Complaining is part of human nature, but wouldn't it be ideal if we could stop our customers from doing so? Although I am a firm believer that the customer is NOT always right, I do have to say that many, MANY companies leave very little to be desired in the service they offer. So, before we start pointing fingers and placing blame, let us go through essential aspects which you should be practising on a daily and hourly basis.
1. Delivering your Promise
This does not mean doing what you should do only. If you work in a shop, for example, and your employees are selling clothes and being polite to customers, that's good. But great service goes way beyond that! Great service is:
- Having a clean shop
- Providing your employees with the right tools
- Being present not just over the phone or via email, but also on social media
- Knowing what your promise is and deliver that. For example: if you promise affordable clothing, make sure your customers find that
- Giving your employees the authority to make certain decisions without having to worry about the employer's reaction
Your promise to customers should always be efficient and professional service, and these points are a great start to get you there!
2. Being a Psychologist and a Baby Sitter
As an employer, you need to first be a psychologist and a baby sitter to your employees, so they can replicate that with their customers. What do I mean by psychologist and baby sitter?
At its very basic a psychologist's job is to be understanding and emphatic, and also to be assertive when required. Understand what empathy and assertiveness require, then start using these skills on a daily basis.
Anyone who has ever spent some time with children knows that they come with lots of questions and a continuous need for repetition. Being a babysitter to your employees, does not mean doing things for them, it means getting rid of the assumption that they should know better or I have already explained this is enough to justify your lack of presence or help.
Employees are human beings and giving them a pay cheque at the end of the month does not automatically remove their fears, insecurities and doubts. If they have a question which you feel has already been asked, be happy, rather than annoyed, that they're coming to you. Explain, remind and keep doing that. It may not be what you signed up for, but it does come with the job of being an employer or leader.
3. Investing in Employees and Customers
Many business owners, employers or managers, tend to worry a lot about what customers may think about their company. As a result, lots of investment goes towards keeping the customer happy. This is great, but not enough. Your employees are the people who will be representing you and you need to invest in them too. You can do this by:
- Not making their lives difficult when they ask for a few days off
- Allowing time so they can enjoy special days with their families and friends
- Celebrating their loyalty towards your company
- Providing training so they can develop their skills
- Giving them time and space to express their thoughts, to name a few.
These 3 points focus on making sure that we prepare internally so that we can look better externally. This concept applies to everything, from getting ready for a night out, to organising a huge work event. If we don't invest time and energy to get ready behind closed doors, our efforts will go unnoticed in public. If employees are disgruntled, tired or disengaged, customers will notice and will eventually be displeased by what you have to offer...even if you offer the shiniest most beautiful product or service on the market. If you need further suggestions on how you can offer better service or motivate and engage employees, get in touch. We have lots of ideas to share!