Are you doing everything you can to help your customers? What else could you be doing? With the summer break looming it’s time for hotels and activities companies to start reviewing whether they are doing everything they can to attract new customers. Elsewhere, at about the same time, retail businesses start thinking about how to make the most of footfall during the summer months.
The tourist season is a short one and many businesses are heavily dependent on having a good season to keep their business afloat. However, have you ever had a call that goes like this?
“Hello, Complacency Hotel, how can I help you?”
“Hello, I would like to check your availability for the 29th February please”
“What sort of room are you looking for?”
“Double, Single, Standard Double, Executive Double or Suite”
“Just double thank you”
“We have no doubles available for the 29th February”
“Oh, ok. Thank you, bye”
And the reservation is lost and the booking gets snapped up by Proactive Park Hotel down the road.
Following the five golden rules of giving a great customer service experience could have not only saved that particular booking but could have resulted in repeat custom, and maybe even a booking for an executive double or even a suite, increasing that customer’s spend from maybe £300 to several thousand pounds over the course of a few years…and then there’s all the people they might have told about their wonderful stay…
The 5 golden rules of customer service
1) Keep it professional
Ensure your staff are not distracted by personal conversations or text messages. Limit mobile phones not needed for business purposes to the staff room and personal calls to a minimum. As a consumer there’s nothing more irritating than the till operator or call handler chatting to their sister/friend/boyfriend or even colleague whilst you stand there waiting to be helped.
2) Convey a consistent brand persona
Train your customer service teams to project a consistent professional and efficient image. This will increase confidence within your customers and enhance the customer experience.
a. Pay attention to how staff answer the phone
b. Identify the information they need and ensure that you know where they can get it.
c. Review your systems. An ineffective IVR will get rid of your customers faster than you can say ‘can I help you’.
3) Solve issues or concerns quickly.
People are usually quite understanding about mistakes and problems occurring but incompetence in the resolution is a lot less forgivable. Find out how they would like the situation to be remedied and deliver it if you can (and if it’s reasonable). If you can’t then see consider how else you can remove any inconvenience that the customer has encountered as a result of the issue.
4) Know your products and services and get your teams trained in closing sales.
Better knowledge of products and services means more than just additional money in your coffers. It also means more ways that your staff can help your customers.
5) Treat your customers like individuals.
They have interests and personalities, questions and concerns. Addressing them as people and engaging them in conversation can go a long way towards building rapport and getting that sale as well as improving their experience of your business. You can achieve this through learning customer empathy. By this we mean, using techniques to understand the needs and feelings of your customers so you can treat them as the authentic individuals they are.
These rules can be applied to any business, not just hotels and restaurants. By obeying the five golden rules of customer service you will find your conversions increase and your reputation improves overnight.