Have you ever walked into a business and just felt an atmosphere of genuine welcome and great connection with the staff? It is an experience that will leave you with a feeling of wanting to come back again, really soon. Change your thought to the opposite side of the coin; can you remember experiencing poor customer service, where you wanted to walk right out the door as soon as you walked in?
“Customer service is the new marketing, it’s what differentiates one business from another” – Jay Baer. Meeting front line workers can make or break customer service experiences. Whilst you expect to have a positive experience in a luxury hotel, quality customer service can be brought into any business.
Tips to Create the Quality Customer Service
- Consider the ambience, flow, and experience from the view of the customer
Does it work from a practical point of view? User interfaces provide clear labels and messaging and provide comfort to the customer. Implement touch-point maps for larger buildings to guide your customers to their destination. This can help to avoid frustrations, delays for appointments and support them on their journey as they use the service. Implement colourful advisory boards in the lobby area. Notices can include special offers, pricing list and promote other businesses in the local area. A copy of the company’s mission statement can be included here too, showing the customer your commitment to them for their business.
- Listen to the customer
Where possible meet their needs before they know what they need. Train staff to provide a service that goes beyond meeting customer expectations. The rewards will be great for both parties – boosting customer retention and referral, and the bottom line. Host frequent measurement meetings to evaluate performance and feedback and continue to improve the service.
- Remember small gestures can really make a big difference
- Emotions play an important part of the user’s experience
Greet customers with a friendly smile. Provide them with your full attention when they enter the building
- Respond promptly to customer feedback
Customers that have a poor experience will typically walk out and tell their family and friends of their experience. At this point the opportunity to resolve the situation is lost. Ensure to ask before they leave for their feedback – asking if they are happy with the service or if they can provide recommendations for improvement
- Employ a mystery shopper
Mystery shoppers engage with your brand on all levels, taking notes on all experiences. Their discerning eye will be more critical than your average customer. The mystery shopper’s feedback can provide you with opportunities for improvement, and suggest processes that can be replaced with another idea or eliminated
- Research your customer to understand their real needs
Customer feedback can be acquired at many stages of the customer’s journey – at the point of sale or by asking them to complete a customer feedback form or to take part in a simple survey.
- Offer reward systems to loyal customers
They will value your token of gratitude and appreciate your goodwill gesture.
Delivery of exceptional, rich user experiences in customer service provides dynamic and interactive processes which create a more credible service. There is added value to the customer in a meaningful way, which will prompt them to promote your service. Similar to front-line staff, customers are powerful advocates for any business – referring new service users, based on their experience. This can save a company time and money, particularly on marketing costs.