Recently, I visited a boutique for a new outfit. On this day, I just popped in for a quick trip. Little did I know that my attempts at an ‘in-and-out’ visit would soon become the greatest testing of my patience for the day. I found the perfect outfit, but was confused about the cost. Two identical outfits in the same size and color were marked differently.
I brought my purchase to the counter to inquire about the true price and to alert the boutique staff to the pricing conflict. The customer service member became a bit discourteous and suggested that someone had pulled the discounted price from another item. The suggestive tone made me feel as if the ‘someone’ being referred to was me. I clearly stated that I wasn’t certain how either price was placed on the items, but wanted to inquire about the true price. A supervisor, upon hearing our exchange, came over to assist. After explaining what I’d encountered, she simply looked the item up in the system to confirm the true price and to see if there indeed a discount. There was a discount, but one of the items had been overlooked when the prices were changed.
I was tempted to be offended and make a fuss about the encounter but realized that the problem did not solely rest with the customer service member, but also with the company for insufficiently training her in the basics of customer service. I was convinced, even more, about the necessity of training all levels of staff in the basics of handling customer service issues and inquiries.
You work diligently to present the best product possible. You’ve invested a create deal of time, energy and capital into your business. There are a few questions to ask yourself when you consider how you handle customer service in your business:
- Does my staff understand the essential role customer service plays in my business?
- Does my staff have the same passion for positive issue resolution that I have?
- Do I have a written customer service policy?
- Is customer service a part of all new employee training?
- How often do I offer refresher discussions and training about customer service?
Customer service training should include an understanding of who is responsible for what within your company. Staff should be confident in contacting the appropriate person when fielding questions and responding to service issues. Confident and competent staff helps to build trust relationships in your business. If your customers feel that their questions and issues were handled with care and proficiency, it only builds their confidence in your business and your products.
Don’t let all of the great work you’ve established be decimated by not taking the extra step to ensure that all your staff is appropriated equipped to handle the unknown and unforeseen that might arise in your business.