30 customer brickbats & bouquets


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30 customer brickbats & bouquets

  1. 1. F&B—SALES SERVICE CUSTOMER BRICKBATS BOUQUETSPareto’s Law INPUT OUTPUT Study Materials Exam Questions Customers Sales Menu Items Sales Enquiries Sales Service Sales 20% 80% 80% 20%How is it possible for 20% of input to yield 80% of output?Lausanne Executive Education—Summer Programme 2006 26h Consecutive Year Page 1 of 10F&B—Sales Service, Customer Brickbats Bouquets
  2. 2. How Important Is After-Sales Service?According to Jon Anton of Purdue University, when customers are asked, “Why did youchange products or suppliers?”, a whopping 68% reply, “I had a problem with customerservice!” In other words, we terminate most customer relationships by not focusing onmanaging it after the initial success of a sale. All others; 15% Dissatisfied with product; 17% Shortcomings in customer service; 68%What Is Customer Satisfaction?Customer satisfaction is a state of mind in which a customer’s needs, wants and expectationsthroughout the product/service life have been met or exceeded, resulting in re-purchase andloyalty. It is the bridge between short-term success and long-term success. SHORT-TERM LONG-TERM SUCCESS SUCCESS e.g. closing a sale e.g. repeat businessLausanne Executive Education—Summer Programme 2006 26h Consecutive Year Page 2 of 10F&B—Sales Service, Customer Brickbats Bouquets
  3. 3. Consequences of Customer Satisfaction FOUR LEVELS OF CUSTOMER CONSEQUENCES SATISFACTION The DISSATISFIED customer • Will actively seek out the competition The UNSATISFIED customer • Will bad-mouth our product/service • Will say nothing The SATISFIED customer • May jump to the competition if opportunities occur • Will tell others about our product/service • Will re-purchase The DELIGHTED customer • More of the same • Other products/services • More expensive products and services EVANGELISM 100% 80% 60%CUSTOMER LOYALTY 40% 20% TERRORISM 0% DISSATISFIED UNSATISFIED SATISFIED DELIGHTED CUSTOMERS CUSTOMERS CUSTOMERS CUSTOMERSLausanne Executive Education—Summer Programme 2006 26h Consecutive Year Page 3 of 10F&B—Sales Service, Customer Brickbats Bouquets
  4. 4. Do Customers Like to Complain? UNHAPPY CUSTOMERS HAPPY CUSTOMERS • Retaining customers cost 20% of • Only 4% of unhappy customers prospecting for new ones complain • Happy customers are willing to pay more, • More than 90% won’t come back i.e. buy A+ and A and B • Each one will tell nine others • Each one will tell five othersThe Value of Customers’ Word of MouthPositive word of mouth will not necessarily get us a new sale, but negative word of mouthwill guarantee us no sale. How much potential business can be generated when our loyalcustomers say good things about our company and our products/services? The results of astudy conducted by General Electric’s market researchers in 1993 indicate overwhelminglythat potential customers place great importance on the opinion of friends before making apurchase decision. OPINIONS OF FRIENDS USEFUL 61% NOT VERY USEFUL 12%Lausanne Executive Education—Summer Programme 2006 26h Consecutive Year Page 4 of 10F&B—Sales Service, Customer Brickbats Bouquets
  5. 5. HANDLING CUSTOMER COMPLAINTS—TWENTY GUIDELINESDespite having all the best intentions to provide a first class service and product, it is virtuallyimpossible for a business to avoid some degree of customer dissatisfaction at some time oranother. When this occurs, the overwhelming majority of customers choose to vent theirfeelings by simply deciding not to buy from you any more. Therefore, when a customermakes an effort—and yes, it takes effort, energy, time and money for a customer to lodgetheir dissatisfaction—to complain, take it seriously. Thank whatever you hold holy in yourbelief and treat it as a business opportunity to• Make amends and restore goodwill• Re-enforce the relationship and build customer loyalty• Alter any procedures or products to ensure that other customers dont encounter the same problems• Look professional and keep your company—and your personal—reputation intactA lot of customer service complaints and enquiries arise as a result of poor communication:perhaps customers were confused over the terms of a particular offer or misunderstood therepayment terms. This tells us that our message needs to be put across more clearly in thefuture.In certain businesses, customer complaints can vary widely in their nature and so putting aformal policy in place may not be very helpful when it comes to dealing with them. It can bemore constructive to define the stages of the complaints procedure and create a set ofguidelines for appropriate responses.Twenty Guidelines1. Receipt, Acknowledgement and Logging of Complaint • This is the initial contact from the customer whether it is done verbally, by e-mail, by letter, over the phone or by fax • If the complaint cannot be resolved immediately, it should be acknowledged, in writing if appropriate, and any relevant details logged • The acknowledgement letter should indicate that the matter is being investigated and with an estimate of when the complainant can expect a follow-up reply2. Investigation • The problem should be looked into in detail and the source identified • If there is a fault, it should be remedied3. Response • You should contact the customer when the investigation has been completed • Report your findings • Let the customer know what action is being taken to remedy the situation • Depending on your customer relation policy, the particular complaint, any warranty or guarantee commitments, consumer rights, the customer expectation, etc, you mayLausanne Executive Education—Summer Programme 2006 26h Consecutive Year Page 5 of 10F&B—Sales Service, Customer Brickbats Bouquets
