Business Column: Make customer service a priority this Christmas season

anguillian
By anguillian December 18, 2017 11:02 Updated

 

 

 

The Christmas holiday season for many businesses is the busiest time of the year. Ensure that your customer service levels are maintained and raised to keep old customers and attract new ones. Here are eight things you should be doing this holiday season to get customers bragging about your customer service.

1) Answer your phone and answer it properly. Perhaps your business is swamped with customers and you have no time to answer the phone. This is not an excuse. Hire seasonal workers if necessary. The customer on the phone isn’t aware, nor cares about what is going on in your business. Not answering the phone and not returning calls are signs of poor customer service.

2) Don’t make promises unless you will keep them. This includes deadlines, solutions and appointments. Customers want to know they can rely on you. Nothing annoys a customer more than a broken promise.

3) Listen carefully to your customers. It may be tempting to rush through dealing with customers as other customer may be waiting, but in the long run it pays to listen attentively to your customers. Customers who are forced to repeat their requests, or who are misunderstood, may take their business elsewhere.

4) Do not brush aside customer complaints or concerns. Remember that a customer who is listened to feels validated and valuable. Devise solutions instead.

5) Be helpful at all times. Your helpfulness should not always have a dollar figure attached. You may have the opportunity to perform deeds of kindness and thus add value to customer interactions.

6) Train your staff. Staff should be trained throughout the year and during the holidays – all they should need is a refresher. Ensure that staff is empowered to make small customer service pleasing decisions.

7) Make the extra effort. When customers walk into your business do as much as you can to be helpful. This might be walking them to the correct aisle or being patient while you answer all their questions even if they don’t end up buying.

8) Throw in something extra. It is the season to give. Give your customers a token of appreciation when they shop with you. It may not cost much but customers will appreciate the thought.

There are some basic customer service skills and traits that every employee in your business should possess. These are patience, attentiveness, clear communication skills, knowledge of the product, ability to use “positive” language, time management skills, ability to “read” customers, a calming presence, goal oriented focus, ability to handle surprises, persuasion skills, tenacity, closing ability and, of course, a willingness to learn.
Good customer service will ensure that your business stands out from the crowd and will be more effective in generating profits and goodwill than even price discounts.

The Christmas Season is stressful for both customers and businesses. Ensure that when customers come to your establishment they are greeted with a smile and surrounded by your customer service “Christmas magic.”
By Shellecia Brooks-Johnson

anguillian
By anguillian December 18, 2017 11:02 Updated

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