Why should I care about customer service? Do I really need to care about my customers? How will I benefit from improving or providing better customer service?
Today my daughter and I had breakfast at a local diner. This place is small, has been around for a long time and has what I would call great local food.
I know when I order the I will get my food quickly, and I know that nothing will be complex about the experience. The menu is simple.
The staff that run the place have been around for a long time, too. They run the kitchen and the counter. The servers who run the 20 or so tables on the floor tend to rotate. A young girl helped us today. She was not very pleasant.
Her approach to customer service was nonexistent. It did not affect the food. But it did affect the overall experience. Because this is a place I regularly go, I am sure I will return. If I were a first or second time customer, the server’s approach would not bring me back. What did she do that was wrong?
Well, she did not smile. She did not let us know what she was doing or going to do. She did not ask how we were doing during the meal. She did not let us know what to expect next. She did not say thank you. She did not engage in one or two sentences of “light conversation” when asked a question or two about her day. She did the minimum. We got our food, and we got our bill and I got a coffee re-fill after asking.
My daughter suggested that she might be having a bad day. Perhaps. I have been to this diner before, and this same server has helped me. She has been the same each time. She is consistent. In my opinion, consistently not engaged. Maybe she doesn’t like her job. I don’t know. I do know I am her customer, and as the customer, I am paying the bill, and I expect excellent service. I don’t think that is asking for too much — especially, when delivering excellent service is really very simple. And, if you think she was too busy, she had three tables (ours with two, another with two and a third with four customers).
So, why should she engage in better customer service? Here are some reasons:
1. The owners care, and they make this a performance standard. If I were an owner of the diner, I would educate my staff as to why a purposeful approach to customer service was important, and I would teach them two or three simple techniques to help them with success. SNAP messages are a great place to start — status, next steps, approximate timeline, and the planned outcome — just tell the customer what is going on and what to expect.
2. The staff care and they challenge themselves to deliver increased service. When I have an active customer base, I continually push myself to meet and then exceed the service levels I deliver. I make a game of this. I do this because I care about my customers, I care about the service I provide — I am proud of my service levels, and I want others to think of me as someone who excels at service delivery.
3. I own the business, and I want to have a great reputation among my clients. Some of the traffic at this diner is from tourists. They will come in once and then probably not again. However, they will (or will not) refer the diner to friends who might travel to the town. The locals who frequent the diner are repeat customers. If I own the business, I want to increase the flow of repeat business. For a local diner, there may only be a few ways to do this. One way is to be known for excellent customer service.
4. If I work at the diner I want to maximize my income. The servers get paid a minimum base rate and the majority of their income comes from tips. Observing over the numerous times I have been to the diner, I estimate the average ticket to be $10 – $15. Not much. The average tip is two to three dollars. Not much for the server. Consider this: If I significantly improve the customer service I deliver, can I increase my income? I say absolutely, yes. If I can move my tip by $1 on average per ticket, then, on average, I have increased my income by one-third. This is significant.
If I deliver excellent customer service will I get repeat customers? Yes.
If I deliver excellent customer service will I sell more — increase my average ticket? Yes.
If I deliver excellent customer service is it better for me? Yes.
If I deliver excellent customer service is it better for my boss? Yes.
If anything I do is better for my boss, is it better for me? Yes.
Are there good reasons for not delivering excellent customer service? No, there are no reasons for not delivering excellent customer service.
Therefore, deliver excellent customer service.
Can you help your staff understand the company impact of excellent customer service?
Can you help your staff understand the personal impact of excellent customer service?
Are you currently having consistent and on-going discussions with your staff about customer service?
Have you defined excellent customer service a performance standard?
Go here to find out how SNAP — “Deliver Excellent Customer Service With A SNAP” can help you, today!
© 2015, Philip Espinosa. All rights reserved.