By Katie Scheer
Are you ready for the 4th in this series? Here we are covering topics of customer service efficiency, accessibility, and gaining feedback. All are imperative to your success since your customers' perspective is your business' reality. Our goal is to help ensure that your reality is one of big success, so away we go with answering your questions…
1. We live in a fast-paced world where patience is limited, so I feel pressured to deliver information to my customers as quick as possible, which sometimes results in not giving them the most thorough information. Suggestions?
You are right. Customers typically want the fastest service possible. However, while being quick is good, it is not appreciated if the information provided is not accurate or as helpful as it needs to be. A correct response that is delivered more slowly will ultimately gain you more respect than the opposite, which will decrease your credibility in the customers' eyes. The key is to help as quickly as you can without compromising accuracy or thoroughness.
2. How accessible should we be to assist with customer service needs?
No doubt many in customer service feel overwhelmed about being 100% at their customers' beck and call. The goal is always to assist as fast as possible, and at a minimum, we should reply within one business day, if not a lot sooner. And when we do reply, it needs to be using the communication channel of their preference.
If a customer is having an issue, they should not be troubled further by trying to figure out how to reach you. Make it easy to contact you. Don't hide your phone number or "contact us" information on your website – that is very aggravating and immediately gives the impression that you have something to hide and are trying to avoid your customers. When we make things as easy as possible for our customers, we feel larger payoffs.
3. My interactions with our customers are typically fast. What are some quick things that I can do to make them feel important and appreciated?
Always treat them as individuals. The easiest way to do this is by using their name and by showing your genuine respect for them through how you take care of them with sincerity. Sincerity is highly valued and creates good feelings and trust. Also, never forget to thank them, and do it every chance you get, when it's appropriate.
4. We don't currently seek feedback from our customers, and we would like to start doing this. What are some ways to ease into this?
Feedback is your key to improvement and ongoing success. You can't be at your best without knowing how you are doing; therefore, create an environment for your customers that encourages and welcomes suggestions for how you can improve. Ideas:
- Every conversation with your customers is an opportunity to gain feedback. Listen carefully to what they are saying. Maybe they aren't outright providing input, but there are many comments that indirectly help you understand how they are feeling or how you can improve. For example, a customer may say, "I need two more bath towels for our hotel room." You should determine if they weren't given enough, if housekeeping made an error, etc.
- Check in with your customers at comfortable intervals. See how things are going, ask if they have any questions, and determine if they have any feedback.
- Provide an easy method for giving ongoing feedback. Create a brief survey for your customers using an online survey program, and have the link/access to it on your emails.
Hungry for more? Check out the first three articles in this series and go ahead and share them with your team. Here they are:
Don't forget to leave some comments below and let us know what other customer service questions you have. Or, if you prefer not to publicize your questions, go ahead and email me.