Every businessperson knows that customer service is key. You have heard the cliché about how the customer is always right.
But delivering on that goal and maintaining a professional and friendly customer service environment can be difficult. Employees may let personal feelings affect their mood at work. Repetitiveness of some jobs can weaken the customer relation side of your business.
What is the busy entrepreneur to do to ensure that their business has great customer service, especially if they are in a Big City? That little touch of small town personalized service can make a big impression on busy big city customers that are used to dealing with cold corporations.
Here are some tips on how to bring some small town customer service into your big city business.
Take Your Time Hiring
One of the many tips we hear from successful business owners is to not rush through the hiring process. Experience and qualifications are great in a prospective candidate. However, taking the time to meet with new employees a few times, gaining a deeper understanding of their attitude or outlook can go a long way to developing great customer service.
An employee who is super friendly and outgoing that takes longer to learn the details of a position can be a great asset. On the other hand, “A-know-it-all “employee may memorize the training manual within a day; but acts too good for the job, will hurt your overall customer service experience.
That type of negative attitude can be hard to change and is difficult to teach unlike the particulars of your business processes. A big city means that there are plenty of potential candidates for every position, so consider a wide variety of candidates from different backgrounds. Also, take the time to verify their references and talk to former employers before you bring someone onboard.
Track Any Promises Made
Many businesses can handle the first contact of the customer service experience well. A complaint phone call is a relatively easy thing to master and most employees will usually have this mastered.
One way to go above and beyond initial customer service is to make sure that your problem resolution is excellent. This starts with tracking interactions and promises so that they may be fulfilled without forgetting. For example, if your employees promise a free product to satisfy an upset client, track the progress of freebie to the client.
It doesn’t matter what system how the system is setup; but promising things to temporarily diffuse a situation and have the product not arrive will lead to more aggravation. This type of let down in a business to customer relationship can generate negative word of mouth publicity.
A proper tracking system ensures that promises do not get lost on the hustle and bustle of everyday business. Make it a priority to have a person or team double check that all resolutions are filled. Remember you may lose some money on the transaction; however, outstanding customer service may sustain good relationship with all customers, returning more profits for the long term.
Align Staff Interests with Those of the Business
Consider that customer service traits can be a part of your employees’ motivation in general. These are some ideas to align employees’ motivation with customer service.
Maybe you could offer a customer service award each month with a prize? Another idea is to have your employees share in the success of the business through partial ownership or profit sharing. This can be a platform to spring from and help explain to your staff that customer service is a part of a great business. Carrying out such actions can ultimately lead to a bigger check in their pocket.
Regular paychecks can become less motivational over time simply due to the fact they become so regular and ordinary. Contests, profit sharing, bonuses, even added paid time off could be a great way to motivate your team and deliver excellent customer service to your customers.