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Date [ 2014-08-08, 05:28 ]

Some tips on how to keep customers happy and satisfied.

(Singapore=Koreanpress) Benjamin Kim = Business is nothing without customers. This is especially true in the service industry, particularly in the hospitality, food and beverage industries. So it is imperative customers are kept satisfied. Of course the big question is: how do you keep customers happy?

A recent study of the local tourism sector commissioned by SPRING Singapore and the Singapore Tourism Board identified 10 service attributes that keep customers coming back for more in the entertainment, food and beverage, hotel and retail industries. These are:

1. Promptness
When customers ask for assistance, they naturally appreciate a prompt response. For the best results, staff
should acknowledge requests promptly, deliver service quickly where possible and give a realistic estimate if it will take longer.

2. Not rushed
No one likes to be rushed when they are relaxing and enjoying themselves. Staff should manage expectations upfront and make it clear if there are any time limits, such as on how long customers can have a table.

3. Accuracy and consistency
Customers appreciate service that is consistent with what has been promised to them in advertisements or other statements by company representatives. Hence, companies should train their staff to deliver service that accurately matches what has been communicated to customers.

4. Clarity of communication
Clear communication is crucial when it comes to delivering excellent service. Staff should be strong communicators – in English and in the languages of other key tourist groups – and be able to clearly relay information about promotions and other offers or services that customers may want to take advantage of.

5. Empathy and understanding of needs
Customers like to feel that service staff understands their requirements. In order to build empathy, staff
should be trained to speak with customers to understand their needs and recognise different customer types.

6. Attentiveness
In any service environment, typically some customers want assistance while others want to be left undisturbed. Staff should be trained to recognise visual cues to determine whether or not a customer needs help.

7. Knowledge and credibility
Customers want to be served by someone who knows what they are talking about. Staff should be extensively trained in the product or service they are offering so that they can provide advice based on genuine knowledge and experience.

8. Pro-activity
Anticipation of customer needs is a hallmark of great service. Staff should be trained to observe customers and
take action proactively if they sense that a customer will benefit from a spontaneous offer of assistance.

9. Flexibility
Few things are as frustrating for a customer as being told ‘we can’t’ simply because their request is out
of the ordinary. Staff should listen to what the customer is asking and be empowered to be flexible within reasonable limits.

10. Effective complaint handling and problem resolution
Mistakes happen, but the key to good service is how they are handled. Staff should be trained to
listen to complaints, see problems from the customer’s perspective and, if possible, offer a solution on the spot.

These tips will be useful not only for big organizations but also all those functioning as SMEs. In particular, those who have just started up.


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