No matter what kind of business you have, do you think about, plan for and train your staff in providing customer service to your clients? What does customer service mean in your business?
Does your staff greet and treat clients like you want to be greeted and treated? How about when they answer the phone? Do they sound like they are looking forward to helping the caller?
If you are a retail business, what happens when a customer walks into your store? What if they want to return something? How is the transaction handled? What does your staff say? Does the customer feel helped?
If you are selling a service such as an auto mechanic shop or a hairstyling business, do you think about the total experience for your client? It’s more than just saying ‘Thank You’ as you take their money. The more valued a customer feels, the more they are willing to pay for their experience at your business.
Do you manage a restaurant? Are your servers aware of the expectations that their customers may have? Do they know why some people would feel rushed or neglected? Are they aware that a restaurant is not all about eating food?
Do you own or manage a grocery store? Are your cashiers trained on how to interact with the customer? Do you provide baggers and are the carts and baskets regularly cleaned up and put where they should go? Do the shelf-stockers ignore the customers?
No matter what the nature of your business may be, is your staff helpful and friendly? Are they looking for ways to assist a customer or are they willing to simply have a friendly conversation? When they are dealing with a problem, can they do it with compassion and understanding or are they short-tempered? Do they seem happy to be at work?
Now think about yourself. Ask all of the above questions about yourself, your attitude and your demeanor. Do you set a good example? Are your employees happy to be working with you? Do you value their input and expertise?
No one is perfect and no one has a perfect staff. Instead of becoming annoyed about things that are not handled properly, have a plan as to what you will do when something needs attention. Make sure that your staff knows you are happy to be at work and working with them to assist your clients.
In observation of Customer Service Week, spontaneously treat your staff to lunch or give them gift cards to treat themselves. Even if there are many attitudes and issues that need correcting, look for a few positive things that they do and commend them for those things. This will open the door to easier communication when you have to correct them or want to institute a new policy.