Why is it that fast food restaurants are so popular when 99% of the time, your order is wrong or the wait is so long that it cannot be described as fast? The truth is, that as a society, that we have become programmed to accept “good enough.”
The good news is, as a business, all you have to do is perform a bit better than good enough. To borrow a phrase from David Letterman, here are the top four ways to improve your customer service.
The first thing to keep in mind is that whatever customers think about your business, they believe to be the case. There is no successful way to change this belief; the correct response is to apologize for whatever the customer feels went wrong and offer an acceptable solution. Imagine how you would feel in any given situation if you were the customer and go from there.
Next, you need to consider how employees are going to handle complaints. There are many ways for customers to share their feelings about your business. They will tell a friend or post a negative comment on social media. The best way to avoid this is to provide a better than average customer experience. Remember, your business’s reputation is only as strong as your customer’s most recent interaction.
The third thing to remember is to empower your employees. Customers can tell if your staff is following a script and will get frustrated if they are told “that is against protocol.” Allow your employees to use his or her best judgement to resolve a situation. Management should only handle the parameters (amount of refund or product).
The last thing you need to do is to find out how you are doing. You need to find out how your customers truly feel about your business. To make sure you learn about the good, the bad, and the ugly experience your customers have, create an easily accessible way for customers to give feedback. Creating a survey for customers to give feedback makes it easier for you to learn what needs improvement. It also helps keep unhappy customers from voicing their dissatisfaction on highly visible places like social media and review sites.