Becoming Better at Customer Service

If you ask my wife she will tell you that I have an unhealthy relationship with Buffalo Wild Wings.  What is it about that restaurant that keeps drawing me back?  There are several reasons why I love eating there (aside from my working theory that they’ve put an addictive chemical in their chicken).

First, the food is amazing…I mean like REALLY REALLY GOOD.  I can’t seem to get enough of their variety of wing sauces and delicious appetizers.  Second, it’s got a great ambiance.  For a huge sports fan like me, the idea of dozens of flats screens on every wall playing all of the sports channels is about as perfect of an atmosphere as a restaurant could create.  Aside from all of the TV’s and sports memorabilia, Buffalo Wild Wings is also always clean and well maintained.

The third and final reason why I love Buffalo Wild Wings is because of their customer service.  Every time I go there I get treated great.  I’m always warmly greeted, and then waited on throughout my meal in a friendly and professional manner.  So, what is customer service, and what makes a person or a company really great at it?

I recently watched a YouTube video by Horst Schulze, the former President of Ritz Carlton.  In the video he’s speaking to a group of Ford dealers and he explains to them, from his perspective, what makes great customer service.  He talks of the idea of “contact service,” which is service that starts the moment you make contact with a customer; the moment you greet them.  Phrases like, “Welcome, can I help you?”  Or “Hello, nice to see you,” can go a long way towards making a great first impression. This is the first step to providing great customer service (and perhaps the most intuitive).

The next step is complying with what that customer wants, and doing it happily: “I’m happy to help you,” “It’s my pleasure,” or “Of course I can do that for you.”  Those phrases help the customer know that you’re serving them, that you’re going to do whatever it takes to meet their needs.

Finally, good customer service ends with a warm farewell: “Thank you for letting me serve you,” “Thank you for coming by,” or “Have a nice day.”  Customer service can be summed up in those three simple steps.  To have a successful business you want to create a positive experience/interaction with everyone who comes in contact with you and your business.  You can have the best product on the market, but if don’t treat people well, if you don’t provide your customers with excellent service, you will not be successful and someone else will beat you out.  So my challenge to you is to apply these three simple steps with everyone who comes in contact with you and your business.  Doing so will add value to your company, and help your customers to know how much you really care for and appreciate them.

Below I’ve included the full video from Horst Schulze.  He begins talking about customer service at about the seven minute mark.  Enjoy!

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