A QUESTION we often ask when interviewing potential new team members is: "What does good customer service look like to you, and can you give me a example of when you received good customer service lately?"
Unfortunately, all too often, the first part of the question is answered easily, but the second part usually stumps them. This is a sad reflection on business.
Often the answer to the first part of the question is something like: "Greeted with a genuine, friendly smile when arriving at the business or walking into a shop, and being attended to promptly, not just ignored or made to feel like I am interrupting them or that I'm an inconvenience."
Unfortunately some businesses do not do these things well.
To stand out from the crowd, you need to be a shining star in customer service and delivery. So what does that mean?
You need to meet and exceed your customer's expectations every time. I know this sounds cliched, but the first step is to identify exactly what these expectations are.
Your customers turn up with a set of expectations, developed from what they already know of you (or businesses like yours), from what they have seen of your advertising or marketing, from what they have heard by word of mouth or from referrals. So they show up with a set of expectations when they arrive. These expectations fall into two areas:
1. Their expectation of your products or service and,
2. Their expectation in terms of dealing and interacting with you - the relationship.
How can you identify what your customer's preconceived expectations might be? Survey your clients, ask for their feedback, maybe even hold a client advisory board, run by an independent person. Another good source of information on client expectations is your team - ask them what they think your customers expect.
Now that you have identified these expectations, it's important to know that you cannot control those expectations, but you can control the customer's experience with your business.
Then make sure your team adopts these standards consistently.