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Your Company Needs a Concierge

Have you ever been surprised to discover that your employees don't understand the importance of quality customer relations?

ConciergeTake the example of a restaurant owner who was unaware of any customer-relations problems until one diner complained about the maitre d'. During the few times the customer visited the restaurant, the maitre d' rushed him to a table, slapped down menus and dashed back to start the process again with the next patrons.

The owner was surprised — and disappointed. He hired the maitre d' as a goodwill ambassador, to be gracious and make guests feel comfortable. He hoped his restaurant would make customers feel like they were invited into a friend's living room. But he never told his employees exactly how to relate to people the minute they walked in the door.

With that example in mind, here are the three Cs of quality customer relations:

  • Communication. Make sure your staff members are clear what is expected of them when they deal with customers. Be specific and use the policy in your company handbook and have employees initial it to indicate they read it and understand what it entails.
  • Cordiality. Instill a culture of warmth and friendliness. Tell employees to treat customers the way they want to be treated. Be sure they thank customers and tell them, "We appreciate your business."
  • Consistency. Designate one person to be in charge of customer relations. That way, you can ensure that standards are consistently applied and regularly monitored. Then, monitor your customer retention rate and make adjustments to your policy when necessary.

Studies show that the cost of keeping customers is only 20% of the cost of acquiring new ones. Obviously, maintaining quality customer relations minimizes your operating costs. The customer-relations manager has one of the most responsible jobs at your company. Fill that job carefully and let the manager know what's expected.

Customers may come in on their own the first time, but it takes extraordinary service and satisfaction to keep them coming back.

Questions? Let us know how we can help.

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