Five Easy Ways to Improve Your Customer Service
Today we have another great post from Nate Miller, who is a part-time guest-blogger. Make sure to follow him on his business intelligence blog.
While in recent years it has had fewer visitors than London, Rome or even Bangkok, Paris remains a top tourist destination. Many first time visitors will be curious to discover if that old cliché about rude Parisians is true, particularly when it comes to shop assistants and waiters, although a huge amount of this is dependent on a customers attitudes and expectations. Many people don’t mind the sometimes brusque service on offer in Paris, which is prompt and efficient, although it’s often service without a smile. Some, however, find it so different than what they’re used to, that they actually find it rude, which is where the Paris cliché originates from. To win over visitors, the city authorities have produced a brochure for those who work in the service industries, entitled, Do You Speak Tourist? The brochure is full of handy tips like remembering to smile and wish customers a nice day when they leave, as well as the preferences of various nationalities (smiling for Americans, calling British people by their first names). Whether the brochure wins over the hearts and minds of visitors remains to be seen, but it can be argued that any attempt to improve levels of customer service is a good thing. Fortunately most people who are interested in high levels of customer service don’t have to implement a scheme across a whole city, but instead just have to concentrate on their own business. So what are some easy ways to improve customer service within your business?
This one might seem like a no brainer, but it’s as simple as giving a customer a smile and friendly greeting. It’s possible for overkill, and while customers want to feel important, you can easily lay it on a bit too thick- there’s no need to greet a customer like they’re a long lost friend. Simply greet customers how you would want to be greeted in their situation.
Many businesses set up a benchmark that a telephone must be answered by the third ring. This is perhaps not always possible in smaller businesses, but customers will appreciate you applying a sense of urgency to picking up the phone. The same goes for replying to emails, Facebook postings and Tweets.
While many customers seem to be laid back, not everyone wants to be talked to so informally. Avoid calling someone “mate” or “buddy” and try to use their name. You don’t have to enunciate each word like a Shakespearean actor, but speak clearly and avoid too many colloquialisms.
Depending on the nature of your business, you might not always be at a particular location to serve a customers needs, so make sure you have a smart phone or tablet that allows you to stay in touch using all electronic mediums while on the go. If customers often have difficulty getting through to your office via the phone, consider running your phone systems through a Voice over Internet Protocol, which doesn’t get congested in the same way as a landline.
Keep Your Staff Happy
Your staff aren’t robots there to do your bidding. Certainly, they’re paid a wage in return for performing their duties, but
your customers are more likely to receive service with a smile if your staff are confident and happy in their roles, and this is all due to being in a positive work environment.