Whilst on holiday recently someone said to me they believed it crucial to hire bubbly, happy, and energetic people for customer service roles in hospitality and tourism businesses; so much so that it can make or break a business.
They are bang on, because having the right people can take your business from ordinary to extraordinary. But customer service, and teaching those vital skills shouldn’t just be reserved for the people who serve customers daily as first point of contact. Those skills need to be instilled in every person in your business.
Why? Because at one point or another everyone in your business deals with your customer/clients. It might be your payroll person, HR person, accounts person, housekeeping staff or even your gardener. They will all at certain points engage with your customers. If you want to be known for great customer service, you can’t just train some of your team and not others.
One example that I always find interesting is that most businesses fail to train customer service in their accounts department, and it’s generally one of those areas in a business that can be touchy to say the least.
For example, if you put someone in charge of accounts payable that has no training in the soft skills of dealing with people, you will find that there might be some “flair ups” regarding unpaid or overdue bills, and news flash, paying on time is customer service!
How you treat each and every piece of communication that goes in and out of your business personifies your businesses customer service. True story.
So those emails you choose not to reply to speak volumes about you and your business. It might not be someone you want to deal with, but that person may have other touch points with your potential customers or lucrative business opportunities. You just never know, so always come from a place of customer service and at the very least show respect for other people’s time.
So, our top tips are to train your staff in customer service, and not just your front of house staff, all of them. Because not only does it keep you all on the same page, but it also assists you to have a unified team.
Secondly, treat each and every interaction the way you would like to be treated yourself; respond to emails or delegate to your staff, openly communicate with your customers and clients about the fun stuff, and also all the boring stuff like billing and payment terms.
And lastly, treat every interaction as if they were the first customer you ever had.
What do I mean by this?
Remember that first customer you had when you opened the doors to your business? Remember how excited you were when they walked in the door and how thrilled you were that they picked you? Treat each and every customer with this same care and enthusiasm, and you will have a great business.
Just my two cents
Kate Bickford MD & Owner - BK AGENCY: