Developing customer service skills has become something that many people overlook because we sometimes think it’s the easy part of doing business. In reality, developing your skills in this area is critical, especially if you are a small business. Many of the large companies can invest in fancy and expensive trainers while the smaller business has to learn the hard way. In fact, bad customer service costs businesses billions of dollars every year. Think about it, before the internet and social media, it was estimated that for every bad service experience a customer experienced you would lose on average about ten. That person tells two people, and then those two people tell another two, and so on. Today, hundreds, if not thousands of people can view one single negative post about your business.
Getting good at giving great customer service is CRITICAL!
Here are five key areas to remember when giving great service, just remember G.R.E.A.T. (inspired from The One Minute Service by Loeffler)
G stands for GREET. Always make sure to say hello to your customers when they come to your store or visit your place of business. Take the initiative to be the one who says hello first. Have you ever walked in to a store or a restaurant and no one greets you? That does not feel so nice, now does it? Your customers want to be greeted.
R stands for RELATE. Relating to your customers means to find ways to connect with them. Find something in common such as favorite sports teams or favorite movies or songs. When you find something in common with your customer it will make you feel more connected to them and vice versa. People are loyal to people, not to things. Make your customer feel connected to you and your team by relating to them.
E stands for EXCEED. Exceeding your customers’ expectations means to find ways that you can over deliver on what they were already expecting from you. For example, have you ever hear of a bakers dozen? You go to a bakery to buy a dozen of something and the baker gives you the extra one for free. It’s that little extra something you can give your customers that will make them remember you for making them feel special.
A stands for AFFIRM. Affirming your customers means acknowledging their existence. This does not mean simply greeting them, this means treating them with respect as well as contributing to their buying experience with you. This means you should apply the platinum rule: Treat others how they want to be treated. Some of us like the big special treatment while others may like the more subtle or quiet experience. Get to know your customers so you can learn how to treat them better.
T stands for THANK. Always thank your customers for choosing to do business with you. A simple thanks can go a long way, even with the people you work with. It is refreshing to see a team thank each other in public because it give the perception that it is an enjoyable workplace. And if the customer perceives it is enjoyable to work there then they will perceive buying from you in the same way.
Apply these five simple keys and remember, always remember to be G.R.E.A.T.!