Improving Customer Service
A Few Quick Tips
People, small businesses and companies can always look at how they can be improving their customer service. We live in an increasingly 24/7 world. However, many supermarkets, cafes, restaurants, pet shops, car shops, etc. offer 24/7 customer care - HELLO!!! I just told you we live in a non-stop world! Timezones and longer working hours mean the necessity for things doesn't stop! In Australia (where I'm from - "throw a prawn on the barbie mate, onya onya onya!!!!"), and specifically in my hometown, the following outlets are 24/7 (even public holidays):
- Pancake Manor
- Hungry Jack's
"Oh okay, that makes so much sense. Delicious sugar cakes, burgers and slurpies need to be available 24/7, but essential fruits, vegetables, basic human food does not need to be." It's nuts. Absolutely nuts. Supermarkets are getting better, especially in larger cities like Sydney and Melbourne - there are several that are 24/7 or at least 6am-midnight kind of hours.
So I guess the biggest point I want to make is that a lot of business owners I speak to do not understand how much people love 24/7. Even if you don't offer your service 24/7 (say it's a physical store), it really isn't that difficult to simply offer round-the-clock email support or phone support. Or at least until 10pm, and be contactable at 6am. I mean, people work 9-5 sometimes; usually it's 8am-6pm or earlier/later with traffic. There needs to be time before people leave for work, and after people get home from work, to contact your business!
If you are wanting to improve your customer service, or you're looking for customer service training ideas, you should start at looking at your opening hours. Then, look at your customer support hours - these should ALWAYS be more than your opening hours. Twenty-four seven is the way of the future. Make no mistake. In twenty years, every business will be open 5am-midnight minimum; seriously :). The world's population, especially in developed and developing countries, is increasing every single day. Cities are becoming more crowded. Demand for products and services is higher than ever before. The Internet means that "I want it now!" is the new norm. We expect to be able to order something and have it arrive that day, without leaving our home. Why? Because businesses out there DO offer this. And, believe you me, people are NOT learning to become more patient.
There is not enough space on this page to inform you of all the ways to improve customer service; this is only the beginning. Try to brainstorm with your colleagues or employees about ways you can actively improve the way you operate your business and the way you treat your customers. Whether you are currently delivering fantastic customer service, or lagging a bit behind, there is always room for improvement.