Customer Service Fanatics

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Customer Service Fanatics

Be a Customer Service Fanatic and be proud of it! If more retail managers were Customer Service Fanatics we would see a much different picture in the service industry. All customers, not just a fortunate few, would be properly treated as they part with their hard-earned and over-taxed dollars. Isn’t that the way it should be?

Why is poor customer service the standard? It would be so easy, and much more productive, to have excellent customer service as the standard. How can management allow their companies to fall into the hands of people who are out there destroying their image and alienating their customers? Why are the hiring practices so bad? It may be difficult to find great people, but it is not impossible.

Try implementing these straight forward and foolproof ‘first steps’ for maintaining consistently high standards of customer service:

1. Hire people who can smile- this one is pretty easy, isn’t it?

2. Hire people who are well groomed and who take pride in their appearance – another easy one.

3. Hire people who speak clearly – this one only requires that you listen.

4. Hire people who are able to promote/sell the company’s product or service with ease – and you find this out during the interview when you hand over your pen and tell the candidate to sell it to you, or at least let you know, enthusiastically, how wonderful the pen is!

If you have completed 1) through 4), congratulate yourself for hiring individuals who are pleasant, enthusiastic, well groomed and well spoken – it’s a great start.

5. Train the new employee quickly – just enough for them to be competent, and not disadvantaged, on your sales floor (or dining area, or whatever the case may be). This one requires that you know what you expect and how to train for success in your company. If not, you need help before being allowed to hire people. Stop hiring immediately and give the task to someone else. Re-examine your own ‘training’ needs.

6. Watch and listen to the individual as they interact with your customers – you MUST do this; it is not optional and it cannot be delegated.

7. Praise the individual for what was done well and coach them on what was not.

8. Watch and listen again (immediately)– if they are looking after your customers properly, praise them again and continue to do so for the rest of their career with your company- and, of course, now you need to provide more extensive training.

9. If they are not looking after your customers properly – invoke your zero tolerance policy – and you certainly should have one –terminate them immediately and don’t look back. DO NOT FEEL BAD about firing – it’s your duty to protect your company and your customers.

Now, proceed to the customer(s) who has been subjected to the ‘bad’ ex-employee, however slightly, and do everything you can to turn their experience around. This is another MUST.

These hiring and initial performance review practices are just the start. Maintaining excellent customer service standards requires that you retain excellent employees. There are many non-monetary ways to retain excellent employees – but that is another story, for another time.

1 Comment(s)

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