SECRET TIP FOR GREAT CUSTOMER SERVICE

secret tips for customer service4We all know the value of exceptional customer service:  Happy customers tell friends and family about how great your company is and those referrals are priceless.

Want a little known secret for providing great customer service?  Analyze and concentrate on the SPEED of service you provide.  Customers want to be taken care of right now.  If they have to wait too long, they’ll walk away.  Even worse, they won’t come back because they just got the impression that you didn’t care enough to serve them in an efficient manner.  Your mantra should be “Do it fast, Do it right, Do it NOW.”

As customers, we are very observant.  When the line of customers to check out is 6, 7, 8 or more people deep, we know it’s going to take a while to be served.  So we wait.  But what are we doing while we wait??  We are WATCHING you….there’s nothing else to do, right?  And we don’t mind waiting if we see that your staff is doing their best to get customers through the line quickly and efficiently.

However…if we notice your staff dawdling, talking to co-workers, playing around, our patience dissipates quickly.  And what is the worst offense?  When we see other employees just standing around…not working hard to assist all those waiting customers.  That pretty much lights our fuse and launches us into the stratosphere from which we may not return!  This tells your customers that you don’t value our time and don’t care to get us taken care of quickly.

What sets you off?  You can count on all customers in line at Wal-Mart grousing: “Why are there 25 checkout lines in this store but only 3 are staffed?”  A frequent occurrence on my trips there.  I understand that there are times when more lines are open.  But I cannot accept that they don’t have more cashiers when I see employees just standing around.

The worst offender…the doctor’s office!  Most of these show absolutely no respect for their customers’ time.  We all know that some patients take longer than others…but they take us from waiting room to exam room to nurse to doctor back to nurse, with long waits in between.  You can’t tell me there is no better way to schedule patients…I’ve been in a doctor’s office that ran efficiently and quickly.  And what happens?  I leave feeling good about my experience there, even if it was painful or if I get bad news.  At least I felt like they cared about me as a customer.

Speed of service is absolutely part of the equation for great customer service.  So the best practices?  Take these steps to insure you are showing customers you care by serving them quickly and accurately:

  • Make sure you have no barriers to providing fast service: policy or mindset?
  • Analyze your procedures…is there a way to speed up the process without sacrificing accuracy or speed? If so, do it!
  • Staff according to customer volume
  • Train during slow times so there are not long lines of customers waiting
  • If you have extra staff who cannot serve customers, keep them out of the customer eye! Don’t let them stand around watching waiting customers. Or better yet, TRAIN them to serve customers as back up cashiers, etc. If your company will take steps to eliminate detractors to speed of service and adopt a mindset of serving customers accurately and efficiently, you will be a service leader. Customers will appreciate your consideration and will refer you to everyone they know.

If your company will take steps to eliminate detractors to speed of service and adopt a mindset of serving customers accurately and efficiently, you will be a service leader.  Customers will appreciate your consideration and will refer you to everyone they know.

by Kathy Shook

 

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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.

Shoppers, Inc. – A better customer experience. We provide Measurement, Employee Development and Public Speaking Engagements.

For more information contact Kathy at Kathy@insightyoucanuse.com or 800-259-8551 x202

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