Great customer service goes a long way. By taking a "hospitality-driven” approach to customer service you'll be setting yourself up for success, and over time it will build your reputation and customer base in a meaningful way.
In simple terms, the skill of customer service is to provide timely and attentive service to a customer before, during and after a purchase while making sure their needs are met in a manner that reflects positively on the company or business. The end goal is to delight customers so that they will tell everyone how great your business is and also to return themselves.
Pro-tips for taking a "hospitality-driven" approach to customer service:
- Listen to your customers and the feedback they share with you.
Then, show them you are listening by following up and incorporating suggestions where appropriate.
- Address complaints in a timely manner with empathy, active listening and problem solving.
Deliberately adjust your tone, demeanor and approach depending on the situation.
- Aim to never over promise and under deliver.
While being hospitable can ease the conversation, the ability to listen and to provide the service that is being required is equally important. Setting expectations and being appropriately transparent can be helpful.
- Train and empower your team.
If you need further guidance from management, ask for it. Sometimes you need to make decisions regardless of profit.
- Take the extra step.
A little something extra could make a more lasting impression, build a relationship and develop a loyal customer.