Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Tweak It!

The difference between a good and poor customer service is often a simple tweak.  I had two waitresses at different restaurant. The first provided exceptional customer service. The second’s service was poor. They both delivered food in the same amount of time – which seemed slow and made mistakes in our order.  The difference?  The first one told us initially this was her first day on the job.  All the second one had to do was to genuinely apologize for the late timing and mistakes.

What are the 1-2 things you can change to make significant improvements to your customer service? We get weighted down by the many items that are really insignificant. Focus on the few things that will make the biggest difference.  This helps you streamlining your resources and shows the quickest results.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Take Ownership

What is you reaction to these 2 different phone messages? 

1. “We are experiencing unusually heavy volume on our customer service help line. Please call back later or wait for our next available agent.”

2. “We are experiencing unusually heavy volume on our customer service help line. You can hold for our next available agent. Or you can leave a message and we’ll call you back.”

The difference is in taking ownership of the customer’s problem. 

The 1st message leaves the problem with the customer. It is likely the customer will not call back and they will complain about the lack of customer service. If they do call back and receive the same message it is highly unlikely they will ever call back. You lose a customer forever.

The 2nd tells the customer they are important and so is their problem. They are more likely to hold than in the 1st message and allow you to solve their problem.

When a customer brings a problem to your attention take ownership of it. Don’t ask the customer to take charge of the issue. You will build repeat customers. They want you to address their issues.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Focus on Your Customer

Focus completely on your customer. Easy to do but often not done.

When working with a customer in person, online or via phone give them your undivided attention. Tune out everything else and focus on them. Nothing interrupts what you. You are not doing other things on the computer or making notes about another customer. It is your one and only task for the moment.

Focus completely on the customer. Your customer appreciates the respect. You are giving them the gift of listening unconditionally. You are building trust and loyalty.

Focus completely on the customer. It allows you to help them quicker. You will completely understand what they need and get it right the first time.

Focus completely on your customer. It’s what they deserve.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Most Amazing Experience Ever!

It was the most amazing customer service experience ever! 6 months ago I visited BJ’s restaurant in Laurel, MD. Our waiter was Darian. When I have great service I note their name in my iPhone. I live in NC so my chances of having Darian as a waiter again were very slim.

Recently family business brought me back into the area. We were lucky enough to get a table in Darian’s area. I was amazed that he not only remembered us but also where we sat 6 months ago.

As our meal progressed Darian brought out a hat. “You left this when you were here last. I had it in my locker just in case you returned.”

This was a rare moment when I was at a loss for words. What an exceptional experience not only to be remembered but to hold onto something until I might return. 

So if you drop by BJ’s in Laurel, MD tell Darian “Hello” for me. Enjoy his exceptional service.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Don't Give Them The Finger

Where are the bathrooms? Where should I go? If you’re pointing out directions don’t give them the finger.

If you are the customer trying to follow what someone is pointing to it is easier to see an entire hand. In some cultures using a finger to point is offensive. When someone asks for directions use your entire hand not just a finger - it’s easier to see.

The best thing to do is to walk someone close to the location then point it out. In any case don’t give them just your finger. Your customers deserve the entire hand.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

A Common Mistake

Ever send an email that someone urgently requested and not know if it made it in time? A common customer service mistake is to not acknowledge an email. Your customer has no idea if you have received it. Sometimes all it takes is a simple “Thank You” to an email.

I have had many requests for information. Often folks are in a hurry to receive the information. After emailing it to them I never hear back. They needed it. It was important. But they couldn’t take the few seconds to let me know it did not get caught in a spam filter or it has washed up on a beach. This requires me to send a follow up email to confirm they received it.

Someone in my customer service course said he did not have time to acknowledge all his emails. He received over 150 a day. The reality - it takes very little time to simply say “Thank you” to a customer. Most importantly it is very important to the customer to hear that you received their email.

Avoid the common mistake and acknowledge your customers’ emails.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

2 Voice Mail Tips

Your voice mail needs options and information. Is there an option other than leaving a message in your voice mail? You can offer another number or best yet a pressed number to place the caller with someone live. Some people prefer leaving a message but others may need to talk with someone right away.

Do you give your customers the best information on your voice mail? If it is a heavily used number you can provide some basic information before they leave a message. Let your customers know when they can expect a reply. The best voice mails are updated daily. It only takes 15-20 seconds. Your customers know when to expect you to answer your phone. 

You don’t have to be available 24 hours a day via phone. Let voice mail work for you. Provide your customers with options and the best information.