CUSTOMER CARE: Rolling out a ‘red carpet’ for your customers

For my ongoing painting exhibition, we had to use the services of Imprimerie de Kigali for photo covers. Even though paper covers is not the main business of this big company, we were impressed to see such professionalism.

For my ongoing painting exhibition, we had to use the services of Imprimerie de Kigali for photo covers. Even though paper covers is not the main business of this big company, we were impressed to see such professionalism.

The staff was attentive to our request. They took time to understand our needs. They wrapped all the documents with care and when we arrived to collect them, they thanked us.

The whole order was just for 3000 Rwf but we were so impressed by the way the team made us feel important even for such a small amount of purchase.

Have you also come across situations whereby you felt so important by the way the service person treated you?

Customer service is all about dealing with people and their self esteem. Customer service is a people business and it is important for service people to know how best they can make their customers feel important, happy and loyal to their businesses.

Here below are some tips.
1) Acknowledge all your customers. Customers can see when the service person is busy. But all they want is to be acknowledged as soon as they enter your shop or office.

Just show them a little sign that you have seen them and they can wait for you. A smile, a look and maybe a hello will do. Or a “We’ll be with you shortly” will go a long way.

2) Try as much as you can to use your customer’s name. Using your customer’s name make them feel good. In a bank for instance or even in many service providing companies, customers always give documents bearing their names such as their passport, identification card, driving license or credit card etc… Do not just take these documents without reading the names. Please use them. “Mr Ndahiro” is certainly better than just a mere “Sir”. This makes the customer feel known and important.

3) Ask for your customer’s feedback. Customers always have an opinion on the services and products you are offering them. They see your services differently from the way you do as an owner or a worker.

Do not assume that if your customers still come to your business, it is certainly because they are happy with your services.

In most cases, it is just because they are waiting for a new service provider.

The day a competitor comes in town, they will simply run away from you. You need to have ‘Customer Satisfaction’ boxes and conduct frequent customer satisfaction survey.

Just ask your customers for instance if the product they bought the previous time was satisfactory to them. This gives your customers the chance to tell you what they think. And for the customer, he will just feel good about the fact that you ask his opinion.

4) Respect the customer. If you promise to call a customer back in 1 hour or to have his order ready in a week, please respect that promise.

If for one reason or the other, something comes up to prevent you from respecting your promise, just call them back in time to inform them. Do not leave your customers hanging. It is always a sign of courtesy that makes them feel important.

5) Thank the customer: I don’t think this is only me but I like being thanked by service people for shopping or doing business with them. It just makes me feel good and appreciated.

It shows that I hadn’t come to disturb. And I have noticed this at the Kimironko market from my vegetables seller. At the end of each purchase, she will thank me, wish me a good week and invite to see me again the next Sunday.

I always leave eager to come and meet her again the next week. And I really don’t think I’m alone in this case. Most of us like to be appreciated and a simple “Thank you” can make wonders.

Like a celebrity arriving in your shop, decide today to roll out the red carpet to your customers and make them feel like stars and you will see the impact on your reputation and your bottom line.

sandra.idossou@sheiconsulting.com

The author is a Customer Service expert currently working in Rwanda.

 

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