Asking a few extra questions while interacting with customers could be the difference that positions your company and service position for success and a brand that focuses on improving customer service and satisfaction.
1. Have you been here before?
This is one of my favourite questions to ask customers when possible. Have you been here before? can be asked in restaurants, retail stores, spas, bookstores, and many other types of businesses. This question starts the engagement section of customer service after the initial greeting. It starts conversation with your customer and disguises as a simple icebreaker. If your customer simply says no, reply “Welcome back! Customers will appreciate that instant acknowledgement and recognition and hopefully start talking and engaging about their previous visit or anything upcoming. You are already on your way to increasing your customer satisfaction rating, customer loyalty and position your business with a strong customer service brand.
2. What brings you in today? Or Why are you purchasing this good/service?
If asking the first question doesn’t make your customer open up, what brings you in today is another great go to question in order to get guests interacting with you, removing that initial awkwardness when you meet a stranger for the first time. Most people are celebrating an occasion or participating in a special event when they interact with your business. This is your chance to provide the best customer service possible. Not with eye contact and smiles but with proactive actions that specifically caters to your customers and event. Arrange a special arrangement in the hotel room for the honeymooners, get the salon team to sign a card for a regular customer’s birthday. Uncovering the reason why the customer came to purchase pants will help you assist with style and design depending the answer. That high level of engagement almost always guarantee a sale, possible commission and one happy memorable shopping experience for your customer, client or guest. Treating your customers like they alone exist and that you exist only for them will ultimately steer your business to be the best in your industry.
3. What’s wrong so I can fix it!
Always follow up with guests right after the good or service has been delivered. You actually want to force your customer to reveal any issues at all or pain point during their interaction with your company or employee. Offering a 10% coupon may reveal that delivery time is slow and that the customer are willing to pay for expedited delivery if offered. Any insight to your customer’s experience should be embraced and used as an opportunity to continue to improve your good/service that specifically caters to your niche increasing product lines, develop a tribal following and poised to be a must have brand. Most shoppers just do not revisit the business that ignored them or treated them badly while in your care. And worse, poorly treated customers tell family and friends. Asking for feedback allows a chance to correct the issue, apologize and wow that guest by taking their comments seriously. Amazon delivers some of the best customer service for the ninth consecutive year by ForeSee Experience Index: US Retail Edition and has a stock price north of $1000. See the correlation? I had my own experience with Amazon. I ordered some jewelry and had it delivered in the USA from where it would be carried to Jamaica to me. I ended up not liking the jewelry (it was for my wedding, so I could be picky) for the style of wedding I was having so I wanted to return it, but how? It was not delivered to Jamaica. I contacted Amazon who told me to ship the package to them and they would cover the shipping cost. I did not escalate the call, no manager was called, a representative simply gave me instructions via email and $70 CDN was credited to my credit card in less than 5 days. Since then, I have purchased well over $500 on Amazon because I know if I have an issue, they will try to fix it for me. Customer focused companies make $3 for every $1 spent on customer service training according to the Dijulius Group, a leading customer service consultant company in the US.
Take the time to develop specific questions that cater directly to your industry, market segment and product. The questions should be positioned to obtain the most important fact or reason why the customer is interaction with your good/service and how you can make that transaction better improving customer service.