Getting service right for your customers is critical to business success; after all without customers you would have no business! With over thirty years’ experience working in hospitality, I really do understand what makes service exceptional so that’s where we focus our attention and I wanted to share my insights with you.
Building an emotional connection
To build a loyal customer base your team must deliver an experience that customers can connect with on an emotional level. This takes exceptional service from each and every single person who interacts with customers in your business. When this happens your business will flourish and grow beyond your expectations.
A bad experience stays with you
It only takes one poor interaction from one person to tarnish the customer experience and begin to erode your loyal customer base. Take this real-life scenario as an example.
As a coffee lover and devotee to one or two well-known coffee shops, I am well known by the team at my local branch, so much so that the baristas sometimes make my drink as I walk through the door! This is fantastic service.
I was dismayed recently to place my order with a new team member, only to be abruptly told ‘We don’t have any almond milk’. There was no apology or regret in the barista’s voice. I was taken aback. My perception was that she didn’t care about me as a customer at all.
Fortunately one of the baristas who knows me stepped in to apologise and gave me a free coffee voucher to make up for the situation. I compromised and opted for a different kind of milk, but it was my second choice drink and not the experience I had set out for.
This example demonstrates the fine line between great and poor customer service and the important role that front line employees play in your business. They have the opportunity to create a great experience but can also very easily break the emotional connection and hard-earned trust in your business.
Great service comes from great leadership
Just like customers, front line colleagues have emotional needs that need to be satisfied for them to perform effectively. Teams need a leader that enables and inspires and fully understands what success looks and feels like. When a front line team is supported and inspired by their leader, they become loyal advocates for the company and will naturally want to offer their best efforts to their customers.
Leaders must challenge themselves to become more effective and efficient. This is the only way to support your team to deliver exceptional results.
Sally Prescott is an ICF qualified coach and CIPD qualified Learning and Development professional who is passionate about developing exceptional leaders and outstanding customer service. She has led highly successful teams within Forte, Granada, Intercontinental, The Savoy and Jumeirah for the joint benefit of both organisations and individuals. Sally is skilled at enabling people at all levels to reach their peak performance.
Get in touch today
Find out more about how Sally can inspire your talent through customer service and leadership talent and drop her a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her on +44 (0)161 905 1219.