Archive | March, 2013

Spring into Action

6 Mar

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It’s been great to see some snowdrops and other spring flowers and, dare I say it, a ray of sunshine to show spring is on its way.  I’m not really one for spring cleaning but the sunshine does give me that urge to freshen things up especially when it comes to business.

I had a great meeting this morning with my graphic designer/web guy (Hi Gordon!) about giving my site a spring time spruce up!  If we give our wardrobe a seasonal change why not take this opportunity to look at your business.  One of the areas I feel many businesses should consider, is their customer service.  When I train staff in customer service, I always ask the question “Where & When was the last time you received great customer service?”  Many can reel off stories of bad  service, in fact I had to delete my own rant about my local post office and a still undelivered parcel!  But few can give examples of excellent service and in particular excellent service in the UK.  The examples I usually get are from the States or Caribbean.  When I do get an example closer to home, it’s somewhere we would term ‘High End’, such as Gleneagles.  This in turn raises the discussion of, should the price tag mean a difference in service?  A different product yes but is customer service related to how much we pay?

In a highly competitive market such as the pub/restaurant business, service can often be the only thing differentiating you from your competitors.  This is examined in an article I was recently asked to quote for, in the SLTN (Scottish Licensed Trade News), you can read the full article here.

You can’t go far wrong by following the tips laid out in this article from John Lewis , click here, and I cannot emphasise enough how important it is to get the staff to buy into the service levels.

It’s always interesting when staff realise how the service levels reflect on them not just the company they work for.

My Top tips to assess and improve service today, no matter what line of business you are in, are:-

1 – Everyone has to be involved and buy into it

2 – Give staff power to deal with complaints without blame

3 – Use mystery shopper/caller / customer feedback forms

4 – Regular updates/briefings on customer service with in-house examples of excellence

5 – Make Great Service a priority & part of your company values and ethos!

Here’s hoping you get great service whatever businesses you are interacting with today, and let’s share our excellent customer service stories rather than our bad ones!

Have a great month
Jo