Yeah, I know. Christine’s at it again. Shamelessly ripping off taglines from old films for her titles. Kudos to anyone who remembers where this tagline comes from.
Today was one of those slightly manic days where it felt, at times, a lot busier than it was. I think it was due to having few volunteers. We had four to start off with but one had to leave at lunchtime and one other only works in the workshop, leaving myself and two others to run repairs, sales and the IT suite. Unfortunately Mark was out and about on other business to do with Techstart. Also unfortunately, one of the volunteers only started in the past week and isn’t till-trained and the other, now having a full-time job, had only worked in the workshop previously and also isn’t till-trained. This meant that whenever a customer wanted to buy a machine, or book in a repair, they had to call on me. Fortunately we had long periods of quiet, enabling us to start catching up on repairs. It meant that the day went fairly quick and we were able to get lots done.
Something we try to instil in our volunteers is a sense of customer service. This includes ensuring the customer has everything they asked for, that they haven’t had to wait too long, (unless its unavoidable, then apologise when they are served), talking to the customer – letting the conversation flow in which ever direction the customer wants. There are two things I always say you should never do while serving a customer:
One is show anger or, even worse, get angry at the customer, no matter how angry they get at you. It belittles you and and can make a bad situation worse. The other is to try to sell the customer something they do not want. To me, this is just plain wrong, (and probably is another reason why I’m still not driving that Audi R8). It can also mean the difference between a customer returning or not.
So, customer service can be summarised in the following:
- Serve the customer promptly, making sure they have everything they need.
- Apologise if there have been any problems (waiting times, problems with equipment etc)
- Talk to the customer, letting them set the pace of any conversation.
- Never, ever get angry with, or in front of a customer.
- Do not sell a customer something they do not need.
There may be others but these are the most important.