Means Big Bucks for Your Business
By Kim Goff
How many times have you referred a restaurant to a friend?
Think about why you made that referral … was it the food or the
service? Maybe it was both, or maybe the service stood out to you.
Let’s say the restaurant you refer costs $50 for dinner for two; if
you refer four people, and they take your advice, you just made that
restaurant $200. On the other hand, if you had a bad experience and
told your friends not to go, that restaurant just lost money.
No matter how good the food is at a restaurant, people always
seem to remember how they were treated; if they had to wait
“forever” for their food, and how often they saw their server. What
it really comes down to is the service – memorable customer service
is what makes people come back over and over again, whether you are
running a restaurant, retail store or service business. If your
business has excellent food, but terrible customer service,
customers are probably not going to come back.
We live in a very busy society where time is everything. The
three common pet peeves that customers have with any type of
business are: waiting for a long period of time, being ignored by
employees, and not feeling appreciated as a customer. These three
issues can make or break a business. By investing in customer
service training, companies can greatly improve their bottom line,
and nothing is more important during tough economic times. Here are
some customer service training tips that can be incorporated in your
1. The customer is always number one. This is the
best way to train your employees on the importance of customers.
“Without customers, there is no profit, without profit, there is no
business, without business there is no company, and without the
company, there is no you.” When your employees understand importance
of customers to the business, they’ll start to understand how
important their role is as well.
2. Never make customers wait. Greet your customers
as soon as they walk in the door. If a customer calls, answer the
phone by the second ring. If you are busy with another customer, do
not make your new customer wait a long period of time. Acknowledge
customers as soon as they come in and see if another employee can
assist them. If there is no one available, let them know you are
busy with another client and ask if they can wait. Be sure to give
them an estimated wait time, and if they cannot wait, ask them if
they would like to make an appointment. Always ask customers,
immediately, how you can help them.
3. Never ignore a
If they walk in, they can walk right out. Even if you greet your
customers or seat them at a table, you still have to pay attention
to them. Always check back in to make sure they have what they need
or offer your assistance. Many waitresses get stuck with the check
because they never check back in on the customers. Customers will
walk out if they feel ignored.
4. Be professional.
Being a business professional means looking, acting and saying
things in a certain way. No matter what industry you are in, it’s
important to watch what you wear, just as it’s important to pay
attention to what you say and how you say it.
No matter what the type of business environment you work in,
wear work-appropriate clothes. Encourage employees to avoid
wearing anything too casual like sweatshirts or flip-flops.
Female employees should be encouraged to avoid any clothing that
is too tight or revealing.
Speak in an
Do not use foul language. Never make any negative comments about
a customer’s appearance, ethnicity, economic class or family.
enthusiastic. No one wants to deal with an employee who hates
his job. Even if you do not like your job, or are having a bad
day, do not show it. This turns customers off. If you are not
interested in your business or company – why should anyone else
appreciation for customers’ business. This is one of the major factors customers consider when returning to
a business. Showing customers how much you appreciate their business
can turn them into regular clients. The most obvious way to show
this is by verbally telling them, “Thank you for your business, we
hope to see you again.” This should always be said to your clients,
no matter what else you do to show your appreciation. Other ways
include, “freebies,” coupons or discounts.
Remember your “regular” clients. Once you learn a client’s name, always address him or her by it.
Personalize their service by learning what they like or prefer. Get
to know something personal about them, whether it’s their hobbies,
children, or job. The more you can start to personalize service for
your regulars, the more appreciated they will feel. There is nothing
worse then going to an establishment on a regular basis, and having
the employees there ask who you are, or worse, act like they have
never seen you before. Your goal is to make every customer a regular
client, but personalizing service for your already established
clients will make them life-long customers.
customer service training for your employees can be just as
important as perfecting the quality of your business product or
service. You can have the best product or service out there, but if
you do not treat your customers well, they will not come back.
However, if you treat every customer with the utmost importance,
respect and courtesy your outstanding service will get your company
more referrals. The more referrals your customers make, the more
money your company makes.
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