WHEN THE CAT IS AWAY, THE MICE WILL GIVE GREAT CUSTOMER SERVICE…YOU HOPE!

To whom do you trust the future of your business?  Do your employees treat customers the same way you do: exceptional service every time?  Are their experiences with your company so outstanding they rave about you to all their friends?

When the cat is away_2

While you think about those questions, consider the following reports from real customer experiences:

  1. “When the other consultant came over to help, she tried to find the item I wanted but was unable to locate it.  She then recommended that I go to a competitor’s store.”
  2. “I made my selection and walked up to the register.  The employee looked up but continued to sweep the floor, basically ignoring me for a good 30 seconds.  He then sighed, put down the broom and walked over to ring me up.  He never spoke a word to me other than the price.”
  3. “When I called the company, she answered with “name of company” only.  I asked my question about a specific product’s availability.  She said, “Yeah, we have it” and then she hung up on me!”

What is happening at your company?  Do any of your employees provide the type of service shown above?  How do you know??

There are numerous ways to measure service quality.  But the key to success is to identify weak areas and then show your staff the value of good customer service…  Show them how it should be done and then make sure they know you expect them to do it properly every time

How could the three samples above have been better?

  1. To be fair, this consultant DID help the customer find the product!  But your staff should have options when a product is unavailable:  Offer a substitute item, locate the item at another store (if possible), offer to order and ship or hold the item, etc.  Don’t send the customer to your competitor without at least trying to get what they need.  And if you do order the item for the customer, be sure to follow-up:  call them when it arrives; make sure they receive it, etc.  The customer will be greatly impressed with any type of follow-up call.
  2. Pretty much a no-brainer here:  Never ignore a customer!  Stop what you are doing immediately, greet them warmly, handle their purchase and thank them for their business.
  3. Again, pretty simple:  Don’t hang up first!  A warm greeting with an offer to help always makes a great first impression.  Answer the customer’s question in a friendly manner.  Offer to hold the item, check the price or answer any other questions they might have.  Invite the customer to come in and thank them for calling.

When the cat is awayYou can’t be with every customer yourself so make sure you have a process in place to train, measure and reward great service from your staff.   That way, you’ll know those mice are doing great things all the time and your bottom line will show the difference!

June, 2012

 

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Learn how to make your company a leader in customer service – contact Shoppers, Inc. at 800-259-8551 for more information on Service Quality Institute programs.

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