Achieve Excellent Customer Service
Do you want to have excellent customer service? Of course, you do! Achieving excellent customer service starts with building from the ground up. Think of the adage, “You reap what you sow.” If we plant apple seeds in the ground, we cannot expect an orange tree to emerge.
Applying this to your business; how your store manager and other employees act will become perceived as a standard for your customer service. For excellent customer service, think first; what am I sowing? What example are my employees setting for each other and my customers?
Many owners and operators want to provide the best customer service, but there’s a defining line between typical customer service and excellent customer service that keeps customers coming back. We can think all day long, but if we do not act or change what we do, nothing will happen.
Are you training your employees regularly? If the answer is yes, but you still lose customers, it may be time to make management and training changes before it’s too late.
Studies provide these critical numbers:
- One dissatisfied customer tells 10 people about their experience. (Hal Mather, The Performance Advantage)
- For every unsatisfied customer who complains, 26 other unhappy customers say nothing. Of those 26, 24 will not come back. (U.S. Office of Consumer Affairs)
We like to assume that long-term, loyal customers keep coming back, but that’s not always the case. Service matters, as customer surveys prove. Please note that we’re not talking about gaining new customers, but rather about keeping current customers. No doubt you think about it all the time, but think again. How can you provide excellent customer service that keeps your customers coming back? Determine what separates you!
After you determine what makes you different, make certain that whatever that is, is always implemented and clearly communicated in your store. Let your customers know what you do that’s different and advertise it.
Remember, excellent customer service is not based on how your management team feels at the moment. It must be implemented 100 percent of the time. Commit to it, and put a guarantee on it to provide your customers with much-needed security and trust.
Let’s think of football teams who lose games in spite of several outstanding players in important positions. You can’t win with only a quarterback or only a running back. All team members play valuable roles in our workplace environments, but if they do not feel valuable or are not instructed on what directions to take, they won’t know what plays to run.
Since the coach is as valuable as the players, excellent customer service must start with the coach’s example. The team needs your example to exceed expectations, as well as proper instructions, training and coaching.
I would like to end by referencing a favorite book and writer. It’s “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen R. Covey, and if you haven’t read it, I recommend that you do. In the book, it speaks about a personal mission statement: