Everywhere you turn, there is someone with a horror story about customer service. Any businessperson who doesn’t believe that good customer relations are the key to success will not be around long. Treat people well, and they will continue to come back. Treat them poorly, and they will go elsewhere.
When people have a bad experience, they usually leave without saying why. When the waiter is rude, you don’t go back to that restaurant. And you rarely tell the owner what went wrong.
However, when the name of that restaurant comes up in conversation, chances are good that you will tell other people more than they wanted to know about your unfortunate experience. If the incident was bad enough, you won’t wait for an excuse to speak up. You’ll create one, and the people you tell will pass your story on.
Offering quality customer service is simply a matter of good manners and basic courtesy. It means smiling at the customer and making eye contact, not just putting your hand out for the money while chatting on your cell phone with a friend. Simply put, focus on the customer.
Hold the door for people coming into your business. Rise when someone enters your office. See that people are comfortable if they have to wait. Offer a cup of coffee or something to read. Having Wi-Fi available is a must these days. Some doctors’ offices have even installed televisions in their exam rooms so patients can pass the time watching their favorite shows.
Listen to your customers when they have a problem and sympathize. Take responsibility for what goes wrong if even you don’t feel it was your fault.
When people feel valued, they will come back. If they sense that you could care less about them or their needs, they will look around until they find someone who does care. It may take a while; but when it happens, your customer is history.
It is always easier to keep current customers than to try to find new ones. Use the same customer service strategies for everyone, and you will see your business and your bottom line grow. You can learn more about customer service in my book Manners That Sell!
Hire Lydia to work with your staff to improve customer service and employee relations through the use of those priceless and often over-looked soft skills called manners. Lydia is the “unstuffy” business etiquette expert who helps individuals and organizations add the polish that builds profits. We’re talking about your bottom line here.
Since 1996, countless people have benefited from her wisdom through keynotes, seminars and conference breakout sessions. Her Southern charm and sense of humor have made her a sought-after speaker and consultant.
Based in Savannah, Georgia, Lydia is available for national, regional and local speaking and training engagements. She has suitcase; will travel.