I went to this restaurant in Kacukiro with some friends and was approached by Joseph whose manners were brusque. He was extremely slow and made us feel like we were inconveniencing him.
Not that he was rude or impolite, but he didn’t exactly exude friendliness. He never smiled and just looked glum. He was there as if he was forced to be there. Our food took almost 50 minutes before being served and to crown all this, the food was extremely expensive.
And guess what happened since then? My friends and I have just decided not to go back to this restaurant anymore.
The painful side of this experience is the effort the owner had probably put in opening and operating this place. If the type of service we got is the frequent customer service given to clients, the owner should not be surprised to see his business going down.
Customer service is about how you constantly look for ways to improve the way your organization does business with its clients.
This involves improving your communication skills but also your practices and processes. One of the ways to do this is to examine what makes your customers leave your business.
I was recently reading a book and was amazed by the results of a survey that revealed that, 68 percent of customers quit because of indifferent attitude by some employee, 14 percent because of product dissatisfaction and 9 percent because of competitive reasons.
The survey also revealed that 5 percent will go because of acquiring new friend, 3 percent will just go and 1 percent because of natural causes, like death.
Isn’t it amazing that 68 percent of all lost business results from the indifferent, uncaring attitudes of employees toward customers?
Customers go shopping elsewhere because the people who serve them are indifferent to their needs – they just don’t care or can’t or don’t know how to handle the customers.
Business owners need to understand that they just cant put anyone in their businesses, just because they are their relatives or fiends.
Your front line staff is very capital for your business as their actions, attitudes, and willingness to help are the unique feature that will keep repeat customers.
Before putting your staff in contact with the customer, let them understand that customers today are not only interested in the product they are buying but all the additional elements of service that they receive from the greeting they receive when they enter a shop, to the refund and help that they receive when they have a complaint about a faulty product or service that they have paid for.
The customer’s perception of good service lies on a great deal on the attitude of the contact staff. With my experience in the service industry, I have found these attitudes contributing to making your customers quit your business quickly:
Some of them include chewing gum in front of customers especially when you pop it really loudly, twisting your hair and fiddling with your jewelry, sighing deeply and folding your arms and not making eye contact, or if you do, looking sullen and bored among others.
Remember that a dissatisfied customer informs 10 other people so watch out that you are not sending a bad reputation of your business.
Sandra Idossou is a consultant currently working on customer care projects in Kigali.