“How can I help you today?” Now that’s an excellent opener for an employee in the customer service field. As a manager, you can’t underestimate the time and effort spent training your employees to produce great service for your clients. Because with great customer service comes customer loyalty.
Research shows 68 percent of customers leave a company due to someone being unaccommodating, rude, or indifferent to them. And knowing that competition is everywhere, these unhappy patrons simply pick a different (fill in the blank)—restaurant, landscape store, airline. But it doesn’t need to be that way. Training your employees to make sure customers feel welcome and are treated well is one (big) thing that can set you apart from your competition. A fulfilling experience is what keeps them coming back.
How can you do this? Here are a few tips:
- Empower your employees. Give them the tools, training, and confidence to meet the needs and satisfy those they serve.
- Build better relationships with customers. Why have you been with the same mechanic for 10 years? Because you have built a relationship and you trust those who work there. And with trust comes loyalty. Connecting with your customers makes all the difference.
- Be empathetic. Great customer service reps put themselves in their clients’ shoes. They apologize for the situation, even if they weren’t directly involved. They then follow through to remedy the situation. The last step? Following up after the fact to make sure the customer is satisfied. (Because satisfied customers are loyal customers, remember?!)
- Please and thank you go a long way. Take fast food restaurant Chick-fil-A. The chicken chain is statistically the most polite chain in the restaurant business, according to a QSR magazine's annual drive-thru report. Not only that, Chick-fil-A invests more than other companies in training its employees. And the chicken chain's business structure only permits one Chick-fil-A location per franchisee, allowing for more hands-on training. The bottom line? In 2015, Chick-fil-A made more money per restaurant ($4 million) than any other fast-food restaurant in the U.S. The average KFC restaurant sold $1 million in 2015. Coincidence? Probably not.
- Employ the right people for the job. Customer service people need to actually like people. They should thrive on solving problems, have a positive attitude, and be able to calm disgruntled customers. Just like someone who can’t stand the site of blood probably shouldn’t work in an operating room, a successful customer service professional needs the right skill set.
Having a properly trained customer service staff can make or break your organization. Not sure your people are up to speed? No worries, we have you covered.
Log in to MRA’s website, where you’ll find information on our customer service manager roundtables, webinars to watch, guides, articles and classes to consider, like our upcoming Customer Service Excellence Certificate Series. This three-session series crosses all industry lines including manufacturing, insurance, health care, sales, real estate, service, and technical.