Great Customer Service begins at the Door
Good customer service isn’t only about painting a smile on your face and performing certain plastic and rehearsed actions. Guest and customers can quickly and easily see through these feeble attempts at niceness. In order for you to build a Great Customer Service culture in your establishment, you need to constantly train your employees so as the Great Customer Culture comes naturally to them.
When a Customer Walk in the Door
I use these steps in my Delivering Quality Customer Service trainings. Got it from a friend and since then I have added some of my own experience into it. It’s a sequence that starts from the time the customer walks in till the time he leaves your establishment.
Train your employees to always remember that anyone that walks through your door is a potential customer.
Step #1. Be Visible as Soon as a Potential Customer Enters Your Store
Train your staff to properly acknowledge anyone when they walk through the door. By acknowledging them, you will give them the impression that you value their business. Teach staff to look up from their point of sale machine, stop whatever they are doing for that moment. You need to train them to do it naturally, not like a tape recorder that plays every time someone presses the button. If their job needs them to be away from the entrance, such as going in and out of the storeroom, then you need to have some kind of gadget that alerts them when a customer enters the store. I have seen some not to expensive ones that run on batteries. It gives out a sound every time someone passes its beam of light. You can put it at the entrance doorway.
Step #2. Greet the Customer in a Friendly Manner.
The first hotel that I worked had this Japanese Restaurant, where whenever someone walks in the staff even the kitchen staff behind the sushi counter will shout out in Japanese to welcome the customer. The manager there said that’s the way the Japanese greeted their customers. You don`t have to go to that extreme. Just greet the customer how the community around you greets their family and friends. Make eye contact, don’t stare. Smile, don’t grin. And say something such as, “Good (time of day). How may I help you?”
Step #3. Project an Image that You are Ready to Assist
Just by simply acknowledging and greeting the customer, your staff will give him/ her impression that you are ready to assist. But don’t follow the customer too close as nobody likes to be followed around or rushed while they browse through your menu or your store. So train staff not to continually follow customers around or rush them through the menu. Even interrupting them every few minutes to ask them how they are doing will sure to annoy them and chase them away. If the customer says “Just looking around” or “Just browsing” , just let them browse and after a while approach them to enquire if they have found what they’re looking for. Put yourself in their shoes that you are trying to choose something and a sales person is trying to push their product. How would you feel? But don’t neglect the customer completely.
Step #4. Listen Carefully to Whatever the Customer’s Request.
The way to show this is by making eye contact, nodding, or even jotting down notes. Jotting down notes ensures that you don’t miss out anything and you have something to refer to later. But you must remember to look up at the customer from time to time. Ask necessary questions when the customer is finish if you need more details that will help you to solve the problem. Never and I say it again Never interrupt a customer when he or she is speaking. This will make the customer feel that you’re not interested. In my trainings I tell my employees, you can’t listen when your mouth is moving. I normally quote this “God gave you two ears and one mouth, so as you can listen more and talk less.”
Also ensure that your staff knows products and services offered inside out. I usually make my staff repeat their product knowledge of a new item daily in our pre-dinner briefing until I or my assistant is sure that the staff knows the product by hard. I ask them to say in their own words, so as they doesn’t sound like a robot when talking to the customers. For good customer service, tell customers what they want to know, not everything you know about it.
Step #5. Pay Attention to your Body Language- Always be Cheerful, Courteous and Respectful
Teach your employees to pay attention to their body language. They or even you might not notice that their body language is driving the customers away. So train your employees how to maintain a professional image. Never, never ridicule him if he asks you a stupid question. Remember he is paying your salary and also never judge how much he can spend by his appearance. I have seen some people who dress simple, can actually spend a large amount of money if they are treated well. So as I have written in Restaurant Promotion Ideas #4. J.B.N- Just Be Nice.
Step #6. Last but equally as important, end on a sweet note.
Even if the customer doesn`t buy anything, you should end on a sweet note. Train your employees to never pull a long grumpy face. Avoid phrases like “Here we go again” or “OK then” and turn your back on the customer. He might not buy now but if he is treated with respect, he might return to purchase later or best of all he might tell his friends how well you treated him. If the customer is not ready to buy anything, you can use phrases like “is there anything else, that I can help you?”, “Would you like a brochure?” or “Would you like to try that on?”. But like mentioned above watch your body language and tone of voice.
Remember this Customer Service Quote
Coffee Shop Secrets
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2. “They” don’t want to create more competition for themselves (ie, other coffee shop owners).
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