How do you deal with the pains of customer service?
I work in the hospitality industry, and I spend a lot of money on what I call "guest investments" where I give some sort of discount, free merchandise, etc. in order to win back customers when something goes wrong. I can't tell if it's working or if I'm throwing money away. How does your business deal with the challenges of customer service and keeping people happy?
You very well may be "throwing money away" as you put it if you're not tracking to see if what you're doing is even working. How much are you spending on free merchandise? How much are you "losing" by giving away discounts?
It seems to me you may want to work on the problems that are creating this unhappy "campers" to begin with. You're in reactive mode and whenever you operate from this position you're gonna more often than not come out on the losing end...at least money-wise.
Here's my take on it all...1. Be Proactive - Prevent problems and make sure your guests are happy through their entire process. Encourage them to fill out surveys at the end of their stay.
This lets them know that you actually care. Most people are NOT looking for free merchandise or a hand-out - they want to feel like you care about them and that you'll remedy problems in a timely manner.
2. Give Out Gift Cards - Give out gift cards/certificates for use on their next visit. This way you can track their use and know if they're coming back.
Just my two cents...
Customer service is hard to achieve.
However simple tactics will work perfectly:
1. Hire the right people on board if you have staff. People who are patient and pationate with a service mentality
2. DIRFT (Do it right first time). This will minimize the hastle
3. Ask question and listen to understanfd not to reply
Put yourself in their shoes. Trading places will avoid conflict. May be if you are in the same situation you'll be doing the same
4. Follow up, follow up, follow up to check if they are happy or still have issues
Good customer service starts from within. Start by evaluating your own corporate vision, values, culture and communication. Enabling your employees to take responsibility for the entire customer experience and understanding why that is important to your business will reduce the "guest investments" substantially.
You might spend some time as a customer at businesses with outstanding marks in customer service and see what they do differently. Emulate what you like within your own business.
Most problems turn out to not be the customers. Their criticisms should be looked at as valuable business insight. Go track down the root cause, especially if you keep hearing the same things.
Good luck and thanks for reaching out for advice.
Recognizing the need for change is the first step to positive growth.
Great question. I deal with it through training of staff and building relationships with customers. Likewise, I work with the customer (HRD executives we train and license) along with our clients to keep in touch throughout our projects.
Customer service and pains are ironical. They are completely opposite. You choose to serve your customers well or go out of business. Don't forget, your customers remain loyal till they find a better alternative. Better in this case largely depends on excellent customer service.
Customer service shouldn't be considered a pain. If anything its' a privilege for you to be able to help those people. If you find that you are consistently clean up problems, then you need to look at how your customer processes and determine what is going wrong. Customer service should be proactive...ie. focused on keeping customers happy, and if it is reactive get to the root of the problem and solve it.
I'd guess that the real pain comes from not getting it right the first time. In addition to the waste and time and resources required to do it again, you've risked a customer relationship. Put a process in place where your people understand continuous improvement. Teach them the cost of not getting it right the first time and give them the tools and authority to fix it right here right now.
The quick answer is don't have an issue to begin with. The longer answers/questions are:
1. Are your People receiving initial training in the importance of keeping the customer satisfied? Do you share with them the complaints and commendations you receive from others?
2. Do you have a values statement of expectations as to how Customers are to be treated? Do you have a service goal and recognition program for your Associates? This is important so they know your expectations and when a customer is treated well, they should get some recognition. When a customer is not treated according to the values you set, you have to talk to the employee and reset the expectation. If you have already done this, is the orientation, training, focus maintained?
You are right, a discount only goes so far when it is given for an employees poor service.
Hi there. I agree with Carsten Schnier and Andrew Winig. Some customers are a little more difficult than others to please. When you go over and above and make customers remember the special and/or extra results your service and/or product yielded, it is worth it. It is true however, if you are steadily investing in fix-it programs and offers, it is more important to determine the root of the problem(s) so as to stop the unsatisfactory issues that are causing you to have to continuously pacify unhappy customers.
Although some instances are going to arise as every situation is not perfect, you want to avoid the situations. Finally, you do not want customers to get used to or expect unpleasantness from your company.
I go for striking on fair deal. When a prospect ask about my charges, I clearly told him that I goes all way out to make sure the prospect will definitely willing to pay. I.e. A price where the client will not reject but a loss to me. This is my "client investment", subsequent charges will be based on a fair charge where I am comfortable with and acceptable by client. I explicitly tell my clients that the discount only meant for 1st time, subsequent services will not be free and the big discount no more happen - the price will adjust to fair deal approach.
Ever since I use this approach, my new clients & repeated sales increase and no clients leave me at this point.