They say that your business is as good as your customers perceive it to be. Customers are driven by what they think about a particular business or service irrespective of what the actual situation is. Therefore; one of the most important and effective customer service tools is ‘Customers Perception’ which can effectively used to check and correct the overall health of the service being provided.
You need to be proficient in your service and should have given ample examples through the standards of service that your business maintains in order to ensure that the customers have a positive perception about your services. This goes a long way in deciding the fate of your existence of being there in the market.
Your service offerings might have top of the line tangible offerings but they are not sufficient to drive your guests in having a positive perception of what you are doing. In addition to these so called top of the line look and feel features which boast of providing excellent and comfortable experience; some very simple and non tangible touch points do in fact go a long way in deciding the kind of experience that a customer has while dealing you.
These non tangible touch points of guests experience can be as simple as the way your employees interact or behave with the customers. Employee behavior is the single most important factor which has the potential of being the deciding factor in this entire gamut of effective customer service.
An employee with warm and gracious behavior and blessed with a customer helping bent of mind will be able to win more loyal guests for the business as compared to a substantially learned and senior employee who does not have customer service orientation. The impact can be such that even when irate or dissatisfied customers come across such exceptionally warm behavior employees they continue to do business with the company despite their bad experience which they tend to then term as a one off incident and move on.
Small gestures like being courteous, friendly, and attentive and being responsive win half the battle even with dissatisfied customers who have come forward with their complaint. Things like making the customers wait if they have an appointment should be avoided; but there might be cases that such situations cannot be avoided and that a customer has to spend quite some time waiting for his turn which might irritate him.
A simple apology and acceptance of making the customer wait can work wonders with him. Showing your concern to their feelings and thoughts and being responsive to their suggestions will make the customers forget their initial wait.
The manner in which one interacts with their customers matters a lot. Wherever possible ask question which probe the customer in coming out with greater details of their dissatisfied experience. Clarifying the details of the incident during the conversation will show the customers that their suggestions or feedback is welcome and genuine efforts are being made to correct the situation.
Exhibit sense of caring during the conversation to make sure that the customer knows that you sympathize with him and will try everything within your limits to make him happy. Do not be afraid to pose hypothetical questions to the customer and ask what he would have done had he been in your shoes or what take does the other person have of the whole incident. This helps you in gathering information and insight into what the customer would expect or for that matter another way of handling the situation which presumably might be a better way after all.
Respond to customers queries. Even if you have not been able to find a resolve to the customers inputs; let them know that you are working on the matter and will come up with a solution or exact picture in due course of time. A customer should not have a feeling that they have logged in their complaint and no one is concerned with what they have to share as feedback.
Deliver what you promise. If you say; you better fulfill it. Never ever make a promise or propagate a service which you cannot provide or half provide. The customers will lose confidence in you and no matter how good your product might be; there will be no takers for it.
Do it the right way. Going overboard in pleasing the customer is as dangerous as under delivering your promises. One should know how to do the things in the correct manner. Over enthusiasm and over excitement in delivering effective service standards might turn the customers off. Maintaining proper balance by doing things the right way should be the name of the game rather than giving the customers an impression of invading their privacy in the garb of customer service.
All these pointers are very simple and with experience professionals should share these thoughts and situations with their teams so that they can inculcate these in their daily interactions with their customers. What this will end up in doing is that the customers will perceive your service as genuine and worthwhile and will keep on continuing with their relationship with you.
Always remember “word of mouth publicity is the best and most potent form of publicity.” It does not need deep pockets but needs constant and consistent effort and hard work.
By Andrew Clapton