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Customer Service

Definition – Customer service is provided before, during and after they purchase from you. Great customer service provides an experience beyond customer expectations. Bad customer service can generate complaints and customers might take their business to your competitor.

Smile – This is a simple and maybe the most powerful tip for customer service, smiles are contagious.  Do not pretend to smile, or produce a false smile as these are easy to spot and send the wrong message. By relaxing, maintaining eye-contact and smiling naturally you can help the customer feel at ease, you will be seen as friendly and approachable.

Make the Customer Feel Welcome – Use an appropriate greeting to welcome your customer, remember they have a choice of which business they use, they didn’t have to pick yours and they don’t have to stay with you. Start with a warm, sincere welcome such as “Good morning”, “Welcome”, “Thanks for stopping by” and follow up with “How can I help”, “Are you looking for something in particular today” or something that indicates you are happy to help.  You could steer the discussion to the product you want to sell but don’t come across as pushy.

Listen – You are unlikely to be able to help all your customers effectively if you don’t listen to their needs. By not listening you can become very frustrating to the customer and may lose a sale or repeat visit. Listen to the customer’s needs, empathise and find them the best solution. Don’t be afraid to ask the customer/client questions that will give you a better understanding of their needs.

Be An Expert – If you are selling cars then learn the details and specs of the models you have (and those of your competition), if you work in a hotel learn about the business, how many rooms, the history of the building, when breakfast is served.  If you work in a bank then learn the advantages and disadvantages of the products you sell and which product suits which type of customer. If you don’t know the answer to a question then say so, NEVER lie or make up an answer.

Keep Your Word – Only offer a customer something that you are certain you can deliver. It is better to tell your hotel guests that the fire alarm system is being tested in the morning than let them find out for themselves.  Stick to deadlines, make sure you turn up promptly for any appointments and never make promises you cannot keep.  If situations change then let the customer know as soon as possible.

Be Memorable – We tend to remember positive and negative experiences more vividly than average day-to-day ones.  Make every customer’s experience a positive one that they’ll remember and talk to others about. Be helpful, courteous and polite and give a little extra even if it is advice or extra information about the product or service they are interested in buying.