Is Poor Customer Service Costing You Sales?

  • Nov 6, 2012

Tips to Improve Your Company’s Customer Service

ideas to improve customer serviceAustin, Texas: How hard is it to get customer service right?

I mean “really” right.

Too many companies judge the performance of their customer service team by the number of complaints they get on a survey form.

Some of the more progressive companies even gauge their level of customer service by the chatter in social media forums.

Others do mystery shopper reports to either catch employees doing things wrong or rewarding those that are “caught” doing things right.

But are you getting to the real root of customer service issues and concerns?

Are your employees asking insightful questions to gauge sentiment?

Not stupid questions like: “How was the food?” or ” I hope everything was fine with your stay” type of throw-away lines after the service was performed.

I am talking about customer service-oriented questions that uncover facts, such as:

“What could we have done to make your stay better?”

“Are there any dishes that you’d like to see added to our menu?”

“How long did you have to wait to speak to a customer service agent?”

“Did we resolve this issue to your liking?”   Then, depending on the answer, follow it up with: “I’m sorry to hear that. What could we have done differently?”

“Any suggestions that you’d like to suggest for improving your visit?”

Ask questions– then stop and wait for an answer.

Do not defend your turf.

Do not engage in an argument.

Just ask and listen.

Really listen.

Pay attention and nod. But, most importantly, really listen.

If you start to see a pattern — then make changes.

If not, then fine tune your answers more until you get to the heart of what type of customer service issues are in the minds of your customers.

After all, what is the point of asking questions if you already know the answers?

That does not improve customer service at all.  That just makes you feel smug.

One bad experience with customer service can give your company a black eye – and ruin your good reputation permanently – and cost you a great deal in lost sales. Here are some ideas to help improve customer service.

Homework assignment: Write down 5 or 6 thought-provoking questions that you can ask of your customers to gauge their level of happiness – then start asking.

Then fine tune.

Then ask again.

Your customer service should always be a work in progress.

There is always ways to improve it.

Start asking questions.

Here’s to improved customer service–and happier customers.