All of us are aware that Customer Service can make or break your business. It can drive Customers away from you or bring them back repeatedly, even better, bring their friends, colleagues and family, and be your lifelong customer.
What is Customer Satisfaction ?
Offering just what the customer wants !
What is Customer Loyalty ?
Offering more than what the customer wants and ‘WOW’ him so much that he will sing your praise to his friends, family and colleagues. And, you will have his business forever.
Now, depending upon the size and scale of a Hotel operation, Customer Services Executives are typically trained anywhere from good to great in handling customer relationships. In my experience, many of the Hotels have hired people with the right attitude such as a pleasant disposition, service mindset, being social and other ingredients that are required to handle a customer. All that helps in satisfying the customer, but ‘WOWing’ ?
You need to WOW your customers, if you have to build Customer Loyalty. You need to always think of ways to elevate your Customer Service to the next level. And, you cannot WOW your customers just by training yourself more and more in Customer Relationship Management. Because, WOWing is context specific, where a Customer and Customer Service Executive interact in a given situation. It is hard to simulate that kind of setup in a training room. So, the focus should shift from Training to fixing the mindset. Even better, hire staffs with that mindset.
So, what is that mindset or skill or whatever ?
Thinking on your feet !
Constantly thinking on your feet to WOW any customer in their vicinity, in a given context.
I haven’t seen much of such impromptu actions from the Customer Service Executives, rather just offering the standard set of services. Probably they are just too overloaded or too absorbed in their work.
I had a friend who can crack jokes at will at any given circumstance. He had that natural ability, not built by training. It gave him enormous leverage when socializing with people, and all of them are naturally gravitated towards him.
Just like Leadership is part charisma and part training; sales is part art and part training; Customer Service is part attitude and part training.
While the subject of “Thinking on your feet” is outside the scope of this article, I would like to highlight a couple of attributes that can help you to think on your feet.
1. Listening skills – A lot of time we are just preparing ourselves to respond to the customer than actively listening to what the customer has to say. Develop active listening, you can get some clue on how to WOW the customer.
2. Be a generalist as opposed to specialist – I am not suggesting that you don’t become a specialist in Customer Service, however be interested in a variety of subjects. You never know what kind of customer you will be handling next. He could be from another country, language, religion, culture, race, industry and so on. Being a generalist can help to connect the dots and strike an interesting conversation and even WOW the customer.
Remember, all it takes is just one impromptu action from a creative Service staff to convert someone to be a life-time Customer !
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