Every couple of months, I have to make a phone call to the customer service line with Freshbooks, the accounting platform we use at McMahon Marketing. My reason for calling is usually the same every time; I’m trying to figure out how to
utilize a certain function. So what happens when I call? I ask them my question; sometimes they know how to help me right away and other times they need to research the solution and call me back. They always call me back in a timely manner
and walk me through the resolution. Every single time I hang up the phone with one of their representatives, I literally say out loud “Wow, they are so nice.” You saw the word literally, right? I’m serious when I say EVERY single time I have to interact
with them, I hang up happy.
The reason I share that short, boring little story with you is to show you how easy a task it is to provide great customer service. Its simplicity is almost frustrating considering how many companies fail so horribly in this area. For me, and I would
like to assume many others, customer service is everything. I will pay higher prices, travel farther distances and wait in longer lines if it means I will be treated well.
When I think about my most recent experiences where the customer service was lacking (to say the least), my complaints are almost always the same. How could they have made the experience better for me? How could they have turned a sour situation into a sweet one? I’m so happy you asked…
Here are five common sense ways to provide a wonderful customer service experience to your guests.
1. Acknowledge your guests
This seems so obvious, but this is one where I feel companies fail the most. My coworker and I walked into a restaurant the other morning not too long after they opened for breakfast. I think we were two of maybe four people in the restaurant at the time. I’m not kidding when I say that three of their employees turned and looked at us - one of them making direct eye contact with me - and then looked away. Not one of them smiled at us; not one of them said hello and not one of them welcomed us to their establishment. If I were the Manager on duty, I think I would have fired all three of them.
2. Customers are not your burden
Believe me, we all have days we would rather be at home sleeping or binge watching old episodes of The Office instead of working. However, your responsibility at work is to work. Without customers coming into your store, there would be no position for you; there would be no income for you. No one should ever be made to feel like an inconvenience when they are spending their time and money at your place of business.
Customers ultimately want to know that they are valid in their concerns. Take time to listen to their situation and ask questions. This shows that you value them and their business.
4. Never say, “There is nothing I can do.”
There is ALWAYS something that you can do. When I’m told that there is nothing that can be done, my thoughts are one of two things: You are lazy or my business means absolutely nothing to you. Both of which are unacceptable. What matters is
that you are trying. When Freshbooks doesn’t know the answer to one of my questions right away, they call me back later. I know they care about my business.
5. Keep in mind that you never know what someone is going through
Sometimes all it takes is a simple smile to change a person’s entire day. Imagine how many customers you could gain by doing something so small, yet so powerful. The craziest part about customer service is that it truly isn’t hard. We all know its
importance for a business to thrive. We all know that without customers, you have no business. The reality is, that providing great customer service is just acting on basic human kindness. It’s so simple.