The economic world is getting increasingly volatile — there’s cost and demand sensitiveness, shifting consumer demographics, mounting revenue and profit concerns on an everyday basis. Top it with the ever difficult exercise of getting and retaining clients, and you are staring at an abyss. Announcing special schemes, giving freebies, offering discounts is one way to keep your cash registers ringing. However, what goes a long way in creating a good/continuous customer base is great customer service.
Your business can create tremendous amount of goodwill in the market if you and your staff make extra efforts to ensure that your clients get a good experience while buying/using your products or services. Conversely, you will be missing a trick if you don’t provide excellent customer service to close a deal, to win repeat business and to build customer loyalty.
We all know how long it can get to get new customers, and the sad truth is that poor service can lose them very quickly!!! So Beware!! Get yourself a few lessons on good Customer Service and train your employees too. Identify the need of quality customer service to your employees and explain to them that customer service is oftentimes the only communication between the company and the customer.
Here’s how you can go about emphasizing and training your staff:
1. Drill in the right Attitude: Emphasise with your employees the need for listening, building rapport and empathy with the customers. Tell them how a positive, energetic, enthusiastic with a ‘can-do attitude’ always proves to be immensely beneficial when handling customers first hand. Ask your employees to put themselves in their customer’s shoes and they will know what you are talking about.
2. Explain the businesses value system: It is extremely important that your employees know about your business’s goals, principles, value systems, structure and client base. Brief them well on these so that they know whom to turn to in order to resolve customer complaints.
3. Ensure they have the product/service skills: Complete knowledge of the product/service is a must for your employees. In its absence, your employees will be grappling for help every time there is a customer query. This in turn, will result in your customers losing confidence in your staff and may catapult to losing confidence in your business.
4. Train them in communication skills: While it is important that your employees know your product/services well, it is also extremely important that they should be able to communicate effectively, so that there is no ambiguity in the minds of customers. First impressions make a huge impact. Be sure to establish and communicate clear and measurable standards for this –
a. Answer the phone within three rings;
b. Answer correspondence within 24 hours;
c. Show the customer to a table within a minute of arrival;
d. Take the customer to the right aisle to find the product they’re looking for; e. Offer a hot drink as they arrive at the hair salon etc.
5. Train them in handling Customer Complaints:
This is foremost in a good customer service training plan. Ensure that your employees know those customer complaints should be dealt with empathy and a promise of appropriate resolution within a short time frame.
It is a very good practise to inform the customers the time within which the complaint will be resolved so that the customer is not kept wondering.In case of irate customers, your employees should know how to handle escalations.
Each employee should know the proper steps for dealing with customers in varying situations. Customer Service is making the buying experience worth it for your customers – they buy not just products and services, they pay for the ‘feel’ of it too. Make sure they leave with a smile and good feeling. This will ensure their return. And referral.