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CUSTOMER SERVICE – IS IT WORKING FOR YOU AND YOUR BUSINESS?
How do you build customer loyalty? Do you cut your prices on your merchandise to attract customers? Have you renovated your site for easy shopping? Most important, are your customers being greeted with a smile or with a hello, good morning or offer a goodbye or “thank you for stopping by” when they leave? Here’s the key: Did you know that building customer loyalty simply comes down to your employees’ attitude with your customers? That applies not only in person but on the phone as well.
I remember working at First City Bank in Houston, TX in customer service for the MasterCard Division. My first job was an eight to five position, on the phone and talking to a variety of customers; some very nice, some quiet, and some extremely disgruntled and rude. Did you know you can smile while on the phone and get a positive response from your customers in spite of their attitude? Trust me, it works regardless of your program, product or service or what you are selling. As a people person, every one of the positions I held were customer service oriented. In marketing, publishing, and in the corporate and nonprofit arena, that smile and positive attitude, in person and on the phone, said a lot about the organization and why it's customers continued to come back. It took me a while to master that smile on the phone but when I did, I applied that very same technique in person and especially on the phone throughout all my business career. We were all winners!
We already know that being greeted with a smile or a hello makes us feel welcomed to shop. Studies show that customer loyalty is repeated and your customer base will grow when they are welcomed or greeted. The retail industry has increased their bottom dollar because of a shift in customer service. They put the customer first, they no longer follow the customer around, and they are always nearby to assist. Have you noticed however the shift in their interaction with the customers? Before you leave the store, you now hear a "thank you" just for stopping by even if a purchase did not occur. That is great customer service! I remember thinking that someone thanked me for just coming by to take a peek. When I returned to that store at a later time, I told them I came back because of their customer service. Not only did I make their day but I received even greater service the second time around.
So let's talk about other industries. Have you shopped for groceries lately, needed gas at a convenience store, or paid a bill lately? How many of the employees at those locations greeted you with and resounding, "hello!" Did you feel they were attentive to your needs? Did you feel welcomed or were they too busy to even notice you walking through their door? Whether you own a plumbing company, a hardware store, a key shop, work in a service industry, a nonprofit, or even as a city employee, there are no excuses. If you want to build customer loyalty and your customer base, remember to greet your customers. It’s simply that easy. They will come back over and over again, and even pay higher prices because of your company’s customer service. Some may even ask your name and bid you hello by name upon their return.
The same applies to an employee on the phone. Whether an owner, the cashier, or the secretary, are you smiling on the phone? The person on the other side of that call can feel your attitude and your willingness to assist them as well. Place a mirror on your desk and the next time you pick up the phone to say hello or thank you for calling their company ("Thank you for calling ABC plumbing, may I help you?"), look at your face in the mirror. Are you smiling? It will take a while and it may seem crazy at first, but your customers will take notice and it sets the stage for their return, and increased business and sales, over and over again!
FOR YOUR INFORMATION …
EMV – Credit/Debit Card October 2015 Deadline
If you are a merchant that accepts credit cards and debit cards to sell your programs, products, and/or services, changes for this payment process are right around the corner. Are you familiar with the liability that may occur in the switch that is expected to take place October 2015?
Written by Vangie Garza Neil
Writer/Neil Agency Auctioneers
Vice President, Aztec Chamber of Commerce
The Aztec Chamber of Commerce is not part of the City of Aztec. The Chamber does not receive funding from the City of Aztec with the exception of their annual membership. The work we do and its support is based solely on your chamber membership dues and the Chamber’s fundraising events. We felt it was important for you to know that as our role is to be your voice in so many levels.
Aztec Chamber of Commerce
110 N. Ash
Aztec, NM 87410
(505) 334-7648 (fax)
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