4A’s of Customer Service – Attention
In this series of blogs we are looking at the four key behaviours that make great customer service experiences. This is the second in that series – Attention. You can read about the other three, Appearance, Attitude and Accuracy by visiting our website www.newchapterlearning.co.uk
I have talked about Appearance being the behaviour that makes the first impression on a customer and our next behaviour, Attention, is like the glue that makes that great first impression stick.
There are several types of Attention – Attention to detail springs to mind as does ‘standing to attention!’ and when it comes to customer service it is both how the customer receives attention and how is attended to that are important. In addition, it is also about the service giver and how good they are at being attentive. This is specifically about being able to notice and react, listen and not just hear and how to make the customer feel that they are the centre of their world.
Firstly, businesses often pay a lot of attention to what they need to run smoothly and efficiently. A lot of attention goes into making sure that processes, forms, logistics etc. are optimised to make it as easy as possible for the business to function. What can sometimes suffer from that inward attention is the customer.
What happens when little or no attention is paid to the customers experience when they are put through those processes? The form that was designed to make it easy for the business to input customer data may be a nightmare for the customer to complete? The process that uses jargon to ask for customer information but provides no explanation of what or why, yet warns the customer that getting it wrong has consequences! The telephone menu that takes you through two, three, four or more options to ‘get you to the right person’ but doesn’t offer the option you need!
Businesses must start with the customer when designing processes to make sure that it is easy for everyone. After all, what is the point in having a smooth running business when customers find it difficult to do business with you? Make it easy and they will keep coming back.
Secondly, there is another kind of attention – the personal kind. There is nothing complicated about this process because it’s just about making the customer the centre of your world for the amount of time that they are with you. Here are some simple principles that make that happen:-
- Stop everything else that you are doing and pay attention to the customer – 100% focus.
- Take a leaf from the 1980’s sitcom ‘Allo Allo’ – listen carefully, you will only hear this once. It can be quite annoying for a customer to have to repeat themselves.
- Be professionally nosey – ask questions and strike up a conversation.
- Make notes and repeat back – show you are paying attention
- Remove distractions – turn off email, phone and other colleagues!
In a nutshell, customers want to feel important to you. They bring money and loyalty which are very important to the success of your business and are therefore extremely valuable.
When businesses pay attention to their processes and make them customer focussed, they make it easy for their customers to do business with them.
And when the people in those businesses pay attention to the customers, making them the centre of their world, they give those customers a reason to love them and keep coming back.
In my experience, customers move to and stay where they are made to feel special and attended to.
We all like a bit of TLC and Attention.
If you have enjoyed this blog, why not read the other three in the 4A’s series by visiting our website www.newchapterlearning.co.uk
Director – New Chapter Learning Ltd