Making It a Priority
Good customer service is the best way to keep customers coming back to your business. Think about your favorite business that you frequently go to or do business with. What do you enjoy about them? One of my is Chick-Fil-A. Not only is their food rather yummy, but their customer service is top notch. Tell an employee of Chick-Fil-A “thank you,” and their response will be “my pleasure!” Each and every time. It does not matter what store, what city, or even what state. Also, I have never had an incorrect order when “Eatin’ Mor Chikin” as the cows in their ads like to tell us. I am sure they make mistakes, but they go out of their way to check the orders for quality and correctness. Their training for customer service is on point, and it keeps me and million other people returning day after day.
Where We Stray from Good Customer Service
Many companies do not give their workers enough incentive to be customer friendly, and they don’t seem to insist their employees use the customer training tips that are provided during their training. Businesses usually supply new employees with their own customer service training tips in the beginning but they seem to forget them after being employed for a while. As a trainer and business owner, this pains me a lot. Our customers are the sole reason we are in business; they are the ones that pay our paychecks and keep the lights on.
Training your employees in the art of customer service can be the least expensive improvement you can do. Make sure your employees have good people skills and that they enjoy working with people. One nasty person with a bad attitude can ruin a small business faster than a hold-up.
Many times, the leaders of the company set the standard and lead by example. The way the leaders think about the company is the exact way the employees will think about the customers. We must take a positive mindset towards our customers. The way we think about our customers is the way we treat them. It is that simple. We need our employees to view our customers as the life-blood of the company,
In Customer Service, It Does Not Matter Who is Right
Some customers are just plain difficult. They are always complaining, they are picky, know-it-alls, faultfinders, constant complainers, unreasonable, demanding. There’s no way you can avoid them so you must learn to deal with them. Angry people cannot rationalize because they are so wrapped up in the emotion of anger that anything you say gets filtered through their emotion. Rationalizing, problem solving, listening, and negotiating are all left-brain activities and your angry customer is stuck in the right side of the brain, and therefore cannot be expected to rationalize with you.
Believe it or not the best way to diffuse a situation with an angry customer may be cleared up with two little words. “I’m sorry.” Recent research shows that more than 50% of customers who have voices a complaint never get an apology. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that most people just want to be acknowledged, and when they get ignored and treated like they don’t matter and their opinion means nothing. One of the better customer service training tips I found is saying “I’m sorry,” can make all the difference in the world.
No, They are Usually Wrong
I don’t believe in the saying the “customer is always right.” No, they’re not always right, and more times than not, they are actually wrong! But that does not change the fact that they are your customer and need to be treated with respect. There is a line I will draw in the sand with customers. I will do everything in my power to make it right and make them happy, but if you attack one of my employees, we have a problem! The customer is never the first priority in my businesses. My employees are; plain and simple. Let me tell you why.
Who’s #1? My Employees
If my employees know I have their back, they trust me to stand up for them, and to do everything that I can to make their lives better, they like coming to work. They will go the extra mile for me as well. It is like we are a family. After all, most people spend more of our waking hours at work each day than they do with their own families. If I keep my employees happy, they come to work happy and treat our customers well. When they treat the customers well, the customers are happy. They keep coming back to my business and spending their money. This keeps me happy. It works so well. However, even in this philosophy, some people just will not come into your story as happy campers.
There are those that make themselves feel superior by belittling others. Being courteous to customers does not mean you should accept abuse from them. Nobody deserves to be treated badly, but unfortunately there are those who go out of their way to do so. Saying things like, “Thank you for letting me know that you’re unhappy with…” will usually calm even the meanest customers and the nicer you continue to be with them, the calmer they get, this is a very good customer service training tip. Try it a few times it really works. There’s also another saying that goes: “You don’t have to show up to every fight you’re invited to.”
If you would like to dive deeper into customer service and customer service training, we suggest the following books.