Customer service is a critical part of our business and should be treated that way every day. A service department’s best asset is its customers and should be the first and last thing a manager thinks about on a daily basis. Without customers our business wouldn’t exist. When you create a good customer service atmosphere not only does it help your business, but customers will their family and friends to you.
Here’s a few things to look for in your service department.
- Be a good listener. Take time to ask the customer about their needs and listen carefully to their answers. Take note of their body language and tone of voice. Make sure you know what is important to the customer. Customer service isn’t about how much you can talk it’s about how much you listen.
- Make the customer feel important. Use their name and find ways to compliment them, but make sure to be sincere. Sincerity creates trust and makes the customer feel good. A customer who trusts us is usually going to be a repeat customer.
- Exceed the customer’s expectations. This is one way to rise above the competition. Think about what you can give to the customer that they can’t get somewhere else. Find ways to do something for the customer that is unexpected. Follow up with the customer just to show your appreciation. The more ways you find to exceed the customers expectations, the more reasons you give them to do business with you.
- Know your product. In order to give good customer service you need to know your product inside and out. Roll play the answers to common questions a customer may ask, and practice them daily. Does your customer know the product better than you? They shouldn’t.
- Don’t make short term decisions. Things may not go right every day, but don’t sell your process short. Short term decisions can cause long term effects. If you have a sound process consider looking at the people doing the process. Do you have the right people? Are the right people in the right place? The right process with the wrong people will fail every time.
- Apologize to the customer. Even if it’s not your fault apologize anyway. An apology for the customers inconvenience can go a long way in smoothing out bad feelings. Follow up with the customer to make sure you didn’t lose them. There’s never a good reason to lose a customer.
- Do what you say you’re going to do. There is nothing more upsetting to a customer than to have a promise broken.
- Be friendly. So many times during the day we get busy and don’t realize we are ignoring the customer. We may be looking at the computer, or speaking to another associate and not realize a guest is waiting. Be aware of your surroundings and acknowledge the customer promptly. Customers will wait, but they won’t stand for being ignored. Always smile, its good customer service and it makes you feel better. Really!
- Treat your employees like your customers. Employees are internal customers and need your approval regularly. Find ways to show your appreciation and give them feedback on their performance. Treat your employees well and chances are your customer service will improve.
Great customer service isn’t easy. It takes discipline, training and YOU!