2 Quick Ways to Stop You from Over Servicing Your Customers
I can absolutely bang on about how we need to provide consistently excellent customer service and why great service is the way to grow a business, increase sales and most definitely the way to beat your competition… but I’m sure you know that.
What I also know is that you ache for the steps you need to take that will motivate your staff to provide that type of service. I know this because my email account and telephone line burns up with requests for help to train employees in the skills required to provide excellent service.
Being able to provide consistently excellent service is not common sense. Service Excellence requires many skills but it’s important to know that it is possible to overuse those skills and ultimately damage the reputation of your business.
Over Servicing is a problem and it happened to me last week when I walked into a clothing boutique. You see, I had the intention of window shopping. No purchasing, just purely looking.
Here’s how it went down:
- Instant greeting with eye contact – tick.
- Genuinely smiley face – tick.
- And then it began…. the service provider talked and talked and talked.
I was offered the current specials, shown the dressing rooms and then told all about how busy her day had been whilst she followed me around the racks. Unfortunately, or fortunately, I could only just make out what she was saying due to 3 things:
- She spoke too fast
- She turned her back on me whilst pointing to items thus projecting her voice away from me.
- She ignored me when I said I was happy browsing, so I tuned out
- Did she do make me feel welcome? Yes.
- Did she read my body language? No.
- Did she ask me any questions? One – but ignored my answer.
- Did she have good product knowledge? Yes.
- Did she over service me? Yes.
Why does Over Servicing happen?
Usually it’s one of 3 things:
- Staff have been told or even trained to treat all customers this way. That makes it a hit or miss situation as service excellence is not a “One Size Fits All” process.
- Staff don’t have the skills to read body language or tone of voice and adapt their service to suit the customers.
- Staff treat customers how they like to be treated. Honourable, but not always successful especially if the staff member loves to “have a chat” and the customer doesn’t.
Here are 2 ways to avoid Over Servicing in your Small Business:
1. Ask questions.
If you want to asses a customer level of comfort, ask questions so you can assess their body language and tone of voice. A customer that turns their back or gives little or no eye contact is telling you they don’t want to engage. This doesn’t always mean they won’t buy or come to you later, but pushing them to do so in your time frame can damage the relationship.
2. Listen more than you talk
Regardless of what you are talking about, let the customer lead the conversation. No-one likes to be interrupted and too much information is just that – too much. Break your talking with a question to see how the customer is feeling. Remember; We don’t learn anything whilst we are talking.
Another area where Over Servicing can be a problem is via email communication. I’m not an expert on how often is too often but Daniela Cavalletti sure is.
Good Service is treating customers how you want to be treated.
Excellent Service is treating customers how they want to be treated.
“The opinions expressed by Smallville Contributors are their own, not those of www.smallville.com.au"
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