Much has been said and written about the “secret to customer service”. Do this, don’t do that. Customers want this and don’t like it when you do that. Many offer some great, and probably very useful, ideas that will fix the issues of service. Well, I don’t know about “the secret” but here are my rules to end bad customer service.
1 ► If you can’t relate in a pleasant professional manner with people that want to give you their money, then maybe the customer service industry is not for you.
It seems so simple yet so many members of the customer service community just can’t get this right.
They don’t seem to get the basic fact that the service of others is what it’s all about.
A phone call is money. A customer walking in your door is money. A mailed request for more information is money. All we need to do is provide the product or service the customer is asking about. If we can’t do that with a smile, a pleasant demeanor and with a welcoming tone, it’s time to move on.
2 ► NEVER let your customer leave without asking if there is anything else you may do for them. Always take that extra step.
Many customer interactions are brief, only a payment made across the cashier’s counter and items placed in a bag. But there are those that are extended with multiple opportunities for questions to be asked and answers to be given.
Throughout the interaction, the customer may have many unanswered questions pertaining to item size, color, texture or flavor, just to name a few. The unspoken question is the one that is most uncertain. Click To Tweet
We as service providers must be a fountain of knowledge and continually draw-out the customer’s questions and provide a concrete understanding or our product or service. Without that we shouldn’t be surprised when the customer’s expectations are not met.
3 ► Let your customer know that you are there to serve them, to take care of their needs, to make sure they are completely satisfied with their purchase.
A customer is not concerned about our tasks or responsibilities, nor should they be. Their concerns are finite; take care of my needs promptly, provide me with the product or service I ask for and do so for a fair and reasonable price.
We must voice our intentions up front and alleviate any concerns the customer may have as the start of the interaction.
4 ► Always acknowledge the children, involve them in the decision making and find a way to make them feel part of the process.
One thing is for certain; children disdain shopping for anything that doesn’t immediately benefit them. Temper tantrums, hiding, running through the store and showing their “mad face” are telltale signs of a child removed from the “enjoyment of shopping”.
The store clerk who is wise enough, and understands the child’s continual need for stimuli, will reap the rewards of a parent now free to shop unburdened by their child’s outbursts. And free to spend more.
5 ► Anticipate the needs of your guest, don’t leave anything to chance.
“Oh, it will be fine. I think she said that. Are you sure he wanted it like this?” We all have heard, or made, statements like these.
Just as failing to plan = planning to fail, we must think like the customer, our guest, and… walk through the steps of service to ensure as smooth an experience as possible. Click To Tweet
When there is a breakdown, and you know there will be, we have already planned for it and can readily put into action the best alternative possible.
6 ► You are a professional, be proud of your job, your career and most of all be proud of yourself as a person. Your customer service skills will be an extension of your pride.
It is said an animal can sense fear. Similarly, a customer can sense the mood of an unmotivated employee, one not concerned about doing his best or looking out for the benefit of the customer.
Is this caused by a dead-end job, working for a failed boss or not being appreciated at work? Usually, yes. If you like your job but feel you can or should be “better than this”, the first step to realizing your dream is taking pride in a job well done and knowing you are on the road to fulfillment.
Stand tall, shoulders square and “look ‘em in the eye”. I am “only” a dishwasher now but I will be the best dishwasher here while looking for another opportunity. I am “only” a waiter and I will be the best waiter I can be while going to school to advance my career.
Be proud of what you do and who you are. Good things await you.
To be continued here in ►Part 2…
In the meanwhile, do you have any ‘rules’ to add to this list? ➤Leave a comment below and add to the discussion, thanks.
Copyright © 2017 Steve DiGioia