  6. 6. wish to make amends at this point by offering some form of compensation, perhaps a refund or gift voucher4. Follow Up • It is important to follow up on the complaint resolution by finding out whether the customer is satisfied with the way in which the complaint was handled • This is very useful since it enables us to find out which level of compensation is needed to offer to keep the customer on board (!)5. Candour • Customers like to see some level of transparency when we are dealing with their complaints • Honesty can be the best policy in certain circumstances but always be aware that your frank admission that a product you sold had seen better days may backfire if your customer seeks redress through the courts6. Equity • Fairness is an important part of complaint resolution and it must apply to customers and staff • Poorly-treated employees invariably poorly treat customers7. Efficiency • Speed and effectiveness should feature highly • Don’t procrastinate • Theres no point on letting unresolved problems drag on • A delay in responding will only irritate customers further • Handle complaints quickly and first time8. Accountability • Make sure that the customer knows who is handling the complaint and give out contact details9. Commitment to Customer Service • Ensure that commitment to good customer service shines through in each step of the resolution process10. Admit Mistakes and Apologize • Just because you made the sale does not mean you can become defensive • Equally, just because you did not make the sale does not mean that it is not your problem or your fault • As far as customers are concerned, they have bought from your company, not from John or Mary • Whether or not you have personally made the sale, whether or not you are in the “sales department”, listen actively, admit mistakes and apologizeLausanne Executive Education—Summer Programme 2006 26h Consecutive Year Page 6 of 10F&B—Sales Service, Customer Brickbats Bouquets
  7. 7. 11. Show Compassion for Your Customer • It does not matter if the complaint initially appears to be true or false, reasonable or exaggerated, real or imagined • Show the customer that you are concerned and will investigate the problem immediately • Help the customer calm down by saying "I can understand why you feel they way you do."12. Actively Listen to Your Customers Complaint • Let customers talk • Let them vent their dissatisfaction, unhappiness, frustration—even anger—if necessary • Talking reduces the stress and anxiety • On our side, listen, listen and listen—and listen some more • Give sympathetic acknowledgement responses and the appropriate non-verbal communication and paralanguage13. Dont Pass the Buck • We may transfer the complaint to someone else in the company but we cannot transfer customer to someone else • Doing so undermines the integrity and organization of the company and your customer will lose confidence in your firm • Everyone is responsible for handling customer complaints • It is everyone’s responsibility to listen, take notes and then transfer it to the best person in the company to handle it14. Build Meaningful Relationships With Employees • Employees need to believe in the value of each customer to know how to serve them well and be motivated to do so • Employees must be made to understand their mutual dependence with customers— without excellent customer service, businesses stagnate and fail • Jobs, wages, working conditions and raises are all paid for with customers money • Employees need to think like owners when it comes to valuing customers15. Treat Employees As Partners • For customer service—and handling of customer complaints—to work, employees need to be treated as partners and to feel as if they are important and valuable ° Create an environment where people enjoy working ° Employees must be basically satisfied with their jobs in order to give good service to customers ° They must feel that they are respected and fairly compensated for their work ° Unhappy employees will not give good service no matter how good your training programmes areLausanne Executive Education—Summer Programme 2006 26h Consecutive Year Page 7 of 10F&B—Sales Service, Customer Brickbats Bouquets
