There can be no hospitality industry without customer service, and it’s customer service that can make or break a business in the industry.
People have expectations of service that have been changing in recent times — they won’t settle for anything they feel is not good enough. More than half of consumers around the world have higher expectations for customer service than they had just a few years ago.
And although the customer is necessarily always right, businesses in the hospitality industry must endeavor to always keep them satisfied. We’ll discuss a handful of tips that will help you nail excellent customer service quite easily and build a good reputation for your company.
Wow Customers With a Fantastic First Impression
First impressions are lasting and if you can create a positive impression with your company’s first interactions with customers, you’re off to a good start.
Customers find customer service to be of the utmost importance when deciding whether or not to support a company. And over 85% of them are willing to fork out more for a great customer experience.
That’s why it’s so important to make customers happy right from the start of your relationship with them. On top of that, a good experience can create momentum that will ensure that the customer’s overall impression and experience with your business are positive.
Make Use of the Latest Technology
Good customer service is all about your relationship with your customers and how you go about making their experiences as satisfactory as possible. However, there are innovative technologies that are aimed at making things a bit easier.
For example, a hotel can make use of a custom-designed mobile app to manage bookings, customer check-ins, and other processes such as room management. The FlyZoo hotel in Hangzhou has equipped their rooms with a voice assistant that is there to complete requests such as playing music and adjusting the lights, temperature, and even the curtains.
The assistant can also be used to answer questions and record customer feedback. Adding these technologies to your business will enhance your customers’ experiences and make life easier for your staff.
Be Consistent and Innovative
One of the biggest elements of customer service is consistency. Customers will come to associate great customer service with your brand if you are always giving them a great experience.
For example, something as simple as a drink or snack to welcome customers on every visit is a nice way to be consistent and offer impressive customer service.
While you’re being consistent, you should consider being innovative. Make the welcome gift something unique and interesting that customers won’t find at other businesses.
Address your customers by their names and send them personalized birthday messages or freebies. You can be as creative as you want with this part of customer service.
Improve Your Staff’s Awareness
Your employees are the ones truly dealing with customers every day and it’s essential that they’re trained to do so effectively and in a friendly manner. They must always be willing (and able) to go the extra mile to improve a customer’s experience.
Send your employees on courses and help them learn what it takes to offer excellent customer services. This can be a costly undertaking, but it’s absolutely worth it. If you can, consider getting a business loan because this kind of training will go right back into your business.
Your staff must always be aware of what is happening with customers and how they can improve on the situation.
Listen to Your Customers
If you want to know how your customers feel about your business and customer service, you need to listen to them. It is important to get as much feedback as you can to stay on top of any problems that may occur.
Be empathetic when it comes to the complaints lodged by customers. If you are, you’ll find that they are a lot more receptive to any solution you and your team offer them. This way, you can avoid nasty reviews, get the customers’ respect, and damage your reputation.
Hire the Right Customer Service Team
The key to good customer service is a good customer service team. You shouldn’t hire just anybody to deal with angry and upset customers; you need people with the right set of skills and the right personality. Unfortunately, not everyone has the patience to handle difficult situations with care and respect.
Although it can do good to train your team, you have to vet your team before putting the responsibility of customer service on their shoulders. It will be easier to train people with the right attitude and mindset.
Know Your Customers
There is no way you could know what kind of service and experience will be effective if you don’t know who your customers are. You must be aware of all their needs and wants so you can meet them with satisfaction.
Think about why people are choosing your business over that of your competition. What attracts them and what makes them come back for more? Use all this information to build even better experiences for your customers without them having to ask and your customer service rating will always be high.
Be Able to Receive Feedback
You must always be ready to receive feedback from your customers, no matter how good or bad it is. If you aren’t, there will be no room for growth and you won’t be able to really know what strategies work and which ones should be dropped.
Allow your customers to provide feedback anonymously — they’ll be much more honest if they don’t have to identify themselves. You can use online forms to get feedback from your customers and use it for future reference.
Customer service must always be excellent, and getting it right can mean the difference between a successful business and one that has to close its doors permanently. The tips shared here will put you on the right course to achieving fantastic customer service that will benefit your company and everyone who supports it.