As a customer you remember the exceptional and horrible customer service you receive and share both experiences with everyone. These are reasons why customer service is a huge part of any job, even if you don’t come in contact with customers on a daily basis. Since this week is Customer Service Week, I decided to help you out with my top 9 customer service tips:
- Go the Extra Mile: While the Customer may not always be right, with the ability to blog about poor service, bad food, or just about anything these days, it is important to make sure customers are completely satisfied. This means going the extra mile, and doing everything you can to say yes. If someone asks where something is in the store, walk them to it and try to answer any further questions they may have. However, don’t make a promise you can’t keep, but let them know you will do everything you can to help them.
- Greet and Welcome Customers: By greeting and welcoming customers to your establishment you establish good rapport. If you ask customers if you can help them with anything to begin with, you will save yourself the hassle of trying to help an impatient, angry customer later, and get rid of the awkwardness of them trying to get your attention. However, make sure you give them space, suffocating customers with enthusiastic help when all they wish is to figure it out themselves typically has negative effects.
- Know Your Customers: If you work at a place that gets lots of repeat customers, try to learn their names, or at least show that you recognize them. If someone always comes in and orders a nonfat soy latté every morning, ask them if they want their usual rather than them feel unrecognized and having to tell you every time.
- Know How to Handle Customer Complaints: Learn your company’s policies about complaints and unhappy customers, often times they dictate how you handle situations or tell you who you should direct them to instead. Sometimes you cannot solve all complaints; however, giving these customers your attention may be all they really need. Remember to always remain calm during these situations, getting angry and worked up will only cause a bigger scene and draw other customers’ attention.
- Listen to Your Customers: Make sure you listen and understand what your customers need, be part of the conversation appropriately and ask questions if you do not understand. There is nothing more frustrating as a customer than having to repeat yourself after realizing you were not being listened to. Also, if you cannot answer a question they have, make sure to find someone else who can or figure out the answer yourself.
- Know How to Apologize: It can be hard, especially with rude customers, but apologizing could help you keep a customer. Again, customers may not always be right, but recognizing a problem will satisfy them.
- Treat Employees and Coworkers Well: Make sure to treat those you work with well, and as you wish to be treated by your boss. Employees are likely to treat customers the way they are being treated as well, so happy employees and coworkers mean happy customers.
- Sometimes our customers become our future employers or a potential connection. I know someone who has direct experience with this…when she was in college she worked at Starbucks and since there were many repeat customers, the customers got to know her and her work ethic. One customer gave my friend her business card and said that my friend would be excellent in banking and would give her a referral if she were interested. Just demonstrates that everyone is a potential employer!
- We are All Customers: At some point in time we are all customers, thus when giving customer service to others think about how you would want to be treated in the same situation. Picture yourself on the other side of a malfunctioning product and how frustrated you would be, then picture how much happier you would be if someone went the extra mile for you.
Posted by Sami Kerzel, Career Services Assistant