Simple Ways To Manage Your Service Customers


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Simple Ways To Manage Your Service Customers

  1. 2. Simple Ways to Manage Your Service Customers Service Management Ideas AUTHOR: Promod Batra and Vijay Batra PUBLISHER: Think, Inc DATE OF PUBLICATION: 2004 NUMBER OF PAGES: 97 pages
  2. 3. <ul><li>Providing quality after-sales service is always important in a business; it’s what keeps your customers coming back; it’s what makes your business grow; it’s what builds your reputation and credibility. And quality service depends a lot on you as a service person, your employees, and how you manage your service. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Simple Ways to Manage Your Service Customers” by Promod Batra and Vijay Batra provides simple service management ideas that you can implement without fuss and build an image as an organization committed to standing beside your customers all the time. Basically, it puts premium on paying attention to the small details that are often overlooked by business people, as well as training employees with the right attitudes and skills to provide the best service possible. </li></ul>THE BIG IDEA
  3. 4. 1. Put Yourself In Your Customer’s Shoes <ul><li>The customer is the boss. He/She pays the salaries and makes the profits. Once you understand this important fact of business, you can only keep doing better and better even during tough times. </li></ul><ul><li>Quality service comes when you and your service people can feel for your customers. A satisfied customer is your best advertisement. </li></ul>
  4. 5. <ul><li>Good service results in higher sales. Thus, encourage your staff to make investments in time, attention, and money to provide satisfaction to customers. </li></ul><ul><li>Customer satisfaction is affordable and profitable. Affordable because a satisfied customer is free advertising—he/she will tell others about you. Profitable because a satisfied customer means “repeat business.” Recognize your loyal, enthusiastic and profitable customers. Don’t take them for granted. </li></ul><ul><li>Good customer service means that you serve every customer who has a problem with a product. A customer may be right or wrong in expecting you to solve their problem. But the important thing is how you handle the problem. </li></ul><ul><li>In handling customer problems or complaints, human relations is more important than technical solutions. Sometimes, simply listening to a customer can solve the problem. Giving an irate customer a courteous and warm reception and showing him/her that you are serious in helping with the problem can diminish or remove their irritation. </li></ul>2. Customer Service – Your Best Sales Tool
  5. 6. <ul><li>The first three minutes after a customer walks into your store, salesroom, workshop or office are very critical. The image in the customer’s mind about you and your business is formed during those three minutes. Pleasant experiences produce favorable images; unpleasant experiences produce unfavorable images. </li></ul><ul><li>In the first minute, the customer walks-in a bit unhappy because he has a problem. It can be due to a problem with a machine or the inconvenience of leaving his home or work to get his machine attended to. If you greet him/her warmly and quickly, you have already started creating a good atmosphere. If you don’t greet or acknowledge a customer in the first three minutes, he/she will start to feel neglected. </li></ul><ul><li>In the second minute, because you have put your customer in a better mood with your courtesy and attention, he/she is likely to start looking around your place and observe small things. Pleasant, orderly, and efficient things will further improve your image – the layout of the place, the housekeeping, the way people talk to their customers, etc. If all is well, he/she will become happier. </li></ul>3. The First Three Minutes Make All The Difference
  6. 7. <ul><li>In the third minute, your customer starts thinking that he/she and his/her problem are in good hands. He/She will be more willing to wait and be more predisposed to finding things right. </li></ul><ul><li>It would be good to have something “to do” for the customer, such as charts, magazines, books on your products/service, magazines on your business. One dealer had put up Polaroid photographs of each customer pinned to a board. A customer won’t mind looking at these photographs while he/she waits. Another business offers tea and even cigarettes to all customers who come through the door. </li></ul><ul><li>As a first step, look for small, small improvements that you can do right away. You can ask a friend to walk in your place of business and give comments on such things as the floor, ceiling, walls, wall charts, boards, workshop equipment, service counter and service staff. What looks neat or sloppy? And act on his/her suggestions. </li></ul>3. The First Three Minutes Make All The Difference
