December is a great time to focuss on the aspects of your business that will make the greatest difference. Your structures and your systems. For those of you who are busy over the Christmas season, it’s really important to make the time to ensure your structures and your systems will carry you through what may be the busiest time of the year.
What are we doing well, what can we improve?
How well have you set up for an increase in customer traffic whilst maintaining customer loyalty best practice service standards?
You might have new staff. How well are you training them, coaching them, observing what they’re doing, and giving feedback?
Have you set them up for success?
Do you have your Aces in the Right Places?
Is your team Fired up and Ready to Go?
78%Of The Buying Decision Is Influenced By The Person Serving
Customer Service – It’s all about timing not just actions
When we talk about customer service, we often forget about when the best time is to greet people and farewell. We talk about, greetings and farewells and asking questions but what’s not really discussed in detail is timing.
For example, when do you greet someone? When is the right time to greet someone?
If you greet someone, when they get to the counter, they’re often looking down, they are looking at what they’re putting on the counter, so, in that moment there is no eye-contact.
Eye contact is one of the key parts of the customer service, when we look at training customer service standards into teams, if face to face, it’s all about timing and when is the right time.
When training customer service standards face to face we train teams to greet people as they approach, we look at every possible situation. How is the counter placed and where does the customer approach from and what is the best position for the staff member to greet from? WHY? Because it all comes down to eye-contact.
Customers appreciate their personal space, and most retail counters are 900 to 1200mm wide. WHY? Because it allows for customers’ comfortability. If well designed, counter layouts provide the customer with the personal space they need to be comfortable to connect with the customer service person.
What about farewells?
We’ve found the perfect time to farewell a customer is the moment you offer something to someone’s hand. Whether it be a receipt, their purchase or cash, timing is perfect.
In training I demonstrate this by asking a portion of participants to lineup and I walk down the line and offer every person a piece of paper into their hand whilst the other participants observe this demonstration, and then I ask them to tell me what the people receiving the piece of paper did do. Every time, without fail, I am told just everyone looked me in the eye. They did this without even thinking they just took the piece of paper from me.
The timing coordinates perfectly when we farewell a customer with eye contact and a smile with teeth, in the moment we are handing something to them, saying have a lovely day, I guarantee you will receive a response, eye contact, maybe a smile, and a thank you.
Here are 5 great actions you can take this week:
- Review your service standards. What extra things can you put into your system to have your business stand out.
Remember the basics are the most important. Does every customer get a greeting with eye contact and a smile and a farewell in the same way.
N.B. If you don’t have any service standards we need to talk. Service standards should also include dress and grooming standards.
- Daily Set Ups. Meet with your team every day to set them up to deliver the best possible service.
Good questions to ask are: “What will you do to deliver great service today?”
Remember your questions should reflect your service standards.
The intention of this meeting is to ensure your team are fired up and ready to go, if not take an action to support them.
- Coach Coach Coach. Observe your team members to ensure they are doing their jobs, offer any improvements to behaviours that are not consistent to your service standards.
Remember to be specific, don’t generalise or make personal judgements.
What did they say or do that needed to improve then ask them how they could improve for next time.
- Catch them doing it right. Praise the behaviours that you want them to keep doing.
Remember ‘Praise is like champagne it should be served while still bubbling’.
The secret to any feedback is to be specific. Don’t just say that was ‘really good’, say exactly what was really good.
- Finish the day or individual shift with a debrief. How did it go? Ask what could we improve and what went really well.
Remember always finish on the positives.
Thank each person for their individual efforts.
Finally, if you want to create word of mouth you have to stand out, near enough is not good enough.
Need more information? Have a look through my previous Blogs, located on The Loyalty Zone website or contact me, I look forward to hearing from you.
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