There are varying levels of Customer Service across a wide range of industries and markets. The two steps below can be applied to any industry in any situation involving a customer and an employee. Regardless of what takes place during the time between; either one of the following moments can cause the business to lose or gain a customer for life.
The first step in providing Excellent Customer Service is for the business to recognize the customer AND make some kind of contact to ensure s/he knows they have been noticed.
Acknowledgement can be done in different ways including verbal; “Hi/Hello.”, “How are you today.” and non-verbal; eye contact with a smile, a head nod, or a simple wave of the hand. Any of these can instantly allow the customer a sense of recognition.
Customers are typically impatient, however, if they have been properly acknowledged and all visible employees appear to be working, their anxiety levels will stay a minimum. For a short period of time.
On the other hand, being flat-out ignored is deeply frustrating. It can and will lead the customer to loudly voice his/her opinions or simply leave and share the experience with friends and family.
Equally important to the customer is feeling appreciated for their business. Customers have options and sometimes those options are closer and more convenient. It is vital that businesses and their employees recognize and thank the customer for choosing them.
This cannot be the mindless, heartless, “Thank you, come again” offered by someone with the feelings of an ATM. The customer gets the same emotional contact from the ‘Thank You’ printed on the sign by the door and on the plastic bags that fill up the back seat.
The key to appreciation is sincerity. Employees should look the customer in the eye and say out loud. “Thank you. I appreciate you coming in today.” Sounds simple, but so many find it difficult to say with any real emotional connection.
Think about it next time you hear a sales person or waitress say ‘Thank you’. Do you think he/she meant it? Do you feel appreciated?