In any kind of business, aside from profit maximization which is of course the primary goal of any establishment, another important thing to stay alive and progressive is to keep the customers from getting back to offer them again your service and to make them fulfilled after rendering service onto them. In the readings, this has been the core concept in the analysis of how managers and staffs deal with their customers and how these affect the overall outlook of the customer into their business.
Maybe it is better to start at details that somehow most of the business today readily taken into granted since they believe that customers can take it. One of these is the value that any service crew and manager must have – providing fast service. The lack of this value is shown clearly in the Cheese Cake Factory when the customer was not given any choice but to wait for the complete meal for about an hour. In such scenario, one of the best things in eating has been lost, the appetite, which is very essential especially in the appreciation of the food and the service, as well.
On the contrary, Shaw’s Supermarket, aside from the good personal dealings with the customer, renders what the customer needs in just a few minutes. Fast service is a good quality though there maybe some considerations in this matter. For example, in the Anchor Subaru, though they have not fulfilled the job in the expected time, they have found a way of trading it off with good personal relations with the apology and by not charging the customer with the overnight storage. Aside from making the service fast, it must be effective, that is, it must give the customer what he really needs or what the business has promised to offer.
Behind this lies many obligations a service crew must have to render effective service. Top on the list is the knowledge of the business, which is somehow displayed by most of the businesses in the journal especially the incident on the Bank of America. Another thing is the ability of finding solutions to emergency situations – including merchandise returns, failure of offering the required good or service, contingent loss of the desired good or service, etc. Take the incident in the Dunkin Donut and the Stop and Shop as an example. Notice that the two haven’t rendered the desired service or good the customer had asked for.
Although they both seem to have alibis – in the Dunkin Donut, the staff might thought the customer had drank half and he just want to have a refill, and in Stop and Shop, it is clear that there are no lamb meat at all available at that time; but still it is better if they had treated the customer a lot better. Like what Schindler noted in his article “5 Secrets of Good Customer Service”, the business personnel must provide the customer with the real service, and in case of failure to do it due to a contingent event, offer him any other service as an alternative.
Also, never blame the customers especially during their complaints if in doing your service, it doesn’t go fine or something wrong happens. Instead, try on looking for a solution so that you and your customer will share satisfaction. Fast and effective services are only few factors that affect the outlook of the customers in how the business is rendering a service. Still, there are many qualities that a customer service must have to improve customer relations. According also to Schindler, the staff and the manager must be honest. He or she must not commit promises if they are not a hundred percent sure that they can fulfill what they said.
Like in most experiences, a service staff is not rank or graded by what he is promising or saying what his business can do for the customer but on the service itself. Making false advertisements or promotions will only makes customers lose their trust as well as loyalty if you’d earned it from them. Customer service staffs and managers must also be courteous and patient. Aside from entertaining them if they have to wait and giving them extras as promotional items, staffs and managers must deal with customer as if they are the most precious asset of the business – which is true.
In case of complaints, always deal with this as if you are the one that lacks the right factor to fulfill the service and you are willing to give them extras in exchange of interruption or in cases that you think you had given them the right service they want, explain to them politely and clearly that you’ve done what they asked for and maybe offer other services or refer them to other establishments that will surely give what they want.
In this way, customers will appreciate the way you treated them and hopefully will come back. Also, customer service staffs and managers must be helpful. Often, customers asks for advice in picking a service or choosing a good so you must not only be knowledgeable enough in the services and goods you offer but also helpful. In the journal, most of the praises in the service and also the problems encountered by the consumer is not only linked in the technicalities or the nature of the service.
Most of the times, the attitudes of the service provider and the manager or owner of the business plays a major role in keeping the loyalty of the customers. Throughout the paper, it is noted that staffs must observes these attitudes which in turn must be equipped with proper training in work ethics or presented with a good example as in the manager. I think most the major points stated in the journal boils down to a common and important lesson every customer service staffs and managers must always remember and learn which is listening to the customer.
Sometimes, due to the focus of the owner or manager in maximizing his or her profit, factors of customer service are sacrificed. Some of them are understaffing which leads to long queues of customers, lack of comments and suggestions board, lack of freebies, etc. The bottom line is providing customer with excellent service that might exceed their expectations is one of the keys in succeeding in business.