  7. 8. 4. What Is The Customer Looking For? <ul><li>Your customer is looking to you to deliver on three promises you implicitly committed when you made the sale of your product or service. The first is warmth, sincerity and consideration – which you deliver on when you acknowledge him/her in the first three minutes. </li></ul><ul><li>The second is promptness and accuracy in giving him/her the solution to his/her problem. The third is impartiality and fairness. This means that you have to treat all your customers equally, without discriminating on the basis of his looks, clothes, size of purse, and so on. Don’t be extra-nice to people you know better or do more business with you. </li></ul>
  8. 9. <ul><li>You can only provide quality service if you are healthy. So maintain your physical and mental health. Maintain a good appearance and make sure your service staff do, too. Ensure good grooming, alertness, and positive attitudes among your employees. This means making sure uniforms look smart and clean, and that the people wearing them are cheerful, well-groomed, and alert. </li></ul>5. Cultivate A Good Personality
  9. 10. <ul><li>Any person who deals with customers must be a good conversationalist. A good conversationalist is one who comes to the point quickly but tactfully, is honest with the customer, uses common sense and common knowledge, can use humor to lighten the situation, and can talk naturally and in a relaxed manner. </li></ul><ul><li>You can become a good talker by observing, listening to others, and practicing. Read newspapers and magazines, watch TV and movies, so that you will have a range of topics to talk about. Keep notes on good conversational tips and ideas. Be specific, sound serious about your work, and make time-commitments you can keep. Avoid repetition; use pen and paper when possible. Be careful about what words you use. Avoid controversial topics. And smile. </li></ul>6. Become A Good Talker
  10. 11. <ul><li>Listening is the most important part of communication. Listen without interrupting the customer. Make notes while the customer talks to show him you are paying attention and are seriously thinking about his/her problem. Listening also allows you to ask the right questions and more quickly understand the customer’s problem, and therefore, more quickly find the right solution. </li></ul>7. Become A Good Listener
  11. 12. <ul><li>You can do a good job talking and listening, but if you cannot write it down and read it later on, you cannot satisfy your customers. Make sure your handwriting is clear. Use short sentences and paragraphs. Use part numbers, references to the parts catalogue, diagrams, sketches, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Always use good paper, pens or pencils. Don’t economize on these. Use well-designed, thick job cards to avoid a dog-eared, shabby looks that your customers will see. </li></ul><ul><li>Write fully and in a style others can read – say, people working in your parts, service, sales, and accounts. There may be a need to refer to your notes/reports in the future, especially with repeat customers. </li></ul><ul><li>Itemize what you write and communicate the contents clearly to relevant people. This is especially important when you have to submit reports on work done or customers attended to. This also helps you gain the respect with your superiors and colleagues. Pay attention to what you write and for whom you are writing. </li></ul>8. Become A Good Writer And Reader
  12. 13. <ul><li>Practice MWA or Management by Walking Around. For your customers, consider following them instead of leading them. </li></ul><ul><li>Know your customers. Research shows that customers are of different types: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Happy-go-lucky 36% </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Know-it-all 23% </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Proud and in a hurry 18% </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Worrying and fussy 9% </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Angry and anxious 8% </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Shy and nervous 6% </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Happy-go-lucky customers may be easy to please, but can be your biggest enemy, as they can not only take away their business but take others with them as well. Know-it-alls tell you what is wrong and how to repair so it’s important to listen to this type. </li></ul>9. Better Ways To Deal With Your Customers
  13. 14. <ul><li>Proud and in a hurry types need to be attended to right away. Worrying and fussy will talk at length so it’s important to sympathize fully. Angry and anxious types may need to be treated with a firm hand; if you feel you can’t please them, then maybe it’s better to lose them. Let them go to your competitors and make everyone in your business feel better about not having to deal with them. Shy and nervous types need to be put at ease and educated about your business. </li></ul>9. Better Ways To Deal With Your Customers
