It is rewarding working with companies where there is a deep understanding that ‘customer service is everybody’s business’. Save Hyper in Pietermaritzburg is an example of where the entire staff is involved in a six-week ongoing programme. Each week, in groups, 300 individuals participate in training sessions and this includes management, those involved in sales, administration, butchery, bakery, car-guards, cleaners etc. I am amazed at the quality of their input and their commitment to working together to raise their levels of customer service.
Following a one-day workshop for the management team where the guidelines had been considered, a six-week programme was implemented. At the first sessions for the 300 staff, they were asked in groups to compile their own lists of the benefits of excellent customer service. A summary of their consolidated input is outlined below:
What are the benefits of providing excellent customer service?
What is the impact on the business in general?
- Higher standards of service provide a competitive advantage.
- Competitors in the industry or line of business are thus challenged to aim for higher standards and the general levels improve.
- Sales and profit increase and thus there is business growth.
- The growth of the business leads to more taxes being paid and this helps the country’s economy.
- There will be more job opportunities.
- The business will become the employer of choice and thus jobs at that company will be sought after.
- Internal and external communication is improved.
- The business can invest in quality products.
- The reputation of the business is enhanced.
How will the customers feel and what will they do?
- The customers will be happy with the service and products and continue to support.
- They’ll keep coming back and this will lead to an increase in the life-time value of the customer.
- Customers will know that we believe that long-term relationships are more important than sales.
- Customers feel good about shopping in this environment and tell their friends. Word-of-mouth advertising and marketing lead to more sales.
- Because there are good relationships, when things do go wrong, customers know they’ll be listened to and treated with empathy.
- They’ll think of this business as their ‘one-stop-shop’ for a whole range of their needs.
Why will staff be more motivated?
- By smiling and being friendly, they will build relationships and bond with the customers more.
- Communication with customers makes it possible to get good ideas from customers.
- The growth in the business and greater productivity of the staff are likely to lead to salary increases.
- There is greater respect towards colleagues and good working relationships result.
- Staff will have a positive attitude towards the business, their jobs and the products and services offered.
- They’ll have improved product knowledge and be able to guide customers and this increases the level of sales. Customers are more satisfied.
- Customer confidence increases.
- Staff enjoy a good and healthy work environment.
- It starts with YOU! If customers trust you, they are more likely to trust the products.
All the above will escalate and support new higher levels of customer service. Thus more customers will shop and the business will grow even further. Customers and staff will be happy and loyal. Improving customer service standards has huge benefits.
For more information on customer service training, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or phone +27 82 4993311.