5 Hallmarks to Great Customer Service
How much time is too much before you're greeted by waitstaff at a restaurant? How deep should the supermarket line become before a backup cashier is called? And if you showed up at the hospital, what is an acceptable wait time?
LWBS is the acronym used in the healthcare industry to describe when patients are left waiting so long that they leave without seeing a physician -- Left Without Being Seen. This widely used metric measures the efficiency of health care organizations, and high LWBS rates signify a failure to serve their customers -- the patients. The corollary, of course, is that in addition to failing to serve the sick is reduced revenue for the organization.
The hallmark of our success here at ThunderTix is attributed to our adherence to the golden rule: we treat people as we would want for ourselves which starts with prompt responses to questions. With great customer service, we earn higher rates of repeat business and word-of-mouth referrals, and enjoy lower costs of marketing and increased revenue.
So, what defines good customer service?
Responsiveness. Accurate answers. Empathy. Listening.
Customers aren't always right, but they do deserve to have an empathetic ear when there is a problem. And when they have a legitimate gripe -- and we're remembering the golden rule here -- we need to respond in a way that demonstrates our commitment. That said, everyone from tour guides to bar staff to telephone support should be educated on what great customer service is. If they understand that the highest levels of service are often rewarded with increases in pay and higher tips, they'll work even harder.
You can't always control an off night and you cannot control the weather, but if you focus on our short list of great customer service attributes, you will undoubtedly create happy customers and impact your own bottom line.
5 Hallmarks to Great Customer Service
- Always serve with a smile - In addition to being friendly, it signifies you care, and customers want to know they matter. Gruff and terse people belong in the packing room and not on the front lines of customer interaction.
- Know everything about your events - Train your staff to know everything from accessibility to performance details to pricing to coupons or promos or where to find the answer. Make sure the chain is clearly delineated to find the answers quickly.
- Cleanliness is godliness - Well, maybe not godliness, but having a clean venue demonstrates a commitment to the customer. Dirty common areas -- or worse, rest rooms -- send a message that customers are not first. Be fastidious in cleanliness and you'll find staff and customers alike are happy to be there!
- Respond promptly - When a customer leaves a voice mail or sends an email, respond quickly. Not only is a quick response appreciated, but if you respond before they've moved away from your website, you'll enjoy higher conversion rates on those ticket sales.
- Say thank you - Whether a customer shares their complaints or simply attends your event, both deserve thanks. The former because you have the opportunity to turn a bad experience into a good one, and the latter because without customers, you wouldn't be in business.
If you aren't currently surveying customers about their experience during your event, consider the rewards of a survey program. Customers may not complain face to face, but as we've learned from Yelp and Trip Advisor reviews, customers have a lot to say. And if you can correct a poor experience, that negative review may turn into a positive one.
The key to a good survey is to avoid "yes" or "no" questions. Instead, use good open ended questions that help you hone in both the good and the bad. "What specific steps could we use to improve your experience?" "What do you wish you knew in advance of the event?" "Do you remember anyone that served you? Who and why?" Consider what would be important to you or your most recent experiences, and let that be your guide.
Whether you use an external service or our own automatic post-event survey, learning how you can serve your customers better will reap rewards of repeat business, referrals, revenue and customer appreciation. And that builds a great business!
For tips on how you can employ ThunderTix's survey feature, check out our how-to guide.