Good service the go at Harvey Norman in Gladstone
THE Australian Customer Service Store of the Year award goes to ... Harvey Norman Gladstone.
Every two years Harvey Norman holds an awards night in Melbourne to honour successful franchisees and suppliers of the company.
Earlier this month Harvey Norman Electrical franchisee Les Ispanovic received the customer service award, making it the seventh award his team has achieved in two months.
Mr Ispanovic said he was ecstatic to be receiving the award.
"I'm just so proud of my team. They have such a passion for customer service," he said.
"None of this would be possible without my staff.
"It's a hard award to win. You can't ask for it - you have to earn it and we all deserve it."
Staff are issued with awards if customers call head office to report on good customer service.
Mr Ispanovic said he had been in the retail business since he was 14 years old, and 28 years later he remained in customer service field.
"I'm 42 now and couldn't be happier with what my team and I have achieved.
"It can be tough to maintain a high level of customer service, but we have done just that."
Mr Ispanovic recalled a time when he put customer service before everything else.
"A customer bought a fridge from our store, picked it up from our warehouse and tied it to the back of her ute.
"Unfortunately, she didn't tie it properly and the fridge fell off the back of the ute, destroying it completely."
The business owner said he had had to make a hard decision.
"In the end the customer's happiness is the most important," he said.
"We ended up picking up the damaged fridge for her and replacing it with a brand new one, free of charge.
"It's not supposed to be our responsibility, but these things happen and we understand that."
The business owner said he prided himself on employing locally, and congratulated all of his staff for their efforts.
He particularly paid tribute to customer service manager Amanda Hanlon, who looks after all customer concerns and claims, and Brody Warburton.
"No matter what happens during the day, Amanda will always leave with a smile - she's very unique. There aren't many people in the world like her.
"Brody is our storeman and is also a valuable part of our business.
"Amanda and Brody are quiet achievers in our business, but are both exceptional in their jobs, which is dealing with customers every day."
TOP TIPS FOR CUSTOMER SERVICE
- Always make eye contact.
- Be positive and helpful.
- Engage in friendly conversation.
- Listen to their problems and come up with the best solution.
- Go above and beyond for every customer.
- Never tell a customer to help themselves.
- Never turn away a customer without a solution.
- Don't be rude or act frustrated towards their requests.
- Don't pretend you haven't seen the customer.
- Never leave a customer unsatisfied.