With so many comparable retail and service concepts on the market, the key differentiator and customer acquisition/maintenance tool for many businesses is their ability to provide “superior customer care.” This customer service can be delivered in thousands of different ways — so instead of listing those countless techniques — thought it might be easier to document some of the non-negotiable “no-no’s” Grooming Lounge tries to avoid every day both in-store and online. We’re by no means perfect, but this is the “never list” for our company and could benefit many other organizations.
- NEVER USE “NO-PROBLEM”: A business should always be thanking it’s customers, but when a customer verbally shows thier appreciation via a “thank you” — the last thing they should hear is “no problem.” C’mon, you’re not doing them a favor… the customer is keeping you in business. “It’s my pleasure” or “No… Thank You” is always a better response.
- THE ANSWER JUST CAN’T BE “NO”: A customer-centric company always has to provide options or alternatives. Sure there might be no availability for a service, reservation or product, but it’s the business’ job to at least attempt to find a different direction to please the customer. Won’t always work out, but the effort to accommodate has to be displayed.
- LOOK THE PART: Nobody wants to buy a product or get a service from a person who doesn’t appear to practice what they preach. A slobby workplace appearance gives off the feeling that you’re unorganized, not into your job or could just care less. No on wants to buy a phone, get a haircut or be served a meal by someone who looks like a mess.
- GUM, CELL PHONES & BOOKS — NAH: Not many things are less customer-focused than chewing gum, checking a personal cell phone or reading a book at work. Customers in person will be instantly turned off and folks on the phone will notice they don’t have your full attention.
- ALWAYS FOCUS ON THE CUSTOMER IN FRONT OF YOU: In an ideal scenario, there would be enough staffing to focus on both the guest at the front counter and the one on the phone. However, real-world business is never ideal and thus the living, breathing person in front of a staffer should always take first priority. The customer on the phone can be put on hold or can be called back ASAP, but leaving a live customer in the lurch to deal with a prolonged phone conversation is never appropriate. Giving the man or woman with the wallet in front of you full attention is paramount.
- PERSONAL PROBLEMS NEED TO BE LEFT OUTSIDE: While many folks in the service industry develop nice relationships with their guests or customers — it’s important to always realize that there is still a business realtionship there. Staffers should never make the mistake of burdeoning thier customers with outside noise. As nice a person as the customer might be, they are ultimately there to get a service or have an experience. Hearing about a “staffers” issues is a business killer.
- GETTING TOO COCKY: There are always other options for consumers. Other companies can deliver an outstanding product, dinner or hair cut too. The point is that the second a company starts taking its customers for granted — and stops doing all the little things right — is the second eyes start wandering and other options are explored.
Thanks for listening and would appreciate any feedback or additional points.