CAUTION: You might want to read these with a box of tissues on hand!
How many of us have fumbled our way through a tricky guest service situation, only to realize a few minutes later that there was an easy solution all along? When we’re confronted with a difficult customer service scenario, a big part of the problem is that we’re often taken by surprise.
Getting caught off guard is a big barrier to responding successfully in a tough situation. Fortunately, there’s a very simple way to reduce our number of Why didn’t I think of that? moments.
Eliminate the possibility of getting caught off guard by anticipating challenging customer service experiences in advance. Keep a mental list of calm, understanding responses ready so you’ll have instant solutions for exasperated customers, and know who to call for backup if the need arises.
For instance, just remembering some helpful phrases such as, “I don’t know, but I’ll find out right away,” or “Let me think about that for a minute; I’m sure we can figure this out,” can go a long way. Your customers will pick up on the fact that you are committed to assisting their needs, even if it takes some extra time.
Another great idea is to read through Help Scout’s list of customer service scenarios. Try to imagine what you’d do in situations like these. Don’t forget to give yourself a big congratulations once you finish, because the next time guest service gets tricky, you’ll be confident and prepared!
Starbucks is good for a lot more than coffee – its global success story can also teach us quite a bit about guest service. One distinguishing feature about Starbucks’ culture is that employees are treated as well as the customers.
Sometimes it’s easy to focus all our energy on pleasing our guests, making employee relationships a lesser priority. However, as Forbes contributor Micah Solomon pointed out in a recent article, the companies that treat their employees well usually have the greatest customer service to offer!
Brands with legendary customer service, such as Southwest Airlines, Zappos.com and Nordstrom, are also famous for going the extra mile on behalf of employees. By treating your employees with dignity and respect, you equip them to do the same for your customers.
Photo credit: Google Images
When it comes to customer service, small businesses have an edge. According to Echo 2012 Global Research Barometer, 80 percent of consumers say small businesses provide more personal service and understand both their business and customer better than large companies. Since 70 percent of buying experiences are based on how customers feel they’re being treated in your place of business, this discovery is a pretty big deal!
If more personal guest service experiences are what customers crave, then it’s time to boost your business by adding a few personal touches to your transactions. Look for ways to connect with your customer uniquely – offer free coffee, make it a point to smile and don’t forget that eye contact!
Based on the research, one thing’s for sure: the phrase “It’s not personal, it’s business” is not a useful customer service motto!
Did you know 45 percent of consumers say they receive poorer customer service during the holiday season, according to a report from CorvisaCloud?
The holidays raise the stakes for businesses, especially when it comes to customer service! Amidst crammed schedules, workers face higher-than-ever expectations to deliver topnotch service to frazzled customers.
Fortunately, all you have to do to ace customer service during the holidays is remember one thing: the blindfold effect.
There’s a psychological experiment that involves blindfolding the subject, then reading off a list of items. The subject must rely purely on his or her senses to remember the list. After the experimenter finishes reading the list, he removes the subject’s blindfold and hands over a pen and some paper.
“Write down what you remember,” the experimenter says.
The subject takes the pen and scribbles down a few items that stand out in his or her memory. The funny thing is that the result is always the same, regardless of who the subject is: the items people remember best are the ones they heard at the beginning and end of the list. Anything that came in the middle was overshadowed and forgotten.
This “blindfold effect” has a big implication for customer service! The way you greet and say goodbye to your guests – your “firsts and lasts” – are the biggest ways you can ensure that your customers have a great experience.
The takeaway? If you just ace the blindfold test, you’ll boost business and ensure your customers take away warm memories of your service. The holidays don’t have to feel so hectic after all!
*Photo credit: Google Images