|Service with a Smile (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
A good example of this, is if you are in a supermarket and you ask an assistant where an item is, they will tell you an aisle, however if the assistant tells you, but then shows you exactly where it is, they are the ones that provide great customer service.
A positive attitude and a smile also goes a long way, knowing that the person is happy to serve you (or appears happy!) can make all the difference. Companies that know the benefit of great customer service to their sales figures are the savvy ones. In this day and age, and these tough economic times, companies can't afford to ignore staff training in this area.
Small businesses often know and value great customer service. After all the owners may work in the business or have close links to the day to day running. I run a business in the luxury retail market and I know the importance of chatting to customers, building a rapport, and trying to meet their requests and needs.
Some big businesses do it well. John Lewis for example. John Lewis staff are partners in the business, and are highly trained to offer helpful and impartial advice on all products. Their service doesn't end with your purchase – they are great at providing excellent after sales and a great choice of expert services to help you, from delivery to installation. But so often big businesses get it wrong.
Recently I went to a chain restaurant , I had no issue with the food but the customer service seriously let the place down. When we got there, there was no warm welcome, no smile, no, "How Are You Today?" No attempt was made at pleasantries. We had a reservation but no one thought to ask us if we did. We were plonked down on a tiny table by a noisy (and smelly area). I am not going to go on about the restaurant as this post is not about them, but I would say staff had little warmth about them and poor explanations of the menu selection were given. They were busy I could see that but what a very underwhelming welcome.
To improve the service all that was needed was a brief chat, asking how you were today, if we had a reservation, an explanation of the menu and a personable waitress that nothing was too much trouble for. It was all the more awkward as I had to blog about my experience for the company.
I have visited America on a number of occasions and they get so much right there. Efficent service with a smile, nothing is too much trouble, always helpful they seem to almost always get it right. Maybe the system where tips are a larger part of the wages help provide better service?
What does great customer service mean to you? Have you ever had any issues with customer service resolved through social media. Let me know!