  14. 15. 10. Better Ways To Have Satisfied Customers <ul><li>Be proud of your business and principal. If you cannot be proud, find another job. </li></ul><ul><li>Always be cheerful and this way, you will spread cheerfulness. Remember this rule: we smile not because we are happy; we are happy because we smile. In other words, you must train your mind to always think positive thoughts. Read good, positive material and listen to positive words. Maintain your cheerfulness regardless of whether a customer is good or bad, rude or polite, angry or kind, right or wrong. </li></ul><ul><li>Learn and keep good manners. Remember customers’ names and use them. At the same time, do not be over-familiar or over-complimentary. Never put your hands in your pockets, or smoke, or bite your nails or other bad habits. Don’t talk and then ask, “Do you follow me?” Never use foul language. Dress up properly and appropriately. Think before you speak. </li></ul><ul><li>Practice saying “yes” instead of “no” to your customers. Think of ways to say “yes.” Saying “no” may save you a lot of work but will cost you a lot of business. </li></ul>
  15. 16. 10. Better Ways To Have Satisfied Customers <ul><li>Never argue with a customer. Believe that the customer is always right. If he/she has a problem, it can either be a fact or due to misunderstanding. Either way, it is your job to solve it, whether it is simply explaining the misunderstanding. Remember that the customer is not as educated about your product/service as you are. It is your job to educate them in a professional, friendly and tactful manner. </li></ul><ul><li>Make promises that you can keep. This includes promises on delivery, service bills, trouble-free performance, and so on. Develop the habit of following-through, removing obstacles to non-availability of spare parts and other things a customer may need. Remind colleagues about what your customer needs and deliver it on time or ahead of time, if possible. </li></ul>
  16. 17. 11. Better Ways Of Selling Service <ul><li>Gain the customer’s confidence by attending to them promptly, in the first three minutes of their walking in your place of business. </li></ul><ul><li>Concentrate on the customer’s problem. Be sure that you see, feel and hear the same things your customer does. </li></ul><ul><li>Check the machine yourself and if possible, do it with the customer present. Check the history card and other documents about the machine. This also builds confidence in the customer’s mind that you are serious about helping him/her. Don’t jump to conclusions about the customer’s problem; check and recheck your findings. </li></ul><ul><li>Make sure you have paid full attention to the customer’s problem. Be clear in explaining what the problem is, what work is needed and why, and how the customer will benefit. If the problem is something the customer cannot readily see, use other ways and other senses – hearing, touching, smelling, etc - of explaining it. </li></ul>
  17. 18. 11. Better Ways Of Selling Service <ul><li>Remember that a customer who understands and agrees on the problem is more predisposed to pay for the service. Remember also that you must get the customer to agree to the solution you are proposing. So make sure you get the customer’s agreement on the following: how much work will be needed, by what time it will be finished, and how much it will cost. </li></ul><ul><li>Check for other needed work. Don’t just check the problem pointed out by the customer; check the entire machine. </li></ul><ul><li>Fill in the job card fully, accurately, and clearly. Write down your customer’s full name and address as this will allow you to send him other mails such as announcements, birthday cards, photos and news about your service. Write down agreements on what specific jobs to be done to avoid arguments later on. </li></ul>
  18. 19. 12. Handling Co-Workers In Your Business <ul><li>Employees in any organization can be classified into three categories: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Willing employees </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Neutral employees </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Impossible employees </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Take good care of your willing employees, nurture their enthusiasm and give them opportunities to grow and fulfill their potential. For neutral employees, steer them towards willing employees to be positively influenced. Impossible employees create problems in any organization. Instead of getting upset with these employees, use patience, tolerance and a positive attitude, but be ready for disappointment and perhaps letting them go for the benefit of the organization. </li></ul>
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