Once again, time to discuss how to end bad customer service. Have you followed any of my first 6 rules in Part 1? I hope so, because I know they work. Strap yourself in; here’s Part 2.
7► Be “a person” to your customer, not just “the waiter” or real estate agent or store clerk. Your customer will like a waiter but feel a connection to “a person”.
Scripted conversations can easily turn off most customers. They realize you are not really interested in what you are saying, only that you “have to” say these words or phrases. The side glance or looking down at your notes or body facing away from your customer easily pins you as someone who wants to move onto the next person in line.
They can feel it, they can sense it – you’re not being genuine enough. Greet your customer as yourself, with your own flair and personality. This is where you can make a connection and create a memory.
8► Be a “fountain of knowledge” about your product or service. Your customer deserves nothing less.
I once had a junior waiter that would meet privately each day with our chef to see if there were any “special” vegetables available so he could offer other options in case the customers asked. This led to the chef sourcing different vegetable varietals and finding new ways to pair them with his entrees.
The server was “taken to school” by the chef and learned all he could about the new options, how they were prepared and and even ways the customers can make them at home in a similar fashion as we did at the restaurant!
Needless to say, we started to offer new food combinations and the server made lots of money in tips. I heard that many years later that waiter became the manager of the restaurant.
Product knowledge is key to great service.
9► Put yourself in the shoes of your customer; [Tweet “Would I be happy with the service I provide? If not, how can I expect my customer to be happy?”]
Seems pretty simple, right? But when we take shortcuts or don’t do things as planned or as per our standards, we shouldn’t believe our customers would be happy with what we offer.
When we go out to eat or purchase a product in a retail store, will we be willing to accept shortcuts from them? If not, we shouldn’t do that to our customers.
10► Don‘t “hand off” the upset customer to someone else. Take command of the entire transaction and see it through to the end.
One of the worst things to happen to an upset customer is to be transferred from one employee to another that doesn’t know how, or have the authority to, fix their issue. This just elevates the customer’s frustration to the next level.
When confronted by an upset customer you must take control AND responsibility for the quick resolution. Even if you do not have the authority to “make it right” yourself, you must keep the customer informed of all the steps you, or others, will now take to satisfy the customer.
Then once compete, it is your responsibility to contact the customer at a later time/date to ensure there are happy with the resolution. Then, invite them back!
I have turned around plenty of customers by taking responsibility for a problem – and later, they have gone on to be some of our best long-term customers.
The moral is:[Tweet “A problem today doesn’t mean you lose the customer for tomorrow!”]
11► The needs of the customer will always come before my own.
We all have problems; sickness, financial, family, etc., and so too do our customers. When we come to work our personal issues must be put aside so that all our focus is on the guest.
Their needs come first, not our own. If we lose our focus on the customer we shouldn’t be surprised when they go to our competition.
Example: As revenues dropped, the manager was overheard saying “I guess they cared more for the customer then we did.” Don’t let this happen to you.
Remember: [Tweet “The needs of the customer will always come before my own.”]
12► Make sure the last thing your customer will experience, their exit, is as memorable as their entrance and greeting was.
You greeted your customer warmly, tended to all their needs and surprised them with a special gift or upgrade and basked in the glow of their smile. Great job. Then, when it’s time for this customer to leave, you turn into the employee at the deli counter or bank that shouts “Next in line”.
No, no, this can’t happen. Your customer must be left with the real understanding that you appreciated their business and wish them to return. How do you do this? By showing it.
Assist them with their coat, carry their bags or escort them to their car. You must provide some memorable action that ingrains in their memory how much you care.
It will be well worth this small action but you, and your customer, will reap the rewards!
►Related Post: 12 Rules to End Bad Customer Service – Part 1
Watch my video version of the “12 Rules”…
►Hope you enjoyed my list of 12 Rules to End Bad Customer Service. Feel free to share this post with friends. ➤Leave a comment below and add to the discussion, thanks.
Copyright © 2017 Steve DiGioia