Do Customers Truly Love Your Business? Ask These 3 Questions To Find Out
I love my morning coffee but more than that, I NEED my morning coffee. I have been known to front up to cafes with a look of desperation and although I try to be pleasant, it’s possible that I might sound like Darth Vadar giving orders to the Storm Troopers.
Whilst I wait for my coffee, I can’t help but assess the experience of every customer in the cafe. I can’t switch off my customer service radar – it’s in my DNA and it seems I’m not alone. I had a coffee chat with one of my customers recently and he asked me;
“Why is that some cafe staff have no idea when customers are in a hurry?”
He confirmed that he chooses to walk further to get his coffee from a cafe that provides a quicker and he feels, friendlier service. He went on to say he knows many people who also avoid cafes because they take too long and seem unable to adjust their service in peak periods. Seems coffee is a hot topic (pardon the pun).
What’s missing for those cafes are staff with the skills and abilities to ask the right questions and adjust their service to accommodate the individual needs of as many customers as possible, including Darth Vadar. As well as being fast and efficient, they add even more value to that cup of coffee;
- • They ask for and use customer’s names.
- • They respect their co-workers and work together in harmony.
- • They get to know regular customers and remember their likes and dislikes.
- • They assess body language and tone of voice to determine if a customer has time to chat or not.
- • They use eye contact to show their customers they are listening
- • They repeat orders to confirm they got it right
Successful Cafes put “Soft” into their service:
The hard – hard skills are what staff use to record the order, make the coffee, process the payment, operate and maintain the machines, clean up and replenish stock. Hard skills are the technical skills required to do a role.
The soft – soft skills are what staff use to give customers a positive experience whilst they are completing the hard skills of the role. Staff with great soft skills make customers feel welcome, they can read body language and assess tone of voice, they understand and use empathy and they work to maintain strong and respectful workplace relationships.
Regardless of what your business sells or the services you provide, customers will assess the soft skills of employees to determine if they will continue to do business with you and if they will also refer new business to you.
It’s important to note that customers will also be more likely to forgive staff who have great soft skills if they make hard skill mistakes. Let’s be honest, mistakes happen but it’s how staff react in those situations that can make or break the customer relationship.
Ask yourself these 3 questions to determine if anyone on your team needs some help with their Soft Skills;
- Do my staff talk to customers with a positive and welcoming tone of voice or simply repeat the standard “Hello, how are you what can I get for you?” to every customer in the same way?
- Do your staff know and use the names of your regular customers?
- Do you hear your customers and staff laughing and enjoying their interactions with each other?
Soft skills help to make both the customer and the staff feel valued and respected.
- Valued and respected customers are likely to buy more from you and refer more people to you. Cheapest marketing ever.
- Valued and respected staff enjoy coming to work, smile lots and provide great service.
- Happy staff + happy customers = successful business.
“The opinions expressed by Smallville Contributors are their own, not those of www.smallville.com.au"
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