Great customer service and what it means to Cairns Penny
We often hear companies promise us the best service. As a customer, I always expect good service, as I am sure we all do. But how do you make sure that as a company you’re delivering on that promise? It’s something that I ensure we review regularly here at Cairns Penny, so I thought it was worth sharing my views on how I think good service is delivered.
In my opinion the thing you can’t get enough of is communication. It’s critical for you as a service provider to make sure that you and your customer are on the same page. Good communication is your responsibility. It’s not acceptable for customers to be left with a feeling of being unsure of what they have bought or vague on what happens next.
Keep it honest from the start! Make sure your service experience runs right from your first communication, which is often your advertising. Don’t promise things that don’t exist and don’t try to hide things like fees. Being clear from the outset can save heartache (and cost!) later.
Part of giving great service is being patient and calm. Give the customer the opportunity to tell you what it is they need, help and guide them to understand but don’t drive them down a path that suits you rather than them.
Make sure you listen to what the customer says but also and hear what they are not saying. Customers won’t say ‘I’d like a contact form on your website’, but they might say ‘I needed to contact you out of hours’ – it’s up to you how you respond.
Be honest if you can’t help a customer (but make sure you have tried your best and do it quickly!) – don’t try and fob customers off or waste their time. Being straight with customers will always mean that both of you know where you stand and can often remove stress for the customer. Be nice about it – the customer is not in the wrong just because you can’t help.
Use your product like a customer would! Things from our side of the desk may look nice and shiny, and work well for the business, but of the process is cumbersome or doesn’t make sense to a customer then you’re failing them.
Be willing to say you’re sorry and mean it. Sometimes that’s all that customers want. Learn from mistakes quickly and see how your company can do things better. A culture of learning from customers rather than determining that they were wrong just because they didn’t fit your product or process is not only a far better environment for customer, but it’s a better place to work!
Whatever level you’re at in your business – make sure you spend time with real customers. Don’t rely on feedback from your team (although this is extremely valuable) because just like anything else, there are always two sides. Dealing directly with customers gives you an amazing opportunity to learn about them, but also about what your business needs. It can also make your customers feel valued and what’s better than that?