Transforming the Customer Experience

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Avoid Saying “NO”

In a world where everyone is tired of hearing what they can’t do, try rephrasing your objective into what you CAN do.  Customers don’t want to hear that they can’t get what they want or that they don’t fit into a certain category.  They want to know how you will satisfy their needs.

To keep your customers satisfied, train yourself and your employees to find ways to tell your customers how you can meet their need.  Tell them what you can do to help them.  It may not be the way that the customer originally expected to get help from you, but if it meets their need in their best interest, you have all but won them over.

It is almost impossible to use the word NO in a positive way.  Turn this to your advantage by enabling your staff to be creative and focus on alternative solutions to solve the problems of the customers.

Treating Your Customers as Guests

The complaint from so many consumers these days is that they are feeling like nothing more than a number.  Consumers want to feel that they are valued and appreciated.

There are a few and extremely easy ways to go about showing consumers that you value them and their business.

Greet them as you would a visitor into your home.   When you prepare for friends to come to your home, you go through a set pattern.  You make sure that your home is straightened up and looks inviting.  You have prepared certain foods and drinks for your friends to enjoy.  You have made sure that everything necessary for the enjoyment is available.  If it is a dinner gathering, you have set the table, prepared the food, have beverages ready, etc.  For game night, you have the game selection handy, tables set up for people to play, paper and pencils ready for scoring, etc.    When your friends come to the door, you certainly wouldn’t say “Let me know if you need anything.”  Your greeting would be more along the lines of “Hi Susan!  I’m so glad that you are here.  We’ve been looking forward to having you over.”

When you have customers come into your place of business, the same steps should be followed.  Make sure that all areas that your customers see are straightened up and cleaned.  This may involve constant attention throughout the day, but it will make an  impact.  Make sure that you and your employees are dressed professionally and in accordance to your business and job functions.  It takes less than one second for someone to make a first impression and it is often based on visual cues.  Your credibility is often influenced by your appearance.  Greeting your customers should be genuine.  They need to know that you appreciate your business.  Tailor your greetings to your business.  A few examples are “Welcome to (XYZ Restuarant).  We are so glad to have you here.  How many of you will be joining us tonight?”  “Welcome to (XYZ Store).  My name is ____________ and I’d like to help you out in any way that I can.  Is there something specific that you are looking for or would you like to look around for a bit?”

The point is to be WELCOMING to your customers.  Your attitude will speak volumes.  Customers pick up on sincerity right away and they will know when someone genuinely wants to help them or not. 

When the customer is leaving your place of business, thank them for coming in.  A GENUINE statement of “I’m glad we were able to help you today.  We look forward to seeing you again soon.” speaks volumes of the dedication you have to making your consumer feel valued.

The term “Customer Service” is rapidly being replaced by the term “Guest Relations” today in the hospitality industry.  They recognized that customers want to be more than a number and to feel like they belong.  If you value your customers and show them this, they will return to you and refer you to their friends and associates.

Get to Know Your Customer’s Use for Your Product or Service

One of the easiest traps that businesses fall into today is that they have a product or service to sell and think that customers will fit into their mold.

However, they have it completely backwards.

Consumers today don’t want to fit into anyone’s mold and want services and products that will fit their needs, not the other way around.

When addressing product and service components, ask your customers what they think.  Ask them what they look for in the service or product.  How will they use it?  How will it make their life easier?  How long do they plan on using it?  What will they accomplish with it?  

Your customer is your best focus group.  By asking them, you will find out what services or features will be the most utilized and which can be eliminated.

By doing this simple research, your product or service will fit the needs of your target audience through the most candid and direct input resource available – Your Customer!

Welcome!

Welcome to the world of Customer Service Excellence!  

Today’s customers are more demanding and savvy than ever before.  They expect people to deliver what they promise, and to deliver it with a smile.  They want to feel part of a team toward a common goal.  Customers want providers and suppliers to take care of the situation and provide them exactly what they need.

With Customer Service becoming a lost art in the business world, businesses are losing customers without even knowing why.  A recent study quoted that when a customer decides to leave a particular business, dissatisfaction with their customer experience is the catalyst 70% of the time.

This blog is designed to help businesses and organizations recognize the direct correlation between service excellence and increased profits.

Please post your comments or related anecdotes on the posts to add your viewpoints.

Stories and personal experiences are the best ways to demonstrate how customer service can make or break a business relationship.

Again, welcome!

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