Consistency with your Customer Service Processes
In a previous article, we looked at Customer Service as the face of the organization. It gives the first impression for a first-time person encountering your business. We also saw that people get their first impression of your business at the point of Customer Service, even before the product is purchased or service is rendered. So, we explored some basic points around that.
Today’s topic is part of that first-class business face you seek to create.
As a business owner, you would need to pay close attention to how you would want your clients to be treated when they encounter your business. One good way of doing that is to have a high level of Consistency in your Customer Service processes.
Do you have a simple process or processes in place?
Importance of Consistency in your Customer Service Processes
Consistency in your Customer Service Processes is important because:
1) It helps you avoid any impression of discrimination
2) Helps your employee attend to clients in an efficient and professional manner.
3) Boosts business as your clients would want to keep coming back to you. Besides, a happy customer will help promote your business to others.
Avoid Discrimination: Discrimination here refers to how you treat a customer depending on some variable; if the client is male or female; young or old; rich-looking or simple-looking; looks ‘important’ or looks like a “no-body”; has a government title or is just a simple citizen. Of course, no body is a “no-body”. Everyone is important, and has potential to boost your business.
Now, if you have a simple formal process in place, it would help you treat clients as equal as possible. The difference in feedback would come at the level of what the client expects from the business or wants to offer the business. The point here is that the customer experience need to be simple and basically equal for everyone.
Of course, the staff needs to be able to see when there is a specific need for each client. In other words, it is not just about rigidity, but attending to clients without discrimination.
For instance, in my experience of customer service, I created for myself a basic procedure for attending to ANYONE who approaches my table. There is always a chair or two in front of my desk. So, anyone who comes, I greet and say, “Please have a seat.”
If I am really so clogged up with tasks or have something at hand doing, I politely excuse myself and request the person to kindly give me a minute or two. However, generally I avoid doing this as much as possible. I know that during that “hold”, every second counts in creating an impression about me and the business.
Then I listen with much attention. Sometimes the office room may be noisy from chats by other staff or customers, but I know I need to focus on this person before me. So, depending on the content of the concern or enquiry, my response will flow accordingly. It may require directing the client to someone else or providing the needed feedback. However, whatever the concern or enquiry, it is important to be as HELPFUL as possible.
In cases where I know that we really can’t help, I provide relevant information on or even contact of where the person could go as an option. If you have handled a customer properly, you would often get a “Thank you” or an appreciative comment.
Even in cases where you may not have provided a direct solution to the need at hand, you see that a person express appreciation based on how he or she was handled. Who would not want to be treated rightly? Your best consolation should be in your knowing that you have handled the client to the best of your ability. And that it translates to increased business sales, directly or indirectly.
Here, knowledge and awareness in the moment matters, because you need to be able to read the body language of your client as you engage them.
When a female or male come, both should be offered a seat (if this is the kind of setting you choose to put in place). Primarily, it would be nice to at some point listen to each of them. What tends to happen is that the male speaks up first. He may go on and on without a word from the female client.
As the “Attender”, find a way to bring the female or the other person into the discussion so no one feels left out. When you do this you very likely get additional insight or information from the other person. Every client should experience a feeling of being worthy of recognition while they encounter your business.
Processes are important and staff need to be conversant with them. Having a consistent Customer-centred process will make your business an unusual one.
We know that our usual experience of customer service isn’t always pleasant, but we can decide and so put in place measures to make a difference in this regard.
You may also wish to look at: Customer Service through Phone Calls/SMS/Email
- Linda Ellah