Customer service is a pretty hot topic and can make or break your business. Consumers have little patience for lousy customer service and easily get tired of waiting in long lines, trying to get a live person on the line, going through an interrogation to return something or trying to communicate through a language barrier.
If you provide them with a simple, efficient, pleasant experience they will revisit your business over and over. More importantly, they will tell everyone they know!
There are three secrets to good customer service, the first one we’re going to conquer is knowing exactly what YOU want.
You are the captain of the ship and the visionary for the future of your business, so you need to have a clearly defined plan for your business and that includes customer service. There are three main goals you need to consider:
- It needs to be easy for your customers to do business with you. You can do this with advertised discounts, kiosks, your website and other technology based programs to help them shop.
- Doing business with you needs to be a warm and pleasant experience. Your staff has to be knowledgeable, approachable, warm and patient. Your customers need to feel like they are getting a good value for their time and money. Perceived value goes beyond the price of the products and extends to their shopping experience. Make certain your team is cross-trained if you sell in multiple product lines.
- Change your mind set and ask yourself “How can I NOT afford to do these things?” This shouldn’t be a question of expenses, but making and keep happy customers. A motivated customer service team can become a revenue generating profit center with proper planning and execution.
Which these thoughts in mind you also need to take a few things into consideration when deciding on the actual programs and standards you’ll put into place.
- Develop the customer service vision with your staff.
- Connect your incentive programs and bonuses directly to customer service.
- Monitor the level of customer service your staff is delivering & provide coaching.
- Teach your customer service staff to cross sell, upsell and down sell.
- Create visual management that has everyone focused on the goals.
Now, that you know what you want you can start thinking about how to meet those wants and create a positive customer service experience.
PS. Do not leave this blog until you have a plan of action!
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Don Vanpool … AKA “The King of Cash”