When the goal of the staff is to give personalised customer service, you must realise that it may mean not always sticking to the rules.
When a staff member tells a customer “We can’t do that, it’s against company policy,” it doesn’t exactly say to the customer “you matter and we want your loyalty.”
A preferred answer to a customer might be something like: “That’s not something we typically do, but let me see what I can find for you.” That statement tells the customer that they are asking for something that the company wouldn’t normally do, but that you’re willing to go above and beyond to accommodate them.
Many companies today are starting to realise that customers aren’t loyal when a business is simply efficient. Customers are loyal when they receive personalised service. This is where excellent staff training comes in.
Here are some tips on how to give personalised service:
1. Build Client Profiles
By saving information about a customer in a database, staff will easily be able to input their personal information and not have to ask for it over and over again should the customer become a repeat client.
Accurate record keeping on a client is crucial. When a customer arrives and is called by the wrong person’s name, that’s an error they won’t soon forget and it will make them feel less than special. Misspelled names and wrong addresses also get a very negative reaction, and rightly so.
Aside from having correct basic information, it’s important to include facts about the customer in the personalised portion in the database. This personalised portion would include their likes and dislikes and any special requests that they may have. That way, those special requests can be handled automatically instead of the customer having to make a special request each time.
2. Use Those Facts
When you are training your staff on personalised customer service you would start by teaching them how to engage with the customer in a friendly manner. You would do some role playing in the training room for the staff to get a real feel of a dialogue that could take place between staff and the customer. You could set up various scenarios so they can react appropriately and practice their skills in a safe environment.
There is a fine line between excellent customer service and being too friendly. This is where practice and experience will help. Sometimes customers don’t want to talk chit-chat with the staff, and that is o.k. The staff needs to recognise the signals and signs on whether or not to engage conversation further.
The initial contact would be for the staff to address the customer by name, and then introducing themselves to the customer. Then asking the customer how you can be of assistance will get the flow moving from there.
3. Find New Ways To Be Helpful
When you allow the customer to openly talk about himself or talk about what his spouse likes, or reading between the lines of what the customer enjoys, you can gain knowledge about him and gain an opportunity to find new ways to be helpful.
4. What Everyone Wants
Essentially everyone wants to feel valued. People are driven by how someone made them feel, not by the action of what they did. When someone feels important and they feel respected, they will likely return as a repeat customer.
The point is to teach the staff to make a great impression on the customer that will not soon be forgotten. Treat everyone as if they are the only customer and they are very special.