  8. 8. 16. Involve Staff in Customer Service Decisions • Front line employees in particular have direct information about what customers want • Including employees in the process of designing and implementing a customer service strategy helps motivate them to make it work • Employees are more likely to consistently offer exceptional service if they have been instrumental in defining it17. Empower Employees • When employees are motivated and trained to meet customer needs, they can be empowered—trusted—to deliver great performance • While empowerment is a part of employee satisfaction, it is critical for excellent customer service • For customers, it means there is always someone available with the tools and power to meet their needs • The basis for empowerment is trust in employees • Empowered employees have ownership of their jobs and have the authority to use their best judgment in performing their work • They are accountable for their performance and gain the respect of their co-workers Example of Employee Empowerment • An example of employees being empowered to give excellent service would be authorizing every employee to handle a situation in which a customer is unhappy with a product he or she bought, without having to tell the customer, "Ill have to get the manager" or "Im not sure that our policy allows that." • The employee would see the customers displeasure as an opportunity to build loyalty and trust by offering whatever it takes to make the customer satisfied • The employee knows that management will be supportive and encouraging—as long as it puts a smile on the customers face • It is probably impossible to create relationships with customers without a valued, empowered workforce • Building relationships with staff sets the stage for exceptional service • Caution: employee empowerment can backfire if ° Abused ° Mis-used18. Empathize With Customers • View the customer-employee relationship from the perspective of the customer • Storytelling about personal experiences of employees as customers and role-playing customer interactions put employees in the customers shoes Example of Employee Empathy • At a recent workshop, an employee told a story about shopping in a hardware store where she had asked an employee for assistance in finding the electrical department • She did not feel appreciated or served when he dId not stop or even turn to her • He merely pointed and kept going • I asked if there were any signs or maps indicating where the electrical department wasLausanne Executive Education—Summer Programme 2006 26h Consecutive Year Page 8 of 10F&B—Sales Service, Customer Brickbats Bouquets
  9. 9. • She replied, "Maybe, but he was right there. He could have helped me!" • Later, another employee commented that customers never bother to read signs • By recalling the previous story, we were able to shift feelings about customers from judgment to empathy19. Knowledge on the Importance of Customers • All employees—even the CEO—need to understand the relationship between customer satisfaction and business success • They also need skills to deliver good service and the opportunity to practise their service skills away from customers • Involving employees in developing customer service standards builds relationships with them and makes it even more powerful • In addition, employees can help develop a programme of recognition and rewards that reinforces and sustains performance • As people are rewarded for certain behaviours, they feel more successful and build more knowledge about what works and what doesnt20. Prioritize • Too many companies—and managers and employees—do not consider customer service a priority • We develop systems to ensure accurate pricing but not customer service • We make sure products are refrigerated properly but leave serving customers to chance • We invest in resources to safeguard cash but leave our most value asset—loyal customers—unprotected • Every job description must begin with providing excellent customer service • Everyone must understand—and apply it—that serving customers is PRIORITY #1 • It is more important than stocking shelves, ordering products, filing in a report and most critical of all: It is more important to serve the customer than to serve the boss.Lausanne Executive Education—Summer Programme 2006 26h Consecutive Year Page 9 of 10F&B—Sales Service, Customer Brickbats Bouquets
  10. 10. FOUR COMPONENTS OF CUSTOMER FOCUS Build Inform Show Solve relationships we care problems Build Relationships • Demonstrate basic courtesy and respect to customers • We want them to feel welcome • We hope they will like us and want to come back • The focus is on friendly, welcoming and attentive behaviour Inform • All employees must learn how to help customers by actively listening to them and giving them what they want • Active listening involves being aware of and sensitive to our written communication, verbal communication, non-verbal communication and paralanguage • Learn how to tell when customers need help before the ask—and before the leave • Identify FAQs and appropriate responses Show We Care • Build quality into every aspect of the business • Every decision, procedure, policy, guideline, function and process should be tested by the question: “What does this do for/to the customer?” • Return policy, special order system, billing and pricing, suggestions, telephone messages, e-mail protocol, etc need to make the customer experience easy, satisfying and friendly • It is our job to remove barriers, not create them Solve Problems • Train employees how to solve problems with grace and concern • No matter how hard we try, Murphy’s Law will hold—anything that can go wrong will go wrongSources:http://www.independentbusinessadvisor.co.uk/marketing_sales/cs_customer_complaints.jsp,http://www.alessandra.com/saysyes.htm,http://www.cooperativegrocer.coop/cg1997/custservice.shtml andhttp://www.resultsforbusiness.co.uk/customerservice/complaints.shtml,accessed 25 October 2005 Louis Lim, June 2006Lausanne Executive Education—Summer Programme 2006 26h Consecutive Year Page 10 of 10F&B—Sales Service, Customer Brickbats Bouquets