Shhh… I Have a Secret

Posted by Steve Robinson on April 26, 2017

A close friend mentioned that he was in a restaurant recently and was astonished at how poor the customer service had been – this was particularly disappointing as it was a good quality restaurant and still relatively new.

This comment coincided with another made to me by a friend who commented that she only ever seems to go to a restaurant 3 times – first to try it out and be pleased, the second time to take others as she has recommended it and after the third she would swear never to go to that restaurant again due mostly to variable food and poor customer service.

You may have a great product, but if the service is poor, consumers will not bother and this can make or break your business. None of us much patience for lousy customer service and easily get tired of waiting for a menu or that first drink you are gasping for. We get fed up trying to get a live person on the line, going through an interrogation to return something or trying to communicate through a language barrier.

Whatever business you run, if you provide your customers with a simple, efficient, pleasant experience they will revisit your business over and over. More importantly, they might tell others how good your business is!

There are a number of secrets to good customer service, the first one is knowing exactly what YOU want.

You are the captain of the ship and the visionary for the future of your business, so you need to have a clearly defined plan for your business and that must include customer service. There are 3 main goals you need to consider:

  1. It needs to be easy for your customers to do business with you. You can do this with help guides, advertised discounts, easy-to-follow prompts, your website and other technology based programmes to help them shop.
  2. Doing business with you needs to be a warm and pleasant experience. Your staff must be knowledgeable, approachable, warm and patient. Regular training is an essential part of investing in your staff’s knowledge. Most importantly, your customers need to feel like they are getting a good value for their time and money. Perceived value goes beyond the price of the products and extends to their entire shopping experience.
  3. You must change your mind set and ask yourself “How can I NOT afford to do these things?” This shouldn’t be a question of expenses, but making and keep happy customers.

With these thoughts in mind, regardless of how big or small your business, you also need to take a few things into consideration when deciding on the actual programmes and standards you’ll put into place.

  • Share your customer service vision with the rest of your staff – make sure they’re on board.
  • Connect your staff incentive programmes and bonuses directly to customer service.
  • Monitor the level of customer service your staff is putting out by regularly surveying your customers.
  • Know when you can ignore what your customers want.
  • Continuously focus on your business goals.

Now, that you know what you want, you can starting thinking about how to meet those wants and create a positive customer service experience.

Remember, if your customers have a good experience of your business, they might tell others how good it was – if they have a bad experience, they absolutely will tell everyone they know about that too!!

If you’re having a hard time deciding on what you want, the tools, resources and coaches in our FREE test drive can help you define the wants and needs of your company in relation to customer service.