No Shortcuts in Providing Customer Service
I remember many lessons that my parents and elders taught me when I was a young girl. One of the lessons that still resonates is, “If you are going to do something, do it right or just leave it alone”. I quickly learned that nothing seemed to agitate them more than me doing an incomplete and half-hearted household chore; it usually meant that they would have to go behind me and perform the task from scratch which would take twice as long to complete (my incomplete performance and their time to do the job right).
When we consistently take shortcuts to providing great customer service, we do not fulfill the assignment for which customers and clients hired us so they have every right to fire us (take their business to the competitor). When their issues/requests are unresolved and unsatisfied, some businesses have quickly learned that it is the fastest way to become infamous for being known as the business with terrible customer service.
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Did You REALLY Mean to Say That?
Recently, I visited a specialty grocery market that offers a variety of foods and beverages from across the world. I asked the wine steward if he carried a particular labeled champagne (I like, Perrier Jouet). He asked me if I meant to inquire about “a cheaper brand of wine”. His question caught me so off guard, I was not sure whether to be insulted that he insinuated my palate was not distinctive enough be familiar with this brand of champagne, or whether I should have been astonished that he felt comfortable assuming I did not know what I wanted. In either case, I helped him understand that I knew exactly what I asked for and asked him to answer my question. As it turned out, the store did not have the champagne in stock, however, the bottom line is that he lost the sale—I bought the wine from a competitor. I did not enjoy the interaction with the wine steward nor the lack of customer service. Needless to say, my customer experience was unpleasant.
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Providing Customer Service From the Millennials’ Point of View
Recently, I read a blog by Micah Solomon, forbes.com contributor and author, that described how Millennials expect to be handled when it comes to customer service. Mr. Solomon made 7 important points that deserve consideration. His blog follows.
“In business, we tend to think of customer service and hospitality as following age-old principles, and there’s certainly truth to the idea that hospitality dates back to ancient biblical and Greek models. But the particulars of how customer service has been delivered for the last several decades are extremely baby boom specific. it’s time for businesses to change, and change fast.
Here’s how to make Millennials love your customer service — and your business — in seven steps: Read more →
Business Make Over/Renovation?
Don’t Forget to Re-tool Customer Service Skills
When business profits improve, it is not uncommon for an organization to, among other things, expand the square footage of their existing buildings or construct a brand new facility in order to accommodate the influx of new business. As the United States finds itself continuing to recover from its recent deep recession, it is not unusual to find facility expansions almost anywhere in the country. Expansion is an excellent sign of prosperity and is a benefit to the business, the community and the country. While cranes and earth moving equipment can sometimes be inconvenient, and force us to take alternate routes to our destinations, many of us welcome the sight because it is an indicator of economic growth.
As businesses build extensions to existing facilities or erect new ones, it is also important to remember to review and update the level of customer service.
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Now THAT’S Customer Service (and Wisdom)!!
Earlier this year, as I was on my way to run an errand before attending a client meeting, I stopped by an upscale fur boutique to take a quick browse. The owner met me with a gracious and sincere greeting at the door. He noticed that I was missing the top button on my blazer and asked if I would like him to sew it on while I browsed. I did not even realize the button was missing so we briefly retraced my steps outside of the boutique—no button. The owner said that he would provide a button for me, sew it onto my blazer and I could be out the door and be on time for my important client meeting. I eagerly accepted his offer.
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