It is often said that each interaction with a customer is a moment of truth that will either help or hinder the customers perception of you, I use the word you as opposed to the company, because in the customers eyes, you are the company.
On a recent customer service training course we spoke about the customers journey and how many times there is an interaction between the customer and an individual from the company, from these interactions create that ‘moment of truth’
Perceptions are important when it comes to customer service and on the customer service training course I mentioned earlier it was amazing to see how perceptions could matter at each interaction of the customer journey.
On the customer service training we broke down the customer journey of someone booking a hotel room for a weekend break and all the different steps of that journey where there was an interaction, for example:
- Initial telephone contact to the hotel to check availability
- The booking process
- The email received with the booking details
- The instructions for check in and check out times etc
- Arrival at the hotel car park
- Arrival at reception
- Book in process
- Showing to the room
- Possible room service
- Drinks at the bar
- Waitress service in the restaurant for evening meal
- Night porter service
- Wakeup call
- Check out procedure
There are 15 different interactions above and each of them will have an impact on the customers perception. Each of these interactions have to be good, from the initial answering of the telephone call with a specific greeting in a friendly tone when enquiring to the smile and ‘Thank you for staying with us’ on departure.
I remember on a customer service training course hearing a statistic that was something like 71% of people stop doing business with a company because of an indifferent attitude from a member of staff. I don’t know how true this statistic is but we have probably all at some stage chosen not to purchase something because we did not like the person we were dealing with.
When you consider there are about 15 steps in the customer journey of booking a hotel for a weekend that just shows how many opportunities we have to either help the customer perception or hinder it.
As is often said in customer service training we get these chances and we have to put the odds in our favour by ensuring we exceed customer expectations in all areas.
We need to get good at breaking each interaction down to 3 key areas:
- A beginning
- A middle
- An end
The beginning is all about first impressions and how we greet the customer inquiry either on the telephone or face to face. The middle is about establishing the customer needs by asking relevant questions and listening actively to the answers. The end is how we close the conversation or phone call by letting the customer know we are there for them if they need us through good customer service training we learn to understand all three areas are vital to have effective customer transactions.