Are there ways to speed up your customer service?

Serving customers quickly is very important in most businesses.
Time is a commodity that many of us have in shortsupply, and it can be very frustrating to have our time wasted due to poor customer processing techniques. From my experience with customer service surveys, long delays significantly affect the overall level of customer satisfaction, and in many cases it’s the number one reason for customers choosing to shop elsewhere.
Often, customer processing procedures have evolved over time. They may have worked in the past, but as the business has grown the old system no longer copes with the increased number of customers that the business may now be serving.
I suggest that you spend some time looking at your customer processing area. The following suggestions could possibly be incorporated into your business.
1. Traffic control
Is it clear where your customers should go for service and
how they should queue? There is nothing worse than a mass
of people jostling to be served.
2. Express service
Are there lots of people waiting for simple services that will take only a few seconds? If so, you may need an express service lane, similar to those found in larger supermarkets.
Banks now offer express payment boxes for automatic deposits and bill payments. There are many businesses that could offer similar express payment options.
3. The waiting area
Is the waiting area inviting and friendly, or are your customers forced to dodge other customers entering or leaving the business? Do you need to provide seats?
4. Distract your customers
Can you make the wait more interesting? I went into an insurance company recently to pay a premium renewal and they had a video playing with a well-known comedian telling jokes.
It was fun and relaxing, and it made a five-minute wait pass very quickly. Best of all, I arrived at the counter with a smile on my face. Some businesses insist on having big clocks at the front of the queue so that you can watch every excruciating second pass as you continue to wait in line.
5. Review your signage
Look at your signage—just because you have a sign telling customers where to go and what to do, it doesn’t mean that everyone will see it or understand it. Some of your customers may have reading difficulties or a language problem, or they may simply be distracted and not really observant at the time.
6. Talk to people who are waiting
When the queue is long, go out and talk to your waiting customers. Apologise for the delay and let them know that it won’t be long. You might consider handing out a treat of some sort.
7. Cater for children waiting in lines
Children having to wait in queues can easily become distracted and bored. If your business has a lot of families coming in with children, look for ways to keep them entertained, such as a children’s video showing in the background, a small playground, or some other distraction such as a fish tank (fenced off so that the children can’t bash on the glass and send the fish into cardiac arrest).
There are many other areas that can be addressed that may be relevant to your particular business. The main aim of this tip is to encourage you to look at ways of speeding up the service that you offer and making any delays more enjoyable (or at least less miserable).

source : “101 ways to really satisfy your customers” author : ANDREW GRIFFITHS.
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