De­liver premium ser­vice through peo­ple

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Business & Appointments - - FRONT PAGE - KNOWL­EDGE AT­TI­TUDE SKILL — THE 3CS WHAT BE­HAV­IOURS ARE AP­PRO­PRI­ATE?

Of­ten when the 3Ps are weighted, Peo­ple comes out as the most im­por­tant. While Prod­uct and Place are of course im­por­tant, on their own they will not make a cus­tomer feel spe­cial. Only a per­son can do that. What are the key touch­points for when your peo­ple in­ter­act with your cus­tomers? What does good look like?

Ev­ery per­son needs to know how you ex­pect then to be­have with cus­tomers. They need a suf­fi­cient level of knowl­edge to their job. They need to have a pos­i­tive at­ti­tude and of course they need an ap­pro­pri­ate set of skills to do the job that is ex­pected of them. In this age where cus­tomers have ac­cess to so much in­for­ma­tion, what knowl­edge do your cus­tomer-fac­ing peo­ple need in or­der to re­ally help and sell to cus­tomers? They should at least have more prod­uct knowl­edge than the cus­tomer can find on the in­ter­net. They should know your best and worst sellers, sup­ply chain, out-of-stocks and your cus­tomers. They should know your pro­cesses, rules and reg­u­la­tions and they should know your com­pe­ti­tion.

What are the risks if your peo­ple don’t have this knowl­edge? How will it af­fect their con­fi­dence? How will it af­fect cus­tomer ser­vice and sales? Ev­ery or­gan­i­sa­tion has its own set of unique an­swers to th­ese ques­tions, so the re­spon­si­bil­ity of en­sur­ing your peo­ple have this knowl­edge lies with you. When morale is good and your peo­ple have a pos­i­tive at­ti­tude, that usu­ally trans­lates to cus­tomers get­ting a good ex­pe­ri­ence. Cus­tomers will no­tice a bad or neg­a­tive at­ti­tude in­stantly by the way they are treated. Now you can teach your peo­ple ev­ery­thing that they need to know and you may even train them on rel­e­vant skills. But if they don’t have the right at­ti­tude, then all the train­ing in the world won’t make a dif­fer­ence. A poor at­ti­tude per­me­ates and in­fects the team. So hire the right peo­ple for their at­ti­tude and then train them on the re­quired skills. Ev­ery sin­gle cus­tomer-fac­ing per­son in your or­gan­i­sa­tion should be trained on the 3Cs of great cus­tomer ser­vice.

Con­nect — Smile and greet each cus­tomer in a friendly way

Con­sult — En­gage with the cus­tomer to es­tab­lish and sat­isfy their needs

Con­clude — Show ap­pre­ci­a­tion for the busi­ness and thank the cus­tomer

This is a sim­ple mantra for all your peo­ple and it ap­plies to all forms of cus­tomer in­ter­ac­tions; on the tele­phone, in-per­son, we­bchat, emails. I’ve stud­ied cus­tomer com­plaints over the years and I can vouch that most com­plaints are to do with rude­ness and un­friend­li­ness. Even though in our so­ci­ety we have be­come less for­mal and more re­laxed, it doesn’t mean that ba­sic man­ners shouldn’t pre­vail. In­ter­min­gled with the 3Cs, we should be con­scious of be­hav­iours too. You need to think through what the ap­pro­pri­ate be­hav­iours are for your or­gan­i­sa­tion, based on your brand DNA and the ex­pec­ta­tions in your in­dus­try. But you’re un­likely to go wrong with th­ese generic be­hav­iours.

Cour­tesy — This is about the please and thank you that your par­ents taught you as a child. Be nice and en­sure a pleas­ant tone of voice.

Ef­fi­ciency — Most cus­tomers are un­der pres­sure for time and they don’t ap­pre­ci­ate un­nec­es­sary de­lays. Make sure you show re­spect with a sense of ur­gency.

Fi­nesse — It is never okay to be gruff or sloppy with your cus­tomer. Even if you po­si­tion your­self low on price, it’s never okay to be rude, or dis­mis­sive with your cus­tomer.

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