The majority of our readers would understand what customer service is about. The moment we first learned how to spend money is the moment we begin to craft an expectation of the level of customer service we would like to receive.
Customer Service can be both a science and an art. Science, because we can put in a process to ensure that staff execute every step accordingly to please the customers. Art, because we are dealing with human interactions, even though every step in the rulebook is being ticked off, it may not guarantee customer satisfaction, if the heart is missing. Here are three ideas to ensure that your staff deliver customer service that is a notch above everyone else:
1. Create a Happy Environment!
Happy staff equal happy customers! It is amazing how most business operators often overlook this common sense principle. Work environment plays a crucial role in the employee’s performance. Yes, staff may pretend to serve well under the strict supervision of business owners. What really matters is how they treat your customers in your absence! Starbucks spent over USD 300 million on health care in the United States in 2009, an amount more than what they spend on coffee beans. Beyond that, the company also provides share options to all their employees. In an environment where every employee is well taken care of and is being treated as a partner, it is no wonder that
their staff take ownership in every single instance to provide the best service!
2. Hire Passionate People
It is easy to hire people who are passionate about your products when you are a recognized brand like Louis Vuitton, Nike and Apple. Most people who work for those companies are there mostly because they love the brand. When they have such intense pleasure for what they sell, the enthusiasm easily rubs off to the customers. The problem is, not all
SMEs carry renowned labels.
How then do you hire people who are passionate about your products? Sometimes passion transcends across just labels. Hire customers who love your Hawaiian Pizza to be your waiter, and watch the sale of your Hawaiian Pizzas escalate. Hire your lady friend who has 25 pairs of shoes in the closet and watch the sale of your shoes increase. Hire a bookworm to look after your bookstore… You get the drift!
3. Make Meaning
Show your staff how his or her contribution can make a difference in the big picture. When the university canteen dishwasher was being shown that he was part of the big eco-system in ensuring a bright future for the future doctors, ministers, engineer and business people, his attitude towards every plate he washed was never the same again. The continuous existence of any business is because they provide a unique service that the community values.
How then do you connect the dot for your staff? Customer service is a multidimensional discipline. Highlighted above are the fundamental soft skills required to lift your standard. Staffs’ level of competency and knowledge of your company and the product are just as important.
What about ensuring a thoughtful car-park facility, the cleanliness of your toilet? What about the mindset of the boss towards servicing the customers? The list can go on indefinitely. Excelling in customer service is a never ending quest that requires first, the understanding of what a privilege it is to make a difference to your fellow countrymen, through the work you do.