No matter what business you are in, if you don’t have customers, you don’t have a business. You want to build a strong relationship with your customers that keeps them coming back. Afterall, customers do business with people they know, like and trust. Let’s ensure they don’t just “like” you but that they LOVE you. Many people believe that building relationships with customers is limited to those team members that actually interact with clients; be that your sales reps, customer service reps or receptionist/phone reps. When in fact your exceptional customer service activities are everyone’s responsibility.
Chances are you have eaten at a restaurant, so let’s use that example to demonstrate just how much every staff member matters when you are building exceptional customer service.
- In order for a server to give you good service he is counting on the hostess to seat you in his section at an optimal time. Seating three different parties of ten in his section at one time will almost ensure poor service.
- The chef must prepare the food to your liking in a timely matter. Which means the sous chef must have food prepped and ready to cook.
- The food needs to be fresh. Someone must purchase food, and have it stored correctly. The maintenance staff must have equipment in good working order.
- There are numerous staff members responsible for providing a clean environment including the tables, dishes, floors, bathrooms. Even clean windows matter in an overall customer experience.
Now think of your business. Who is in the background that can affect your customers overall experience? Your staff in the stockroom, the mailroom, the maintenance department all have role in a customer’s satisfaction.
Many customer service horror stories start with an angry or disgruntled customer and end with a staff member that does not know customer service best practices and how to respond effectively.
Recently my sister went out to dinner at her favorite restaurant. She was pleased with her meal and the overall experience so tipped her server 20%. Before she even drove home, she received a call from her credit card company asking if she had authorized a 38% tip on her meal. When she called the restaurant, the manager said “I’m sure that was an honest mistake, the server must have hit the wrong key.” No in fact he would have had to hit two wrong keys. The manager was unwilling to correct the issue or look into the matter any further. As you can imagine this was not okay with my sister. Unfortunately, it took her calling their corporate office, being transferred several times and talking to numerous people to have them investigate further. It turned out that the waiter had crossed off her $6 tip and wrote in $10. The restaurant did end up refunding her the entire amount of her meal and the tip. If this had happened to you, would you eat there again? My sister has decided she will not return to that particular restaurant. They made her jump through too many hoops to correct their poor service. Had the manager looked into her concern right away she would feel very different.
Customer service best practices include empowering every team member on your staff to do what is in the best interest of the client. Ensure they know just how important their job is to your client’s overall experience. At your next staff meeting, map out your customers journey and have each staff member share how their job effects that journey. This will ensure an excellent customer experience. And when your team members see how they are all connected to the companies success it will also build team cohesiveness.