Here are five tips on how to improve the customer experience.
1) Know Thy Customer
For any given enterprise, there are two sets of customers: EXTERNAL and INTERNAL. The external customer is anyone outside of your organization to whom you provide a product or service. The internal customer is the person or work unit that receives the product or the service of another within the same organization. In your business, the external customer is the member who uses your facility and the internal customer is every other employee, otherwise referred to as team members.
2) Complaints are Opportunities
Use complaints to strengthen customer loyalties and give you a second chance to satisfy their desires. All complaints or upset members should be reported to a supervisor, but prepare all staff to address any initial situations in which they may find themselves. The following guidelines should assist you:
1. Use empathetic listening skills. Let them vent if necessary.
2. No matter what, STAY CALM.
3. Paraphrase back to the member the information presented. Respond with a question.
4. Determine the solution the member desires.
5. Propose a solution (only if this is a situation you know a clear solution to — otherwise leave this step to the supervisor) and carry out the solution.
6. THANK the member for bringing the situation to your attention and inform him/her that you will pass the information along to your supervisor.
3) Questions are Opportunities
Questions are also opportunities to improve relationships. It should not be your culture to say, “sorry, I don’t know the answer to that question,” and stop there. Exceptional customer service goes beyond nicety to results.
1. Empathetic listening. Be optimistic. There is an answer to every question.
2. If you do not know the answer, explain that you don’t know the answer,
however, you will find someone who does (co-worker, supervisor, manager). Use all resources necessary to find out (internet, experts, other members, etc.)
3. WRITE down their name, phone number and question.
4. Answer the question. Contact them in person, by phone, or through member messages.
5. Inform them of any services related to their question that we provide.
4) Developing Rapport
Recognize and praise people for that which they want to be recognized and praised for. Remember every individual has unique needs.
1. Be sincere and specific.
2. Become a brilliant conversationalist:
A) A gossip talks about others.
B) A bore talks about themselves.
C) A brilliant conversationalist gets others to talk about themselves.
3. If possible, compliment them for something resulting from our service.
5) Putting People at Ease
You want to make every effort to ensure that every member and guest feels comfortable and welcome on every visit to your facility. Putting the following actions to work will make a dramatic difference in both your personal and professional environments.
2. Be relaxed.
3. Maintain eye contact.
4. Be confident.
5. Take a personal interest in every member.
Shawn Stewart is the Operations Manager at Gainesville Health and Fitness Center. Contact him at email@example.com