Customer Service Examples
Worried about the effects of a weak economy on this year’s ski season? I have a question for you: WWYDIAWO? (What would you do in a white out?) Seriously. If there’s a group of people who knows how to get out of difficult situations, it’s skiers and snowboarders. Ask yourself now, what would you do? Would you just continue skiing or continue with the boarding? Or would you pause for a few minutes to look around?
Still with me? Suppose the current economic collapse is your white-out. On clear and sunny days, you have so much to do that you have little time to stop, assess the situation, and make adjustments or improvements to your business. But right now, the bad economy is a swirling cloud that obstructs your vision. It forces you to stop charging and to look around. And one of the things you may see more clearly than ever before is how people in your resort interact with your customers. For example, you experience less than excellent communication between an employee and a customer. You are shocked and surprised. They think, “Gosh, I thought this guy (or girl) would be better than that.” And you want to do something about it. Right now.
Fortunately, exceptional customer service is one of the few things that you do not necessarily have to spend a lot of money on. The fact is, you can significantly improve your resort’s customer service in any economy. In this way, you can develop passionate customer advocates who will ensure that your earnings continue to increase regardless of the economic weather.
Build a solid base
Just as great runs are built just one centimeter of snow cover at a time, smooth and consistent customer service requires a carefully built foundation. It’s surprising how many resort leaders believe that great customer service only applies to the surface of a business. They make a simple statement: “Smile everyone!” and wonderful customer service seems magical.
The truth is, customer service, to be authentic, has to be strategically implanted in the bones of the resort. And that requires planning. Just as you have detailed plans for elevator operation, maintenance, marketing, accounting, and the F & B, you need a detailed plan for customer service. A plan that describes how to integrate outstanding customer service into every business and every job function. Regardless of whether a person is in a customer position or behind the scenes of “internal clients,” you should set clear and measurable goals for how that person can and will positively impact the overall service your guests receive.
Every job is a customer service job
Do you have a plan? Okay, now take a look at your resort’s job descriptions. Are you talking about customers? Sure, it probably contains a one-liners saying something like “providing great service to customers,” but how many of these job descriptions actually put customers in the spotlight? Most job descriptions I have seen in the last 25 years provide detailed explanations of the daily tasks that are required in a job role. Few of them speak directly to the responsibility of individuals when it comes to influencing the customer experience. This is especially true for “internal customer” or corporate office jobs.
Have you ever seen a mention of customer service in an accounting job description? But who would deny that there are some things that are more annoying than a wrong bill, an inexplicable charge or a hassle when you try to correct a mistake? Your general manager may be the most charming person in the world, but if the bill is wrong and it is difficult to repair, the performance is over. The point is that the experience of the guests is just as much influenced by employees working behind the scenes, as by those who deal with customers face to face. Anyone ever told by a service team member that “We can not do that” is likely to attribute the reason to an in-house employee who does not, or only insufficiently, knows how his or her actions affect the company’s ability to provide exceptional customer service provide. The end? If you want your organization to take care of customers, customer service must be in the focus of every job description and job.
The high art of the interview
In my experience, resorts that have the greatest success in customer service, during the hiring process, do a few important things that make the difference in the world. First, HR professionals engage senior managers and executives in serious discussions about the professional skills and personality traits required to succeed in any position. Second, those who have oversight responsibilities in the organization are trained to interview potential employees in the best possible way.
For example, this kind of training can help a supervisor understand the important difference between a skill and a trait. A skill can be learned and may be essential to the work position. A feature is a dimension of the applicant’s personality that can influence the overall success of the resort. For example, a skilled elevator mechanic must have the ability to repair and service the mechanical parts of an elevator. An unskilled interviewer may stop the interview once he or she has determined that an applicant has these skills. But that could be a big mistake. While features such as “caring,” “cheerfulness,” and “good communicator” are not necessarily the first things that come to mind when you think of a great elevator mechanic, these features become very important when traveling with a mechanic on a resort guest repair broken elevator. If the mechanic has the right qualities, he or she will have the safety, comfort and enjoyment of the customer in mind, whether he’s driving past skiers with his snowmobile or in the engine room to fix a mechanical problem.
It can be difficult to learn how a candidate who looks good on paper but is not quite right for the job reacts to that gut reaction. That’s why it’s important to train your employees for a good interview. By training all of the leaders in your organization to focus on the required features, not just the tactics and skills needed to get jobs, you can reduce employee turnover, saving you time and money, and improving your employee experience Directly influence guests.
That’s what I’m talking about
In order to provide an excellent service in your company, there must be a constant dialogue about the service in each business area. I recently had a customer who sent snow groomers on the track as part of the training session to ask customers what they think about snow grooming. The results were amazing. The snow groomers developed a deep interest in satisfying the guests. They felt responsible to the people who matter most, the customer. Guests were proud to have helped create the even-numbered cords on their favorite runs. And they brag about the experience with their friends. In addition, interacting with guests has created a platform for the care manager to foster ongoing customer dialogue. “Bryce, why do not you tell the team what you heard yesterday on your customer day?”
The honest communication of the highest organizational level about the current situation, goals and requirements of the company is also a critical part of the dialogue. There is nothing more motivating than the feeling of playing a significant role in achieving a greater goal, however difficult it may be to achieve that goal. Many of my customer organizations are reluctant to persuade the CEO or President to provide honest information to people at all levels about where the company is in difficult times. But the payout can be extraordinary. Recessions are a true test of leadership. Those executives who take the opportunity to support and develop their employees in good times and bad, not only survive market failures, they thrive as well. If you consider your least-qualified front-line employees as partners for warring for customers (rather than “cost of doing business”), you will create a true customer-centric culture and set the standard not just for your own industry, but possibly for others too.
The final result? In order to create a culture of customer service (which we have already discussed earlier), dialogue with and about customers must permeate the everyday conversation of everyone from the corner office to the far corner of the car park. Once you start the customer service dialog, make sure it continues.
Keep the momentum up
In a bad economy, customers are harder to find. And those who come to visit must be treated in such a way that they keep coming back and telling their friends about you. As tempting as it may be to cut your training budget right now, such a move could end the important customer service dialogue you’ve worked so hard on – and do nothing more than kill customer service.
The mere act of bringing teams together to learn new skills maintains dialogue and motivates them to do more in their daily work. It is equally important to work with the leaders of your resort to align their teams with the goal of continually improving service.
Ongoing customer service training at all levels creates a permanent customer service dialogue. A ubiquitous and continuous dialogue creates exceptional customer service. Exceptional service creates loyal customer representatives, reduces costs and increases efficiency. The end? In a weak economy, customer service planning, communication, and training are critical to your bottom line.
State-recognized spokeswoman, consultant and executive coach Cindy Solomon and her organization bring together the best in innovative leadership development programs, real business experience and best practice tactics from successful companies around the world to help companies create world-class leadership and customer experiences ,