Matthew and I are firm believers in the power of customer service so you can imagine our consternation when we received not one, not two but three complaints last week! Two of the complainants were very nice and appreciated that we were understaffed and just wanted to make us aware of the situation in case it had an adverse effect on our business. They know we always put the customer as our number one. We do our best to put the customer at the centre of everything we do, from creating the best shopping experience to ordering in special orders to delivering their shopping for them. The third complainant was most annoyed though and threatened to take her business elsewhere.
We have Matthew’s girlfriend Cissy back in this week as an additional member of staff as we know the mistakes happened due to staff illnesses and not having enough people to cover. However, we’re determined these types of complaints won’t happen again. After all, customers tell something like 7 times the number of people about a negative experience than positive ones.
I’m currently looking into sending every member of staff on a new or refresher customer service course. We need to be operating what Feargal Quinn calls the ‘Boomerang Principle’ ensuring that each and every customer returns to us again and again.
Ten Tips For Good Customer Service
- Listen to customers, have eye contact, ensure you understand what it is they are looking for. Also listen to the non-customer and work out why he or she decided NOT to buy from you.
- Have a comment box for feedback and take action on the comments, compliments and criticisms.
- Always be polite – never answer back! Use the person’s name if you know it.
- Don’t chat away to friends or other colleagues. Give the customer your full attention.
- Respond as soon as possible to queries.
- Go the extra mile if a customer is looking for something in particular. When they thank you, don’t say ‘no bother’ as that suggests it didn’t involve any extra work. Smile and say ‘you are very welcome and we look forward to seeing you again soon’.
- If you make a mistake, admit it, apologise and put it right. Learn from people’s complaints and thank them for their feedback.
- Reward loyal customers e.g. a loyalty card, a discount, a little extra for free – make them feel special
- Put yourself in their shoes – Jump across the counter and look at your shop from a customer’s perspective.
- Smile 🙂
Having good customer skills is one of the most important aspects of business and it is important that it is as good as it possibly can be. We had an internal shop recap on the main points as listed above, however, every member of staff will complete an entire or refresher customer service course.
Have you anything to add to our ten tips for good customer service?