Customer Service as Face of your Business
Customer Service is the face of any business organization. It provides the first impression to a first-time person encountering your business. Indeed, first impressions are important as they create a certain impression regarding your business. The impression people have of your business needs to be a positive one, if your business is to be sustainable in to the future.
People get their first impression of your business at the point of Customer Service, even before the product is purchased or service is rendered. How so easy it is to decide that you would avoid a shop or a business place because of how you were treated or because of how you saw someone treated.
In the light of this, the receptionist or employee (whom I’ll refer to as “the attender”) who handles client/visitors/customers should not be taken for granted. The attender needs to feel fully part of the business.
He/She also needs to be a highly enthusiastic and should be a highly motivated individual. If the attender is not motivated and passionate for what your business is about, the customer service part of your business will be negatively impacted.
The Attender or receptionist should not be treated like a nobody. This will get to your clients too.
Customer Service cannot be taken for granted; send your receptionist for Customer Service training and workshop. It is not a waste of resources.
You may decide to teach that employee how to attend to your Clients, that’s fine. However, in addition, you can be sure that the effect would be different when heard from a general training session not addressed to only him or her.
Customer Service is not about how beautiful or handsome the “Attender” is. If he/she has a negative attitude towards people, this will Mar your business. A business that contributes towards transformation of people and nation, requires that you do things differently and better.
We can each testify to our customer service experiences, and even those instances when we too may have been perpetuators of unpleasant customer service experiences for others. Things can be different.
Practical Steps that can help improve your Business Face
- Seek ways to reach out to your clients and add a smile to their face. For example, have a database of basic information of your clients, and then send them a text message on their birthday.
- Listen for Customer Feedbacks: When you plan or review your business strategy and steps towards achieving your goals, take time to listen to what the receptionist has to contribute. Feedback from clients is crucial to improve your product and/services.
- Ensure you have motivated staff. These persons would take initiative, seeking ways to grow sales. This also means that they will be mindful of the quality of attention and responses provided to clients.
- Have a welcoming ambience: Let the physical space for welcoming clients be conducive for interaction, for both customers and employees.
- Show equal respect to clients, irrespective of differences, male, female, old, young, the gorgeously dress and the simply dressed. In societies where people tend to greet the male figure, give him attention and ignore the female who walks in with him, this happens too at business places. Dimeji Oladimeji, an expert business coach, had this to say, “They don’t understand the influence of a woman. The man may have the money, but the woman he loves controls the pocket. In marketing you reach out to the influencers and not just the person with the money”.
You may also wish to look at Consistency with your Customer Service Processes
- Empathetic Listening: Listen to what the client is saying, as well as the body language. Also listen to what the client is not saying. As you work on the face of your business, EMPATHY is a very important part of Customer Service. Different people would come with different needs, demands and enquiries. It is important that the attender be empathetic when listening to clients.
- Patience: Be patient when they come to you confused and frustrated. Stay patient!
- Know the product: Every team member needs to know the product or service enough to do a good/basic presentation to clients. The clients can easily be helped when faced with a challenge related to the service or product.
- Persuasion skills: An employee should be able to convince a client of a product. You certainly do not want to lose even one customer. The employees should be interested and motivated enough to know the products inside out.
- Use of positive language: Even if the product is not available now, I would not say, “I cannot get you that product now because it is out of stock”. I’d rather say, “That product will be available in two weeks’ time and I will reserve your order”. And do the necessary follow up and delivery, as promised.
Tales abound of customer service experiences that are not satisfactory, and even for some better ones, not an all rounded good experience either. You can change this beginning from your own business.
You may also wish to look at: Customer Service through Phone Calls/SMS/Email
- Linda Ellah