“It’s Showtime!” Those are typically the words you hear right before hitting the stage or when the cameras start to roll in the studio. However, for John Lewis, a high-end retail department store in the UK, the retail floor is the stage and the employees are the actors. Continue reading
Posts tagged "create confidence"
We all know what bad customer service looks and feels like. We hate the customer service rep that is just going through the motions without any sincere care for the customer. We try to avoid the employee with an attitude (a bad one) that doesn’t understand that his or her job is to help ensure the customer wants to come back the next time he or she needs whatever it is the company sells. We all have stories of why we won’t go back to a place of business. Continue reading
Vince Lombardi is the famous football coach, known for a number of amazing accomplishments as well as always being on time, if not early. It’s the being on time part of what he’s known for that we’ll be covering in today’s customer service lesson. Continue reading
TOP CUSTOMER SERVICE AND BUSINESS ARTICLES
Each week I read a number of customer service articles from various online resources. Here are my top five picks from last week. I have added my comment about each article and would like to hear what you think too. Continue reading
When discussing customer service, I don’t like to pick on the airlines. Their shortcomings are obvious. Yet while I may encounter that curmudgeon at the ticket counter or that crusty flight attendant, when it comes to the people side, the airlines usually deliver acceptable levels service. It is usually the operational side that has created problems for the airlines; flight delays, cancellations, lost luggage, etc.
To support the airlines, many times these delays or cancellations are necessary due to weather or mechanical issues. Still, they are not always handled very well. Sometimes the bad service comes down to what appears to be complete ineptness. The service in the airline industry has become so inconsistent that many of their customers have adapted to the model that says, “Treat me like crap. I don’t care. Just get me there on time and I’ll fly with you again.”
That said, we can learn a lot from the airlines. Here are four simple lessons that the airlines teach us.
Manage my expectations. I hate delayed flights – or delayed anything! If we have to wait for our reservation at a restaurant or in the waiting room at the doctor’s office, let us know how long it will be. And don’t tell us 20 minutes, when it is really 45 minutes. In other words, don’t let me down – again.
Give me information. Is there bad weather? Is it a mechanical problem? Tell me and maybe I’ll understand. In any business, if something goes wrong, be honest about it. Let us know quickly and what you plan to do about it. The more we know, the better we feel.
Have a backup plan. So the flight is canceled, what are you going to do about it? I’ve gone to stores that advertise sale items that are out of stock. Do I walk away disappointed? No. The good stores give me options that will make me happy.
Create confidence. As mentioned above, just get me there on time and I’ll fly with you again. In any business, customers expect what they buy (products or services) to do what they are supposed to do. Throw in consistently great service and you have a winning combination.
You may remember it was about this time last year that “The Cult of the Customer” came out. I’m proud that it hit the “Wall Street Journal” best-seller list, and in celebration of the book’s first birthday, here are five great customer service tips that will give any company an advantage over competition and more value for their customers.
1. Do not settle for satisfied customers – Satisfactory is an average rating. The best companies recognize that satisfied customers are not loyal customers. Every employee should ask themselves a question: What am I doing right now to ensure that the next time the customer needs what it is that we do or sell, they will choose us? Most people think of loyalty as a lifetime, but it is really about the next time – all of the time!
2. Get into alignment – Every employee must know what the company expects from them, as well as the brand promise the company makes to the customers. Create a mantra, which is a one sentence or less statement that combines the vision and mission of the company, as well as the promise to the customer. The Ritz Carlton hotel chain has a great one that is just nine words long: “We are ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen.” Everyone gets it, the employees and the guests (customers). The employees have it memorized. They live and breathe the mantra – all of the time!
3. Constantly train – The best companies budget time and expense for on-going training of both hard or technical skills (the skills needed to do their job) and soft skills (customer service, relationship and personal improvement). They don’t do this once in a while – they do it all of the time!
4. Create confidence – Confidence comes from a predictable experience. You want customers to own their experience with you, which means that they know what to expect – all of the time!
5. Be amazing – The best/amazing companies do not deliver over-the-top customer service
experiences all of the time. While once in a while they do, their secret is consistency. They are simply predictably better than average – all of the time!
Bonus: Never forget to show appreciation. Say thank you – over and over. Customers need to be told how much you appreciate their business – all of the time!
My last post on this blog was about creating loyalty with service and confidence. In the April issue of The Shepard Letter, I wrote a longer version of this article. I also mentioned a book, which I feel is worth telling you about here.
My buddy and fellow speaker, John DiJulius has written an excellent book titled, “Secret Service.” This book is about the behind the scenes “secret” systems that will help you create unforgettable service.
John owns salons and spas that are recognized for their dedication to wowing his clients. Beyond the interaction the client has with his wonderful staff, he has put into place various systems that help create great service, client confidence and ultimately, loyalty. The book is filled with strategies and his business is a case study to back them up. I highly recommend you visit his site, sign up for his free newsletter and buy his book. Enjoy!
And, don’t forget to email me your answer to the question:
What do you do to create confidence for your customers and employees?
Shep Hyken is a customer service expert, keynote speaker and New York Times bestselling business author. For information contact (314)692-2200 or www.hyken.com. For information on The Customer Focus™ customer service training programs go to www.thecustomerfocus.com. Follow on Twitter: @Hyken
(Copyright ©MMXII, Shep Hyken)
Sounds simple, and it is. Provide great service and create confidence, and you can create loyalty. Hundreds if not thousands of books have been written about how to provide great customer service and loyalty. Not many have been written about confidence, especially as it applies to customer service.
Well, this may be the place the book on confidence starts, even though it is just a few sentences. My belief is that confidence comes first from consistency. Great customer service is an all of the time thing. You can’t be good one day and just okay the next. Inconsistency could be the fastest way to erode customer confidence. So make sure that what you are doing today is good enough to make that customer want to come back to do business with you again the next time they need what you sell.
Now, I have a favor. If I do in fact start to write a book, I want your help. Send me your ideas on how you create confidence with your customers and employees and I will start to compile the ideas. Once the book is written (if it ever is), you will get full credit and receive a copy. Email to firstname.lastname@example.org.