11 Sep 2014
The Customer Experience
Written by Doug D'Aubrey

The subject of customer service is a huge topic to cover. The most important question to consider in such a short space as this is: – Do your customers have the best possible experience when dealing with your company?

Customer service is not something that you just turn on and off. It is the continual result of the philosophy and attitude of the company and its entire staff.  It comes from the top down.  The key managers need to be continually and totally customer focused and this needs to permeate down through all levels of the staff structure.

Specific meetings need to be held within management to establish whether or not the customers are getting the best possible service. Ideas generated from these meetings should then be filtered down through all levels and training should be put in place to ensure that each member of staff knows how to give the customer the best possible service related to their specific role within the company.

All staff, at whatever level, and whether normally in direct contact with your customers or not, should possess the same attitude towards customer service. This is particularly important with those staff who are generally not used to dealing with customers. At the end of the day, the customer is King, or Queen, and all staff should have the attitude that their own regular daily activity is second to the needs of the customer. In other words, the customer is not a nuisance!

Good customer service means different things to different people.  The key, however, is attention to detail. Be careful not to overlook the smallest of details. Spell names correctly, write addresses accurately – even if your correspondence is being sent via email as opposed to the Royal mail. Customers won’t notice if you get it all right, but they sure will notice if you make the smallest of errors!

On your business premises – how are your customers being greeted?  Again, attention to detail is the key. How are your members of staff greeting your customers? Does the staff appearance reflect how you would like your customers to view your business? If your factory area is, by its nature, dirty, how clean is the reception area for visitors? Make sure there is a clean and welcoming area for guests. Keep your dirty staff out!

Keep a focus on the small things. They are just as important, if not more, than the large things.

A good exercise might be to ask yourself – how would I like to be treated if I were a customer visiting my business? Take a drive and park a short distance from your business, and then walk back to it. How does it appear on approach? How easy is access? Who greets you, and how? Are we simple to use? What is your overall impression, and what improvements could be made?

And why not ask your customers? After all, they hold the key to your success.

Find out exactly how people feel when dealing with you as a company. What is their customer experience? Use this information because, at every point, you need to be providing excellent customer service.