Quick and Easy Tips for Elevating Your Customer Experience
- December 21, 2021
- Posted by: Morgan Ayres
- Category: Cafe, Grocery, Restaurant, Retail
Quick and Easy Tips for Elevating Your Customer Experience
Excellent customer service creates a connection with customers, and provides value for their purchase. Consistently offering this leads to loyal customers for life. These customers are often willing to refer and recommend your business to friends, family, and colleagues. Providing this type of excellent customer service starts with a genuine desire to wow your customers, lead great teams and build authentic, long-lasting relationships. In order to do this, you need to consider the entire experience from the moment your customers visit your store or website, to when they approach your business and interact with your team– it must be excellent! All of this needs to be perfect, before they even make a purchase! So how do you do that? Read below for some great quick and easy tips. Do these consistently and flawlessly with EVERY NEW HIRE and you will have a winning strategy in 2022!
Provide a Consistent Training Experience
The first step to providing great customer service and standards is to ensure your training program is consistent and that it fully explains your vision of excellent customer service to your new team member. It is critical that all of your employees, not just your customer service representatives, understand the way they should talk to, interact with, and otherwise assist customers. Provide training that gives your staff the tools they need to carry good service through the entire customer experience. Role-playing can be a great way to practice with each other and provide feedback to improve.
Hearing what your customers are saying and training your team members to watch for customer cues is a key to unlocking that next level of customer connection. Listening is one of the simplest secrets to great customer service. Watch for signs that they are displeased, while listening to what they say to you directly. Teach them to repeat back orders to confirm accuracy and this will help with overall satisfaction and efficiency of your team. Also, have your team trained on how to handle customer recovery and really listen (and apologize) when necessary and of course take immediate steps to make it right when a mistake arises.
Be genuine and friendly
Customer service starts with a smile and a smile is universal in every culture and language. In a market with a diverse customer-base ensure you hire only the best, most outgoing and smiley team members. When you are in a face-to-face situation, a warm greeting should be the first thing your customers see and hear when they ask for help. Even when handling customer service requests via telephone, a smile can come through in your voice, so make sure you and your team are ready to be warm and friendly.
Smile and Say Thank You
We have all heard that a smile is work a thousand words, and is universal in every language and culture. Ensure you hire those outgoing, naturally smiley team members and train them well to give them the confidence and consistency to smile even when times get tough. Saying thank you is also a great way to remind your customers why they should keep coming back to your business. Having your staff genuinely say thank you each and every time, is one of the easiest ways to make your customers happy, and in turn creating a positive experience and memory visiting your establishment. This creates a long-lasting connection and leaves them with a great last impression.
Show Appreciation & Respect
Customer service involves emotion. It is very important to ensure you and your team members are always kind and courteous. Even when you think the customer is not watching, they are! You must have you team always put the customer first and remember they are on stage, performing a customer-service show as the lead actors! Having your customers feel appreciated and leave happy should be every team members goal, every time.
There may be nothing worse than a team member ignoring or not seeing a customer who is trying to get help, resolve an issue, or find out more about what your products. In the days of social media, you must respond to customer requests, complaints and/or questions in a timely fashion or your competitor will. This can sometimes determine if your customer will visit you or not. It is critical to respond quickly to all inquiries, even if it is only to say you are looking into the issue and will be back in touch. Some response is always better than no response, so the customer never feels ignored.
Know Your Product or Service
To provide good customer service, your team needs to be subject matter experts about all of your products. Create tests or quizzes for new team members, as well as when you launch new products or make changes to the menu. Your team (and yourself) need to know what you are selling, inside and out. Make sure you and your customer-facing staff also know how your services work. Be aware of the most common questions customers ask and know how and teach your team how to articulate the answers that will leave them satisfied.
Ask for Feedback & Take Action on it
You may be surprised what you learn about your customers and their needs when you ask them what they think of your business, products, and services. You can use customer comment cards or surveys, feedback forms, and questionnaires. Making it a standard for your team to complete guest intercepts and ask them directly for ways to improve will elevate your service to the next level.
The next step you must do is to take action on the feedback you receive from customers in order to make it useful in your customer service process. Many businesses receive feedback and do not do anything with it, leaving their customer unhappy and feeling unheard. Take the time to regularly review feedback, identify themes of areas for improvement, and make changes when necessary. If appropriate, you may want to post the feedback in an ‘You said, we did’ response to them to show them you care, are listening and they are appreciated!
Overall there is a science to providing excellent customer service. It starts with hiring the right team and training them well. When you train them well and set clear expectations of how you expect them to interact with your customers, genuine connections are formed. It also requires consistently checking in with your customers and making sure they are happy with the products and services. You must review the customer experience from their perspective, often. Doing so successfully can and will create an excellent experience for your guests, keeping them coming back over and over again!