The first week of October is recognized as Customer Service Week. It was established in 1988 by the International Customer Service Organization to raise awareness of the vital role Customer Service plays in successful business. Many businesses take this week to honour employees who have given exemplary customer service.
In The Bahamas our major player is Tourism and so it is crucial that all persons on the front line of this business, whether it be sales assistant, waiter/waitress, airline counter sales person or whatever, pay special attention to the type of service they give. There are many people who excel in the service they give but too often persons think of their job only in the terms of a pay packet at the end of a week or month without a thought as to how a rude or uncaring attitude can help ruin the lifeblood of not only a particular business but our entire country’s main industry. While we sometimes hear of visitors praising the service they have received, too often it is the other way around and we hear of tourists complaining about discourteous and disrespectful service.
Good Customer Service should be the norm all year round in any business but it is good to take Customer Service week to focus seriously on what kind of service you are providing and if lacking, to do something to rectify it. Following are several rules for good customer service.
- Answer your phone in a courteous and cheerful manner.
- Don’t make promises unless you will keep them because nothing annoys customers more than a broken one.
- Listen to your customers. Let your customer talk and show him that you are listening by making the appropriate responses such as suggesting how to solve the problem. It is very exasperating to tell someone what you want or what your problem is and then discovering that that person has not been paying attention.
- Deal with complaints in a calm, reasonable and pleasant manner.
- Be helpful – go above and beyond the call of duty.
- Take the extra step, people notice when people make an extra effort and they will tell other people.
- If you are an employer train your staff to always be helpful, courteous and knowledgeable.
Good customer service is all about bringing customers back and about sending them away happy – happy enough to pass positive feedback about your business and your country along to others.