By John Igbinosun
#2 Thou shalt be nice
Stop for a moment and think of the best service experience ever given to you at any outlet or at any merchant.
What are the key things you remember? Usually top of the list would be the smiles, the cheer, the courtesy and how warm and chummy you felt.
Compare and contrast that to those moments you had a bad experience. Above all else from the bad service, the key words that keep ringing out are “she was so rude, so dramatic, so much attitude”.
Yes! Being nice and sweet can cover a multitude of ‘service sins’. You don’t have to be the all-knowing and all wise guru who has it all figured out. You could even be a novice on the job. But the extent that you show and portray warmth and niceness can make a lasting impact on the business and the customer’s perception of the company.
The saying holds very true here that, first impressions really do matter.
#3 Thou must ask the right questions
So the client is coming to you to complain about a torn dress bought at your boutique and the first thing you ask her is “are you sure you didn’t tear it by mistake?” Seriously? How does that even work? Fine and granted, some customers can be shady and dishonest, but with the right questions and attitude, you can keep the situation under control and ensure that an amicable solution is reached?
So let’s back up. Lady comes to you with the torn dress and you say to her “aww, I’m so sorry to hear this. When did you notice this?” Baaam! Now you are talking. The client can then narrate to you all the needed information for you to make an informed decision.
Avoid questions like “what do you want” rather you may ask “what would you like to have? Or how may I help? Or which of the options are okay for you” you dig?
#4 Thou must go the extra mile
This has probably become one of the most quoted of the commandments but the least used. Ironic yes? We quote and scream it in all service engagements and meetings. We print flyers and communiques around the subject but we never really come around to doing it. Truth that I have learned over time is that going the extra for a client is like one of the easiest things ever! The only problem is that people are really not invested into making that extra move without expecting some form of recompense. But when you have applied the first commandment to yourself, every other like this becomes a real work over. It is also key to note that going the extra never meant having to carry the customer on your head, literally. It’s very little things like a personal call a little later to confirm how their health is doing, or a personalized birthday message from you as an individual to show you remember and care.
#5 Thou must put yourself in your customer’s shoes
This is the next most used yet abused commandment. Allow me to say at this point, that the true meaning of putting one’s self in someone else’ shoes is more imaginative than it is figurative. Remember that not everyone uses the same shoe size and that means there must be an innate ability to adapt to each customer’s unique complaints/requests. There will always be the clients who would never give you enough information to create the needed judgment and proffer a solution. It is at this point that you flow from being the all articulate service personnel, to the emotive and sensitive human who can relate to what the client is trying to express. Truly, it is not as easy as it sounds, but with constant practice and application of one’s self to the job, it becomes less of a chore and more of a call.
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