Anywhere you go, if you ask folks to share a time they experienced poor customer service, the stories will flow like the Mississippi River. Not only are such experiences all too common, but they tend to stick in a person’s mind like two fingers accidently super-glued together. Ouch.
As the stories unfurl, phrases like these will fill the air…
- “They were soooo rude!”
- “I was completely ignored!”
- “They were absolutely no help at all!”
- “Not one person cared about my situation!”
- “That was the most unfriendly business ever. I’ll never go back!”
In contrast to the many bad customer service scenarios forever stashed in a person’s mind, most people can only come up with one, two at the most, really exceptional examples of customer service that will be forever etched in their minds.
These retellings will include expressions such as…
- “They treated me like family!”
- “I couldn’t be happier with how well my issue was handled!”
- “Those folks were totally nice and helpful. They fixed me right up.”
- “I felt as if my needs were their number one priority.”
- “They’re the best at what they do. You can bet I’ll be back!”
If you think customer service is a concern for the retail sector only, stop that faulty thinking right now. Regardless of the type of business your company engages in, a focus on service is crucial. No business can afford to let customer service take a back seat to what they may deem as more pressing issues, say, product development or marketing.
There are no more pressing issues than delivering a remarkable experience to each and every person who comes in contact with your brand.
The key to excelling in the area of servicing people is to realize that customer service can’t “live” in just one department. Across the entire scope of the company, involve every employee in meeting needs and making lasting positive impressions. This “all hands on deck” approach is one of the best ways to strengthen your brand.
When you train your employees to make positive people interactions a priority, you’ll quickly gain a reputation for delivering satisfaction. These strategies are key to a winning customer service focus.
#1: Approach every customer interaction from an “it’s about them, not us” mindset. That means “We’re shorthanded today” or “The manager’s on vacation” sound exactly like what they are, excuses that are not the customer’s problem. Plan in advance to cover all bases, so the customer experience doesn’t suffer.
#2: Try to view the situation from the client’s perspective. How would you want to be treated? What resolution would you hope to come to in the end?
#3: Insist on active listening that incorporates eye contact and a smile. As you allow the customer to relay their questions fully, explain the situation, or to express a complaint, be “present” and monitor facial expressions.
Most companies understand that making customers feel valued is at the very least a good idea. But those who truly “walk the customer service walk,” know the value in extending exceptional treatment to vendors and suppliers, service and repair technicians, the UPS delivery person, the city workers, the businesses who share the hall/building/block/loading dock. I think you get the picture.
But why all the fuss? Will making a positive impression on the guy delivering packages every day matter? Oh, yes, it will. Because whether you experience it personally or witness poor customer service, it leaves a lasting impact. When the repair technician needs the product or services of the company who treated him like he was a bother, said company will not get his business. Neither will he encourage family, friends, neighbors, or co-workers to patronize the place.
Word of mouth will always be a valued marketing tool. People will share their positive experiences and then become loyal customers because of those encounters—that’s just the way it works. The thing is, people will talk even more about negative experiences. And then make a point not to become a repeat customer. That’s just the way it works.
Any efforts put toward servicing and nurturing the people connections associated with your company will pay dividends.
At B. Loehr Staffing we place the highest priority on servicing the needs of our clients. We take the time to understand our clients, provide top quality service and develop innovative solutions. That is how we can consistently refer the right talent to fill your staffing needs. Contact our team of specialists today. Great customer service has kept us in business since 1898.