Good Customer Care costs less than Marketing!
Whilst carrying out a couple of client visits recently it struck me how easy it is for a manager owner of a tourism business to let the small things pass them by.
When you are busy working in the business and worrying about footfall, margins, visitor trends, stock levels, staff rota’s, etc, etc. it is often difficult to make sure that each time a customer interacts with your business it is a positive experience.
It is often said that winning a new customer costs 7 times as much as attracting back an existing one so when a customer has already made the commitment of visiting our business why aren’t we looking after them properly.
The Most Common Touch Points
The most common “Touch Points” with a customer are:
- Ticket Desk
- Retail Outlet
- Guides/Hosts/Interpretation Staff
All too often these positions are staffed with season or part time staff (it’s easier to flex the costs this way), however, this quite often also means that these are the least experienced staff with lower levels of training.
Impacts of a poor interaction
If a customer has one bad experience during an interaction with a member of staff it is not necessarily going to result in a negative impression of your business. However, if every staff member they meet is miserable, unhelpful and slow to deliver service then you can guarantee that the customer will leave with a very negative impression of your business and will most probably never return.
Worst still they will make it their mission in life to tell everyone they know how bad the experience was! In the past this would have been limited to friends and family but now with the power of social media the number of people they tell (through Tripadvisor, Facebook Twitter, etc, etc) can run into the 100’s if not the 1000’s.
Many businesses have been badly impacted through negative TripAdvisor reviews as just one example.
Examples of poor interactions
A poor customer interaction does not need to involve rude staff or outright poor service such as cold food, defective retail goods or poor presentations. It can be a simple as lack of eye contact, failing to engage with each member of the customer’s party, slow service or talking to a colleague too much, not listening properly to what they have asked for!
It can often feel as if it is harder to know what good service looks like!
What is “Good” service
You don’t have to go all “Disney” on your customers wishing them a “nice day” or tell them you’re “missing them already”! All you need to do, in the majority of cases, is treat them with respect, pay attention to what they ask for and want and to treat them politely, dealing with their request in a prompt and efficient manner.
Some simple tips on how to deliver “Good” Customer Service
- Make and maintain eye contact.
- Take care of your appearance.
- Be observant and anticipate needs (Is their 6 year old wearing a Birthday Badge, Do they have a bag or push chair that could be stored by you, do any of the party have trouble walking, would they prefer a complimentary wheelchair?)
Ensuring “Good” Service
As an operator or manager making sure your customers are being looked after properly could be as simple as providing each member of staff with a simple 2 hour introduction to “Customer Care”.
Having a range of company policies in place on appearance and uniform and making sure your staff stick to them.
Rewarding staff for good practice and acknowledging teams that regularly exceed expectations.
Listening to your customers and taking action when required to address concerns.
Look after your existing customers
Look after your existing customers and they will come back time and again. Most importantly they will also bring their friends and relatives! Even if they don’t visit with them they will still recommend your business and encourage others to pay you a visit too.
Good customer care costs a lot less than marketing and it can be even more effective!
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