How important is customer service, and how is excellence achieved?
Usually I find myself an advocate for small independent businesses, firmly believing that the ‘personal touch’ is far more easily achievable on a small scale, however recently I have found that one particular large chain enterprise is managing to attain a superior level of customer service replicated on a national scale.
As my work takes me all over the UK in order to demonstrate or train teams on our Click4Assistance chat for website, I have had the need to stay in a variety of hotels and bed and breakfasts around the country. Now I will always opt for a Premier Inn if possible, in the area I’m travelling to. So how have they managed to convert a chain cynic in to a loyal customer? Well, it would appear they have implemented the following Golden Rules of customer service.
1) Listen to Your Customers!
After every stay, Premier Inn survey guests, gathering information not only on the building maintenance, room cleanliness and food quality, but also on the warmth of welcome and friendliness of staff. Obviously something they consider a high priority.
2) Understand Your Audience!
Having gathered important feedback from their guests, Premier Inn have clearly began profiling the types and needs of visitors, allowing them to fine tune their offering with little touches that make all the difference, from ensuring the room number is kept private when checking in through to explaining how and where breakfast will be served to prevent any confusion.
3) Implement Your Strategy!
Consistency is the key. Once feedback is gathered and your audience profiled, it is time to put your plan into action. Whether it is a choice of pillows or a resilient and convenient communication channel, it is essential your approach fully addresses the needs of your client base.
4) Train Your Staff, Regularly!
It is apparent that the group ethos is trained across all locations. Only in this way can a dependable approach to customer service be achieved within such a large organisation. A friendly smile to welcome guests as they check in, along with a well-rehearsed check list that each representative runs through, making sure the guest is comfortable with all services such as how to adjust the air conditioning or access the wifi. Ensuring staff know their ‘product’ and how the business wants to project their corporate image is paramount.
5) Most Important – Revisit Step 1!
It is not enough to listen once, and think your job is done. Constant evaluation is required, which allows to stay one step ahead of the changing expectations of your client base and advancements by your competition.
So from Premier Inn we see a model well implemented. We can all learn a lesson from this example and by following the above steps, achieve Premier customer Service. The team at Click4Assistance prides itself on offering an unprecedented level of support, and we strongly believe our chat for website solution can help businesses improve communication with their existing and potential clients. From fully customisable ‘SmartContact’ forms to gather feedback or contact details from website visitors through to fully customisable chat windows facilitating instant connections, and in depth website analytics tools, the Click4Assistance solution is proven to improve understanding and communication.
Author: Jill Stephens is a senior account manager at Click4Assistance, the leading live chat software provider. Jill specialises in advising enterprise level organisations including universities, local authorities and healthcare institutes, delivering a personal approach with each implementation of live chat.
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