I thought I would share my experience of excellent customer service over the weekend. I think customer service is definitely one of those things that we sometimes take for granted unless you have experienced the really bad type, which unfortunately, the majority of us have at one time or another.
We have a local pub called The Railway in Bromley Cross, that has, like all other public houses experienced a decline in customers over the past year or so….mostly due to the fact that nights out have had to be shelved in order to feed us, thanks to the global recession taking a firm grip on our purse strings.
The pub was taken over by Jon and Hilary last year, and they have definitely listened to what the customer wants, and have now got a thriving community pub spirit once again in the face of adversity. Just to give you an example of this, they booked the band Marseille to play on Friday night. One of the guitarists is Neil Buchanan – he of Art Attack fame many moons ago, and so they allowed us to bring our teens in with us, under supervision, (all who remembered him from his TV days, even if they didnt remember Marseille from the 1970′s!) ensuring a packed house, happy parents, happy kids and a happy landlord. They didnt have to do this, but recognised the importance of ensuring customer satisfaction.
My daughter Sammi was thrilled to bits to be allowed in the pub for a proper evening out, and experience a fantastic live band to boot – and the band were more than happy to spend time at the end of the night chatting to the kids and having photos taken etc etc….And I must add at this point, they were an amazing live band to watch, so if you are lucky enough to have them playing in a pub near you, then get yourselves along to see them!
So, back to the issue in hand – customer service…..
With the global recession still at the back of everyones mind, we need to be delivering service above and beyond the call of duty in order in order to keep one step ahead of our competitors. Customer service is defined as the provision of service to customers before, during and after a purchase - we need to build a series of activities to enhance the level of customer satisfaction within each of these steps.
Customers want to be respected – they want to be appreciated and recognized but most of all, they want to be understood. Our customers are our lifeblood, and here are a few of the things I would like to think we cover at Carvansons wherever possible.
Try to spot potential trouble early on, so that you can prevent it happening.
Reply to emails and calls as soon as possible.
Talk to your customers in order to build up good working relationships.
Keep them well informed and up to date with any extra information.
See your service through their eyes.
Focus on customers as individuals.
Listen and act on what what your customers are saying to you.
And finally, welcome complaints. Look on complaints as a way of bettering your service and getting to the top of your game, rather than a nuisance and something to be hidden away or ignored.
So on that note, I wish you all a happy, sunny (for the moment at least) week ahead, and just make a mental note of any service providers that do give excellent service this week - I’ll be happy to name them here if you let me know