My family and I regularly go to a local moderately priced restaurant to eat dinner as a treat for getting through a hard week at work. The minute we walk in to the restaurant, the waitresses and the owner, if available, greet us by name with a big welcoming smile on their faces even when the restaurant is filled to capacity. They always make us feel welcome asking us how our week has been?
The service is always excellent. The waitresses do not mix up our orders with another table and they always make sure we have the right beverage to drink and bring home made rolls for us to eat while we wait for our order to be freshly cooked.
The waitresses have on colorful shirts with the logo of the restaurant with clean and neat looking slacks or skirts. During holiday times they decorate the restaurant and wear clothes to follow that particular holiday. We feel like family going to this restaurant. We ask how the waitresses and owners spouses and children are and ask them how they are feeling each week?
The restrooms are clean and well maintained and the toilets and the sinks work and have soap and paper towels to dry your hands. There is a note on the wall by the sinks about scrubbing your hands with soap and water and counting to 20 to make sure the soap has helped clean your hands. They care about cleanliness in this restaurant.
When their telephone rings someone answers the phone on the first ring and takes your order and it sounds and feels like they are smiling at you.
What are the 3 and a half secrets I learned from my favorite restaurant about excellent customer service?
1) When your customers enter your business your employees need to smile, be respectful, be polite, be helpful, be knowledgeable, be clean, well groomed, dress appropriately and make a good first impression so your customers want to continue being your customers.
2) Your employees should speak to customers and their family members in a reliable and timely manner. If your employees know the customers name they should call them by name. Your customer will feel that your employees care about their customers and they will want to continue doing business with you.
3) If one of your employees is answering the phone at your business, have them answer the phone as quickly as possible. They should not wait for it to ring 4 to 5 times. The customer may be ordering a large shipment of goods or booking a reservation for 40 people. If you wait to answer the phone you will lose the sale!
Remember to smile into the phone, be polite (say please and thank you) and be committed to giving excellent service today. Your employee might say “but they cannot see me!” That is true, but they can tell by the inflection in your voice that you are smiling and want to be helpful.
If your customer asks a question and you do not know the answer, tell them you will find out immediately what the answer is and will call them back as quickly as possible. Remember to call them back as soon as possible! Your customer will want to do business with you because they can rely on you to keep your word and solve their problems.
3a) When the toilet, plumbing or something else brakes down in your business have it repaired immediately. Remember leaking pipes only get worse and can destroy your business , your building, and your relationship with your customers!
Practice with your employees what they should say to your customers and how you want them to say it!
Customers want to be treated with respect in a friendly polite manner. Remember First Impressions can never be repeated!
Madeline Frank, Ph.D., DTM is an Amazon.com Best Selling Author, sought after speaker, business owner, motivational teacher, researcher, and concert artist. She helps businesses and organizations “Tune Up their Businesses”. Her innovative observations show you the blue prints necessary to improve and keep your business successful. She writes a monthly newsletter “Madeline’s Monthly Article & Musical Tips” and a monthly radio show “Madeline’s One Minute Musical Radio Show”. She has just published her new book “Leadership On A Shoestring Budget”.