Few things (if any) are more important in today’s business climate than good quality customer service. It’s what sets us apart from everyone else! As someone who works in services, I recognize the fact that I only have a few minutes (or seconds) to make an impression on a customer. Those few moments however, can form someone’s opinion about an entire company.
Of course price is always going to be a key factor in whether or not a customer chooses to do business with someone, but it’s the service that will keep them coming back each and every time. Think of some of the major retail outlets that we all shop at. Is there one you avoid going to? Do you prefer one over the other? If you had to explain why this was the case, I’m guessing that it would have something to do with the way you were treated in these establishments. Plain and simple, not enough attention is given to the basics of customer service. Let’s take a look at a few and maybe you will see what I mean.
- Smile. Even when you’re on the phone. People can hear it in your voice if you are having a rough day. And no one wants to deal with a grump. Plus, smiles are contagious!
- Say Please and Thank You. Ok, these seem pretty obvious, but I can’t tell you how many times a week I go through a drive through or past a checkout counter and my stuff just gets thrust at me without a word. And by the way, “thanks” doesn’t count.
- Admit your mistakes. Sure, you’re always going to have those people who don’t have patience for mistakes. But believe me, it’s going to be better in the long run if you tell them up front that you goofed up, rather than having them figure it out for themselves. And if they do figure out your mistakes first…
- Apologize. Saying I’m sorry can go a long way too. It shows that you do actually care. Just don’t let the record skip on this one. Saying sorry over and over again, can get kind of annoying.
- Ask if there is anything else that you can do for them. Just another way to show that you are there for them. You never know, maybe they do want to order desert, or they may need batteries to go with that toy. It doesn’t have to always be about “selling more product,” it can just be a nice offer to make.
- Be on time. I know, another easy one. But think about it. If you aren’t even there, how in the world can you give any kind of service? Remember your meetings and appointments! No one likes to wait.
I realize that there are only a few key points listed here, but as always I’m interested in hearing what you have to say as well. What’s important to you? What kinds of things do you look for when you’re out shopping or eating?