Every business, regardless of their area of expertise, strives to be the next big thing in their field. Whether your goal is to be the next Nike, the coffee shop that beat Starbucks, or the next wave of fast food franchises to give Mc Donald's a run for its money, it all boils down to one goal: customer service and satisfaction.
Customer service and satisfaction usually produces a big and loyal market, high gross profit, and recognition within your field. Whatever the business or field is, the general principles that gear toward customer service and satisfaction are the same and transcending. Here are some useful tips that you can apply to your own business or field.
- Set the benchmark high. Make sure that your general goals and immediate objectives are excellent and high. Keep in mind not to make your immediate objectives too idealistic. Instead balance your general goals with realistic objectives. Instead of being the best coffee shop in the state as your immediate objective, focus on being the best one in your city first. This way you can progressively improve your objectives to eventually reach your general goal.
Setting the benchmark high also includes enforcing excellent standards for your business or company. Apply guidelines and routines that promote those high standards. Make your standards visible at all times for employees to see and be reminded of. That way you are making it mandatory for all members of your business to be on task.
- Get everybody onboard or hire people who want to. It is important that everyone involved in your product or service venture be on the same page as you are. Everyone must have an idea on the company's goals and what is expected of the members of the company from the front liners to the executives. No one should be exempt from the rules, objectives, and standards. Everyone is expected to be focused on the goal of conveying an excellent product or service to the consumer.
If there are people who aren't meeting these standards then hire people who would willingly play the part and work with the team to meet them. If your company is undermanned then maybe hiring another prominent mind can help even if it would require additional costs.
- Be available and accessible. Customers must have a convenient means to voice their opinions, praise, and suggestions about your service or product. You can be more accessible and available for any kind of feedback by providing different modes in which consumers can speak their mind, such as: an email address, customer service contact numbers, fax numbers, a website, and a mailing address. By expanding the accessibility of your business to the consumer, you will be able to readily see good practices and areas of improvement that you may need to take note of to improve your product and service.
Availability and accessibility do not just apply to your consumer. It is also important to get immediate feedback from your subordinates. Having regular meetings and opening the floor for questions and queries is one means of accepting feedback from your employees. You may also open suggestion boxes or mailing groups so that comments, views, and suggestions about company protocol, professional development and other issues will be given attention.
- Groom a culture of extra milers. Service to the customer must be the top priority if you want to achieve a high level of satisfaction from the consumer. And this usually entails going beyond your regular task since you will encounter different personalities and varying standards from your consumers. From providing complementary hot towels to customers after eating to accommodating a request of a guest on what to add to their hamburger, a business must promote a culture of extra milers in order to go far. They must be people who will be willing to work a little harder, spend an extra half hour more on cashier duty, or clean up a little longer when a crew member is absent. These types of people are indispensable role players that a business must strive to develop. This will not just provide quality service and satisfaction but will also give a good impression about your product and service.
Aristotle said it best when he said "We are what we repeatedly do, excellence then is not an act but a habit." The same goes with achieving customer service and satisfaction. Achieving it takes a lot of focus in keeping good practices, maintaining it, and eventually improving it as well.