Time to get back to the basics.
With the current economic conditions, exceptional customer service is one of the keys to success.
People are reeling from the high price at the gas pump, the falling of housing values and the rippling effect of the high price of oil throughout the economy. As a result, they are more cautious of how they spend their money. They want to receive the greatest value they can from their expenditures.
It is time to get back to the basics of customer service.
- Friendliness. Just this morning I went to pick up a prescription from the drug store. They know me there because there are three in my family and we all get our prescriptions at this drug store. The young woman who waited on me – even though she wasn’t busy, made me wait while she finished talking with a fellow employee. Then, during the transaction of picking up and paying for my drug, she never once smiled, never used my name, never said thank you, in fact, she never spoke a civil word to me. I left feeling like an interruption to her day. Not a good way to build business in a competitive world.
- Give them what they paid for. This one seems to be obvious, but I just had the experience of sending one of my girls to dance classes all year and was required to pay a month in advance. I didn’t have a problem with that until it came to the last month when she only got one lesson that month because of the dance recital being two weeks into the month. Explanation? It’s their policy.
- Create an environment that will attract your target customer. I know I’ve written about Yankee Candle before, but I am amazed every time I go there. I recently took my parents for the first time. The Deerfield, MA store is clean, well laid out, well stocked, interactive, service that is second to none and entertaining. When we left, my mother couldn’t stop talking about the store.
It’s not hard to create a business that is service oriented, it just takes dedication to the concept.
Now is the time to pay close attention to what your customers wants and give it to them. It will pay off big time as we struggle through these hard times.
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© 2008 Margo Chevers