Customer service is not about gimmicks and freebies. Customer Service is an emotion. It’s about making the customer feel appreciated; it’s about reinforcing the idea that they were right in choosing your establishment to spend their hard earned money. Especially in our present economy, the consumers want to know that their choice for where they spend their hard earned salaries is going to a place that earned it.
The days of “the customer is always right” died out years ago. The real measure of customer satisfaction as documented in dozens of surveys and studies has been changed to, “meeting or exceeding the customer’s wants and needs.”
Black Thursday sales are a prime example of how people will stand in line for hours after gorging on Turkey the previous day, so they can get that cheap deal, but do they actually spend all their money there? No, and for those people who do show up and don’t get in on the 60 inch flat screen for $100, you leave the store and feel cheated and rejected. Especially when they see the fine print (limited supplies). They leave the store and go someplace else.
Why do you go to the same old restaurant? Because the food, maybe, more often it’s because of the great warm and fuzzy service they give you. Because they know your name, because they remember you like your burger a little rarer than others and that server makes sure the cook does not burn it to a crisp. Maybe it’s that Barista that remembers your name and how you like your double latte with non-fat milk and no whip cream in a double cup. Remember, this is Seattle; coffee shops are like birds in a flock.
In my neighborhood, there are four large chain grocery stores, but only one really goes out of their way to make sure my needs are met. When they see the lines are forming, they know I, like most consumers don’t want to spend my precious time waiting in line, so they open another. When I go to the meat section and ask if they have any more of the advertised specials, they go in the back and check and if they are out have no issue giving me a rain check, they smile at me when I am walking up and down the aisles and honestly say “hello, can I help you with anything” and not as if they are reciting a script and have no real intention of helping me and are praying to all the gods of grocery that I say “no thank you.”
This is why I and many others do our grocery shopping there. This could be why they have to maintain a high staff, because of their service ideology and honest to goodness commitment to making sure when I leave there, my grocery shopping experience has been a good one.
In this economy, it’s all about making sure I (the customer) am appreciated, because if nothing else in this economy is going to do that, I surely want it where I spend my money. So it’s up to the businesses to make sure that I am a satisfied customer. Don’t try to win me over with gimmick’s posters, pin, and basically false advertisement that you’re all about the customer service. Once were in the doors, we have revealed that the Wizard is actually a regular man behind the curtain pretending. Just as the Black Friday sales get people all hyped up to spend, they also deter people from ever wanting to come back to your establishment again.
If you want to train your staff, no matter what industry or business, in efficient customer service? I have developed a very simple training method to get the point across to the employees:
Here it is in basic human behavioral science. What are you more likely to remember? Something you read? Something you were told? Something that made you feel? Anger, dissatisfaction, repulsion, embarrassment, happiness, and cheerful are all emotional responses that you will feel and be embedded into your memory.
Now if you don’t feel like helping customers, you might want to find a different line of work.
Remember, customers do not mind waiting or spending as long as they feel their needs are being met. The next time a customer asks for something and you don’t have it, take the time to make sure their emotional needs are met and not damaged. Remember there is a reason why you don’t touch the burning iron more than once.