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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Top 10 Customer Service Tips To Have Happier Customers

What is the inter-relationship between “Marketing” and “Customer Service”?

Simple
Great marketing will bring in customers for the purchase Great customer service will get these customers coming back Great marketing requires lots of effort, creativity and often a large budget Great service, on the other hand, is often much simpler and requires significantly less money!

Customer Service is the key to a company’s success. Why? The logic is simple:
People prefer to do business with people they like
Here are some simple tips to help you and your staff to deliver significantly better customers.
1. SMILE!
This is so simple and basic that it is embarrassing to keep reminding people to do it. Many employees don’t smiles because (a) they forget to smile (b) they are so frustrated working in the company that there is nothing to smile about (c) they have been smile to 120 customers this morning and they are just tired of smiling
It is so frustrating to walk into a shop and not receive a smile (just a blank stare) from the sales staff/ receptionist, etc. For the receptionist, she may have smiled to 120 customers already, she is sick of smiling. But for this customer, it is the FIRST TIME that he has walked into the shop! So, please, smile.
I know a company with a simple policy “If you don’t feel like smiling today, please don’t come to work!”
2. Pretend it’s you!
If you are serving your customer and they need something, pretend it’s you who needs the help. How would you like to be served? What would make you happy? Always put yourself in the shoes of your customer. Be more caring
3. Repeat your customer’s request before you process your customer’s request, always say “let me make sure I understand you correctly “You would like to …… Is that right?” Customers are always happy when you repeat their request. This simple action shows that (a) you really want to get it right and avoid unnecessary mistakes (b) the customer is assured that you have understood her correctly.
4. Double Check. Always double check even though you already sure. Here’s an example. If your customer has requested for an item that you are sure is already out of stock, do not immediately tell the customer that there is no more stock. You may say something like this “ I’m sure that this item is already out of stock. But let me double check it for you again just to make sure….” Even if you later tell the customer that the item is indeed out of stock, she will be more satisfied with your answer because she is satisfied that you have “really” made the effort to double check it. Customers just want to be sure that you have really tried.
5. Stay Focused Good eye contact is the most important aspect of face-to-face communication. Good eye contact shows that you are listening carefully to what your customer is saying. Avoid looking elsewhere when your customer is talking to you and explaining to you his problem. Stay focused. Even when talking to your customer on the telephone, you can stay focused by not typing/ writing/reading anything unless it relates to what your customer is saying. Stay focused.

(To be continued)

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What customers expect when they make a complaint

customer with smile

handling customer with smile

We all make mistakes from time to time. When it comes to running a business, these mistakes can lead to a customer making a complaint. This is looked at in depth in the section entitled ‘When things go wrong’. In this introduction I would like to point out the ten expectations that customers
commonly have when it comes to having a complaint resolved.
By knowing what your customers expect, you may develop a greater understanding of the complaint process and of ways to resolve complaints quickly and fairly. Customers expect most of the following whenever they make a complaint:
1. To be treated with respect (acknowledgment that their business is important).
2. To be addressed by name in a courteous and sincere manner.
3. To deal with someone in authority who can resolve the complaint quickly.
4. To have the complaint taken seriously.
5. To receive an explanation of how a particular problem occurred.
6. To be called back when promised.
7. To be given progress reports if a problem can’t be resolved on the spot.
8. To be given options to resolve a problem.
9. To receive a sincere apology when an error is made.
10. To be assured that the problem won’t happen again.
As business owners and operators, it’s easy to be defensive
when a customer makes a complaint. However, we should all
be grateful, because it gives us the opportunity to do something
about it. Unfortunately, most complaints are never
voiced; unhappy customers simply go elsewhere and tell their
friends to avoid your business. Look at every complaint as an
opportunity.

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