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What has to happen to satisfy your customers?

headshot2013Businesses need to be more aware than ever that customer service is vital if they are to retain and attract clients, so it never ceases to amaze me that many still get it wrong.

I blogged recently about my experience in a department store: When I asked an assistant if they stocked other sizes of a dress I liked and her response was “we might do” so I was forced to ask her to find out!

Since then, I have come across numerous examples of poor customer service, one of which I will share here. A friend whose father had died wrote to inform a tour operator, with whom he had been due to travel, of his death. One of their staff rang to confirm cancellation details and then asked to speak to him, so she could confirm he no longer wished to travel!

hand-851208_640Customers are becoming much more demanding with, in some cases, extraordinary expectations. Consumers are increasingly selective as to where and how they spend their money. When companies’ reputations are damaged, the staff will become concerned. But not about the business. They’ll start to keep an eye open for other jobs, and they will become de-motivated. The first thing to suffer? Yes! It’s the customer service.

So here are some tips for getting the most from your staff:

Make customer service training a priority. It isn’t common sense; it’s a highly skilled job.

Remind staff to listen carefully to customers when they visit or call and make sure they can recall the conversation.

Ensure all customer calls are dealt with thoroughly even – in fact especially – if there is a complaint.

Explain to staff why customer relations, and their role in delivering that, are so important

Small tweaks in customer service delivery can make all the difference.

Consider this scenario: a well-known mortgage lender announced that they were about to close all their high street branches So what did the manager one branch do? Did she sit about, worrying about her job, waiting for the calls from worried customers? No, she got on the phone to them and reassured them that their current or pending mortgages would be safe. Now that was real customer service.

We are collecting great and the bad customer service stories for our next Study Skills Customer Service Made Easy workbook.  Please share your experiences and if it’s used we’ll acknowledge your contribution and give you a free copy of the book  email me here

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