How to shine bright with your customer service this festive season.
During the peak festive season many customers seem to be more demanding and unreasonable, deliveries take longer, wait times increase and inevitably tempers begin to flare.
Here are 5 tips to ensure your team are prepared for the Christmas rush.
- Listen- Acknowledge the best way to gain customer satisfaction is to listen. Those customers that are truly dissatisfied are bound to let you know! Those in the customer service team need to recognise those that are disgruntled and offer an immediate solution ensuring the customer feels heard, their feedback is valued and overall avoiding an escalated complaint. Having pre-prepared solutions, strategies, and leverages to the most common scenarios is the best way to your prepare your team.
These solutions are best generated in quieter months and learnt from focus groups, finding these issues ahead of peak season! Team members then feel equipped and competent when ‘that’ customer presents themselves.
- Remain Positive- Christmas can be stressful for many but to ensure the customers leave with a positive experience we have to ensure your front line team are creating a positive environment. Encourage team members to embrace those customers with the Christmas spirit, use positive language and retain a cheerful tone. Ensure team members are taking their breaks to be able to refocus and rest.
- Focus- Yes happy customers are a priority but you need to remember to focus on your team too. Making team members feel valued and is a fundamental part of creates a united team, remembering to reward your team and acknowledge their hard work, shows them that you appreciate them. Simple things like having chocolates, red frogs on hand can prove affective.
Reiterate how their actions affects the overall customer service experience. “If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients”: Richard Branson
- Consistency and service recovery – If all team members including back of house aren’t given the same information there is great risk that your team will deliver very different answers, allowing customer to become annoyed and a possibility to take their business elsewhere. Having a resource of checklists, expectations and procedures allows questions to be answered quickly and accurately for team members.
There is nothing worse than being put on hold only to be transferred 3 times just to make a dinner reservation and then being told to phone back. We are all time poor, assisting the customer in one transaction or phone call is appreciated by the customer.
Service Recovery – Handling complaints in a calm and professional manner, reflects everyone in the organistation. Remember it may not be your fault but it is however your problem and how you manage the situation is critical.
- Lastly, Communication is Key- It’s easy to over promise and under deliver, most people don’t want to be told ‘no they can’t’, however a lot of customers understand it is Christmas and it is a busy time of year, causing additional stress can damage the reputation of your orginisation. Therefore communicate the expected time whether its delivery of 3 says or that your steak will take approximately 45 minutes that you ordered at the bistro.
Though a stressful time of year for everyone, having a simple plan assists those in the in customer service role be prepared and confident in providing the VIP customers experience.