(By Hazel Luke)
You are as you treat your customers. Persons say that they have been bombarded with a lot of talk about Customer Service, and lately Customer Care, but they are essentially the same thing, except that Customer care goes a little further than just greeting, smiling, having a conversation with the customer and providing a product with a smile, or an acknowledgement of sometime a ‘false appreciation’. Customers have remarked by the time they turned their backs, through the corner of their eyes, the smile fades into a frown.
Customer care is more of building an emotional connection, understanding the needs of the customer, building a high-quality interaction that span beyond the customer leaving the business with the item. They must remember the service-care given and will not only return but will become the witnessing power of the business.
One of the most misguided action of a person providing customer service is that once the customer pays for and receives the product with a smile, after following them around in the store, their task is done, but the satisfaction was not receive, the customer did not have an experience of the service-culture of the space. So what happened here is that the Customer makes up his story of what the business represents to him or her. And if you ask the customer what experience they had- they pause to think, and what they say after that will not raise the points of service-quality for that business. That business will just exist, and persons will go, only because they have the product.
What I have recognized in my socialization over the years in shopping, is that customer service persons tend to portray only what the business require them to do in selling the product, but they do not know, nor have used the product in order to sell it properly to the customer. That is customer service by repetition.
In order to bring about and to provide high quality, professional customer care-service, the individual must be the customer on the inside first. You must use the product, learn about the product, interact with the product, share the product’s value and maintain an emotional relationship with the product. Bringing life to the product is the key by allowing all the five sense to be activated is being a good customer care-service representative.
The other observation I would like to talk about is that Customer service begins at home. In the opening line of this article I made the statement – You are as you treat your customers. Simple ‘good morning’, “hello”, “Can I help you?”; “Are you having difficulty- Do you need help?” Thank You, etc. These are simple basic mannerly expressions that we exchange in our homes, or what we experience as our training from birth to adulthood. They are the guidelines of our social graces, and which reveals who we are or where we come from, what we expect from, and intend to give to each other in the journey of our interactions.
Training in customer service-care is the making of a robot, and what persons should be encouraged to do is unearth these emotions within themselves as a natural state of being a person. Persons have to be asked how they would like to be treated, must be the premise on which they recognize where they are required to recognize these aspects and improve them. We need a customer service-care boot camp, not for drilling purposes but for an experience in learning in actual situations so the best versions of our services can be demonstrated.
It has to become our identity! And when your business name is being touted, you’re identified by-par excellence customer service-care by all those who patronize your business.
To be continued…………..