The Importance of Customer Service, Pt. 3
Part three of this series discussing guidelines for providing excellent customer service will focus on the statement: I go above and beyond.
Going above and beyond when providing excellent customer service includes anticipating our customers' needs, offering assistance and providing our customers with a variety of ways to contact us.
The term "wayfinding" is often used to refer to traditional navigation methods used by people to get from here to there. It's also used to refer to the customer's experience of orientation and choosing a path within a constructed environment. Our customers all depend on us to anticipate their needs and offer assistance. Here are some examples of "wayfinding.":
Walk in the shoes of your customers.
How do they feel when they first walk in the door? What do they see? Is it easy for them to know where to go? Take a look at things from their perspective — take a walk in their shoes. If they don't fit right, then fix it.
Use words, numbers, symbols and colors.
Symbols and colors can be effective means of identifying a certain location or place. If you have a sprawling facility, can you create a map with symbols to designate various areas? Can you then place the same symbols in those areas?
Make wayfinding user-friendly and functional.
Take a look at your facility — what are some ways to make it easy, functional and user-friendly for customers to find their way?
Anticipate the need.
If you ever go to Walt Disney World and forget where you parked, all you have to do is tell an attendant what time you arrived at the park. They have developed a system that will tell them which sections of the parking lot were parked in when. You probably don't have parking lots big enough to worry about that, but what does wayfinding look like where you work? It's a blend between where you want your customers to go and what you want them to know, do and feel; as well as where the customers themselves want to go and what they want to know, do and feel. Anticipating needs and offering assistance is an excellent way of going above and beyond in your efforts toward extreme customer service.
In order to ensure that you have anticipated your customer's needs, be sure to ask for their feedback. What mechanisms do you have in place to do so? Informal surveys? Formal feedback processes? Whatever you use, make yourself aware of the results and act on their responses.
I'll continue to discuss this third guideline in my next post.
Other articles in this series:
The Importance of Customer Service, Pt. 1
The Importance of Customer Service, Pt. 2