Customer Service: What’s All The Fuss About?
Smile, be nice and help out. It really doesn’t seem that hard to do for customer-faced roles, right? It really is the basics of customer service, or so you’d think.
Customer service is such an important topic when it comes to marketing and it really annoys me when people in customer-facing roles don’t get this.
Don’t you love it when you walk into a shop and the shop assistant is behind the counter on the phone with her girlfriend planning the next night out or eating a sandwich rather than talking to her customers? Doesn’t ‘assistant’ mean that she could be ‘assisting’ her customers or at least acknowledge them?
A few weeks ago as I flew back from Switzerland to Sydney, the check-in lady asked if I had the credit card I used to purchase the flights. Unfortunately that exact card was back in Sydney, so the lady just said ‘well, then you need to buy a new flight!’. Wow! That’s great! I’ve just spent a few thousand dollars with you and now I need to buy new flights because my credit card is not on me? They obviously didn’t have any issues taking the money in the first place! A very interesting customer experience.
But who to blame? The employee or the employer? The business owner needs to hire the right people in the first place and then have regular training sessions in place to make sure their customers are getting the best treatment possible. In our business we regularly get together with the team to discuss how we can ‘wow’ our clients even more. The best ideas often come from our team members!
Another important point is to empower your team members to make appropriate decisions when confronted with a challenge rather then hiding behind a counter and thinking that ‘I was not told what to do in this situation.’
Customer service is so important, especially in a world where people are talking on social media, instantly spreading the word about a company’s good or bad service. Having people talk about your company positively in public is extremely powerful and very effective marketing so make sure your clients have got something nice to say about you. It really isn’t that hard.
Now, of course sometimes you also have painful clients and in this case I don’t believe you need to bend over backwards but rather help them find another service provider in a very nice way.
The good news is that excellent customer service will help a business stand out and attract loyal customers that are happily spending money with you.
Luckily I was able to call my bank in Australia, thanks to their wonderful 24- hour customer service and get the credit card number faxed through. I got on the flight with 5 minutes to spare! Phew!
Do you have any customer service examples, good or bad you’d like to share below? Would love to hear from you.
By Franziska Iseli-Hall