Here are “10 Great Customer Service Tips” distilled from 20 years of sales experience…
1) First impressions do matter. It has been said that you only have one chance at a first impression and that is absolutely correct. Smile, make direct eye contact, take your sunglasses off (if you are wearing them) and introduce yourself, but don’t be aggressive or pushy.
2) It is not what you say, but how you say it. There’s an old saying, “The tone makes the music”…so true. Even if the words we use are correct, if you are not sincere or believable, people will know. Think about when you shop for something, can you sense when someone is being sincere?
3) Give the customer your full attention. Don’t take calls, check your email, or text while engaging your customer. If there is an emergency, explain the situation, handle it promptly, then get back to the customer immediately. That customer in front of you is all you should be thinking about.
4) Make sure everyone knows what they are responsible for. If employees aren’t sure what their job is, then they might not be very helpful to customers. Everyone should clearly know their job responsibility, and that will help streamline your efficiency not only for your business, but in the eyes of the customer.
5) Never say: “That’s not my job”. Let’s say someone strolls in and is at the wrong place in your store or business relative to your exact job description. Politely explain the situation and make sure and escort that person to where they need to go. Have you ever had a waiter at a restaurant ignore you because it was not their table…How’d that make you feel?
6) Get rid of the fine print. If customers are continually confused by your policies or don’t understand something, then fix it. Your policies must be user friendly. If they are not, your customers won’t come back, and they will feel as though they’ve been cheated. If your cable company tells you that your price is good for two years, but the fine print says one…will you recommend them to someone else?
7) Never judge a book by its cover. I’ve seen it happen, a guy in flip flops and a t-shirt walks in a dealership and no one wants to talk to him yet it turns out he’s an Internet billionaire and ends up buying ten cars for full sticker…but nobody initially wanted to deal with this person. Don’t make that mistake.
8) Make sure your employees don’t gossip or talk about personal stuff at work, especially in front of the customer. I see this all of the time. If my salesperson is talking about their date or divorce to their co-worker, I’m not interested. When you’re at work it is always about the customer not your personal life.
9) Surveys and feedback are great. If someone takes the time to fill out a survey-read it. You’ve got a free consultant right there telling you what you need to know. Some people like to complain, but if you spot a trend, you better be all over it, otherwise your customers may go elsewhere.
10) Last impressions matter too. After a transaction or sale has been completed, do not celebrate your victory with other employees or rush the customer out, so you can get another customer. Focus on the customer in front of you at all times throughout the entire sales process. There will be plenty of time to celebrate after work, so save it until then.
Contributed by Till Kahrs, a Keynote Speaker who has worked with over half of the Fortune 1000 and is a frequent guest on Fox National News and ABC TV and author of “Enhancing Your Presentations Skills.”