How to give great customer service:
1. Empathize with your customers.
They are looking for a service or a product, and if they don’t feel heard, the customer will look to another option. Your customers want to share what they want, but it’s up to you to listen.
2. Ask your customers for feedback.
Having surveys, feedback cards, or a suggestion box gives your customers the opportunity to share their opinion. Even if the comments aren’t actionable items, you’ll still be able to get a basic understanding of how your customers interact with your business.
3. Find answers and solve problems.
Prepare your staff for all possible questions by making sure they have a good understanding of the products and services offered. If an employee receives a question they don’t know the answer to, it’s up to them to find the answer. Your employees should never just wave off a customer because they don’t know where something is. Instead, the employee should go with the customer to find an associate who can help, and stick around to learn the answer as well. Not only does this make the customer feel important, but it helps your employees learn faster.
4. Become an expert.
Knowing the basics of your department is great, but staff can take it a step further by providing recommendations to their customers. Instead of waiting for them to ask about a specific product or service, the staff can offer them suggestions through observation and active listening skills. Train your employees to ask intelligent questions that can lead them to the best items, products, or services for what each individual client needs.
5. Follow up on issues.
When your customers have a poor experience, make sure you take time to follow up and ensure they are satisfied with the solution. Offering that additional care shows the customer that you want to make sure that they are happy with the resolution. If they aren’t, it gives your staff a second chance to make it right.
6. Engage customers first.
Don’t wait for a customer to ask a question. Making the first move takes the burden off the customer. The employee making contact with the customer is great because then customers who may have hesitated to ask for help get the opportunity to speak up.
7. Celebrate great service.
Give your employees incentive to do their best in hopes of recognition. Whether that recognition comes in the form of a monetary bonus, better shift choices, an employee of the month award, or even just a pat on the back, your staff will appreciate the fact that their hard work is being recognized.
How can you ensure these steps are followed? Here are 4 things you can do to foster good customer service:
The only way you can guarantee that your staff treats your customers the way you want is by training them properly. Equip your staff with all of the knowledge, tools, and techniques in advance so they don’t have to improvise on the fly.
1. Training, and not just for new employees.
Getting them off to the right start is great, but you shouldn’t stop there. Continued training is essential to refresh your staff’s memory and encourage good behavior. It helps reinforce what they already know, remind them of what they’ve forgotten, and even encourage them to get back into the habits they may have given up on.
2. Keeping an eye on everyone and everything.
Let your staff know which metrics you are monitoring. Let them measure their own performance and make improvements before you even have to ask. Offer supportive advice that can help them get a better understanding of what you expect from them while giving them the tools to make these changes.
3. Review those expectations regularly.
Performance reviews are an important part of running a business. You need your staff to know that you can see how hard they are working, and what they are currently struggling with. Regularly scheduled performance reviews give managers the opportunity to share any policy updates, provide training opportunities, and recognize any standout moments.
4. Encourage teamwork.
Your employees should feel comfortable to reach out to their fellow staff members to ask for advice, tips, or tricks for improving efficiency. Having a strong team culture is important for businesses to succeed, because you need your staff to feel like they always have someone they can ask for help. Even if you’re busy, they will have their fellow team members on their side. Make sure your team leaders (managers and supervisors) are capable and willing to provide assistance as needed.
Bringing it all together
Consistently high-quality customer service is an absolute requirement for a successful business. Knowing what your customers want, improving your interactions with them, taking your service to the next level, and proper training are all required to ensure a positive experience. Download this printable poster for your staff room so your employees can work to improve their customer service.