|I want you to think about your favourite restaurant, café or shop… what entices you to keep going back? Is it the food, the location, the décor or maybe the customer service? Recently I was forced to define what customer service means to me.
I was enjoying a lazy Saturday morning and decided to treat myself to a coffee. As soon as I ordered I began to question if I had picked the right place to go. I ordered without paying and walked around to the coffee machine and waited for my coffee to be made. I never had the chance to taste the coffee and judge how good it was. I did an inexcusable faux pas and walked away after 15 minutes before they finished making my coffee!
The experience made me question my understanding of customer service was for a number of reasons – when I placed my order they didn’t take my payment with my coffee order. This can cause problems due to people like me who, exasperated at the long waiting time, walked away without my purchase (note I have NEVER done this before!). This can result in high wastage costs and other unnecessary expenses. While waiting at the counter the sales person didn’t take the sale of a young boy either and eventually he walked away without even placing an order. To sum up they lost two sales in the time I was waiting which by no means is a huge amount, however the lack of two sales can add up over time. While waiting I observed what processes they had in place to see if I could do it any better. I noticed they had three people working; a trainee making cold drinks and food as well as taking new orders. There was a Barista as well as another staff member completing a stocktake who was not taking orders or helping the over-burdened trainee!
What’s the solution? It could be complex or maybe it’s as simple as not doing a stocktake during a busy Saturday morning. The problem is that sometimes we are too busy to see our own flaws.
There isn’t a right or a wrong answer to what makes customer service, because the factors of what makes customer service “good” also depends heavily upon what specific things a customer may hold valuable. Businesses earn your long-term support because they exceed your expectations. They treat you with respect and go the extra mile to win your loyalty and, in return, you keep going back to them. This all comes back to the age old saying the customer is always right.
If you are struggling to determine how you can improve your business we can help you. Via our Businext program we can devise a business strategy that is customised to your business.
To find out more click on the link https://listermason.com.au/business-support/
This article written by Isabella Nieuwland, appeared in our November 2016 newsletter.