Great Customer Service…What does it mean to You?
by Sigrid de Kaste
Many small business owners talk about great customer service. They write in their marketing material about how exceptional they are in their customer service…but are they?
Interestingly, great customer service seems to exist more in the business owners mind than what is actually experienced by the customer
Here three examples of customer service I experienced during the week
1. When shopping for an advertised item at the local store they did not have enough of what I wanted. The staff and manager in the store at the time I went shopping did not know if the quantity I wanted and the way I wanted the item, would be available. I was asked to phone the store on the day the manager who could answer my questions would be there
How would you rate this customer service?
In my time in retail, as staff member, manager and business owner I’ve always made sure I take on the responsibility of getting in contact with the customer, not asking the customer to call the store. That’s good customer service to me
As small business owner, how do you handle customer enquiries?
2. Then I was in a local shop asking if there was perhaps more of an item in the store room. The staff member simply said: No, that’s all the stock we have. I wondered around the shop a bit and found similar items. The staff member could have easily pointed out to me that I might like to choose from those…
As small business owner you are missing out on valuable business by not training your staff on what they are selling for you. You may be missing out on sales and create bad customer service experiences
How do you train your staff? Do you see training as a valuable part of your customer service?
3. Having made an appointment some time ago work and personal things piled up and I felt I just could not keep that appointment. I re-scheduled for the week after. Then it turned out, on the very last minute, that I found out that service had been booked for me as a surprise by my husband with another business
I sent a detailed message to the small business owner, apologizing, and got this reply:
” I would appreciate a bit more notice tho. Espec on sat. As twice now I have had other people wanting that time. Espec when booked for 6 wks then cancelled at the last minute. Makes business a bit difficult for me. I hope they do as good a job as I do. I finally became your ………, got your …… nice …… Loyalty is a great thing and missing in todays world. I am a bit dissapointed. I do hope you come back to me next time”
How do you rate this customer service? Would you go back to that small business owner?
I think loyalty has to be earned….don’t you? Loyalty is a result of great customer service, don’t you think?
…and now for a success story
Great customer service I received from an office supplies business.
When looking for quality and safe office chairs for a new staff member I employed, the office supplies business owner personally explained the various chairs and their advantages to me.
The excellent customer service made me buy more than one chair because I wanted to. It was not suggested to me as part of the sales process, I simply wanted such quality chair for myself, too.
Am I loyal to that office supplies business? YES, I’m going back there today to look for other chairs I need in expanding my offices!
In summary, may I suggest you take a good, hard look at your customer service…I know I am after a week of not so good customer service experiences
Oh…and do leave your thoughts on this below…I’m sure we will all benefit from various experiences and thoughts on this important topic of customer service