never comes back because of something you tend
Powerful words. Are you lacking in the customer service department? Are your employees building relationships with your clients? Perhaps they should be. With the way, the economy is going do you want to continue to keep trying to get new clients? I have often heard that it is more expensive to seek out new clients than it is to just keep your current ones happy. Build relationships with your clients, take care of their needs and they will not go elsewhere.