21 Dec What’s With The Attitude?
It seems like many of the stores and businesses that I deal with these days, rude employees are the face of the business. After all, the employees that are helping the customers on a daily basis are the face of the business, not the management. Way back when, customer service was a priority with most businesses. However, it seems now that it’s really hard to find businesses with great customer service. What’s the deal? Do business owners not understand the importance of good customer service? Do owners and managers not stress the importance of making customers happy? We are in times now when each business may have 5, 10, or even 20 competitors in a small city. I looked in the phone book the other day for carpet cleaners and found over 50 different businesses listed under that category. And I know that about half of businesses don’t even advertise in the Yellow Pages any more since internet search is so prominent. With so many direct competitors, businesses really have no choice but to focus on stellar customer service if they want to stay in business. Personally, I will actually go to a store with slightly higher prices if the customer service is good as opposed to going to a bargain store with lousy, non-existent, or rude customer service. Loyalty is the name of the game and great customer service will gain you loyal customers.
Every business should have a plan on how they deal with unhappy customers. Here are few suggestions that you can use as a peace offering and diffuse unhappy customers:
- Apologize. You don’t have to admit guilt, but apologize that they feel that way. It works the majority of the time.
- Express to the customer that you will personally make sure this doesn’t happen. Tell the customer to ask specifically for you and you will help them avoid any problems in the future. Customers love to have a go to person within a business who will take care of them.
- If an employee feels like a situation is getting heated with a customer, bring in a manager to speak with the customer. Often times, customers feel much better about talking to someone in charge so they can vent their concerns and feelings.
- Offer the customer a discount or coupon for a future purchase. This helps encourage the customer to give your business another chance.
- Offer the customer some kind of nice promotional product as a “I’m Sorry Gift.” I’m not talking about a 25 cent pen here, but something of value and something useful.
- Offer a discount on their purchase they will be unhappy with. Maybe they are only 10% unhappy and a 10% discount will make up for the mishap.
- Offer a refund of their purchase, if necessary.
- Most importantly, if a customer does give you another chance, EXCEED their expectations.