face to face communication
This is what customer service is all about. The aim of this section is to address a number of areas that all have the same basic component—face-to-face interaction with the customer. The ideas recommended describe the sale from start to finish, from the minute the customer is welcomed into the business to the time they leave. They should be memorised by anyone who deals with customers on a daily basis.
# Be welcoming
# Be organised
# Be prepared to make a recommendation
# Talk to the customer, not through the customer
# Do something unexpected
# Remember to say ‘thank you’
A strong, warm and sincere greeting is considered one of the most basic of all customer service tips, yet it’s quite a rarity
these days. What is more common is either no acknowledgment or a rehearsed, insincere greeting.
You have a few short seconds to impress your customers when they first contact your business. This may be over the
phone or when they are walking in through the front door. A strong and positive greeting, with good eye contact and a big smile, is the perfect way to start off the relationship. Of course, sometimes this can be hard to do. You may have
had a late night, problems at home, a difficult customer earlier that day or a host of other problems that have soured your
mood. These all need to be forgotten. Every customer that walks through the door should feel important and welcome in
your business. A poor greeting is like a poor handshake—the customer goes away feeling unfulfilled.
There really is nothing worse for a customer than going into a business where the staff can’t seem to find anything. The simplest request is thwarted because the staff can’t find a pen or the latest sales catalogue, or the credit card machine, or some other object that is essential for making a business work. Being organised is an impressive trait that gives the customer confidence in your business. If you can’t even find the simplest of items to complete the transaction, what other things could you have messed up? Foolproof systems are great for overcoming these kinds of problems. A simple thing like attaching a pen to the counter with string to eliminate the pen shuffle is a good idea. Neat stacking of stock in the storeroom enables you to tell at a glance what you have available for sale. There are literally hundreds of
ideas that you can use to improve your level of organisation and, as a result, the overall level of customer satisfaction with your business.
A constant bugbear for me is having to chase up suppliers to send me an invoice. We often have to oncharge services and we like to include a copy of the invoice to show our clients that we haven’t marked it up. We can’t invoice our clients until we get the bill from our supplier, so if they are slack it affects our cash flow.
If you feel that your organisational skills aren’t as good as they should be, find someone who is organised and get them
to help you get back on track. Often a fresh pair of eyes will pinpoint weakness in an existing system that can be easily
source : “101 ways to really satisfy your customers” author : ANDREW GRIFFITHS.
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