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A Clean Perspective

Assistant Editor Joe J. Napoli writes about the carwash industry, social media skills and ways to improve your customer service.
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Blog: Tips on providing quality customer service

January 24, 2014
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Customer service is one of the most important aspects of any service industry. It is also something that can be greatly impacted by the business owners and managers. A  job culture where quality employees are rewarded for their work, and asked how to improve the customer service experience, can go a long way to helping your reputation. Here are some tips on how to create an atmosphere where quality customer service flourishes.

1. Reward those who work hard and give good service. There’s other ways to reward employees besides raises. It can be as simple as telling one of your employees that he or she did a good job, and that you acknowledge it. Or you can create an “Employee of the Month” system. A company I used to work for had a quarterly bulletin board, where  employees posted hand-written notes saying thank you to one another. It was a chance to say nice things to the other workers and acknowledge their work, which isn’t always easy in a hectic retail setting.

2. Get to know your customers. Humans being are social, and all it takes is a little common ground to get your customers to open up. Greet them like you’re their friend, and look for any chance you can to find a topic of interest. I spent years in customer service, and was always able to steer the conversation onto a topic they were comfortable talking about. I’d just look for little things, maybe they were wearing a Yankees hat (bring up baseball) or always coming to your wash with their kids (parents love to talk about their kids). Once you find a way to break the ice, getting to know your customers will be a lot easier.

3. Ask your customers how you can improve your business. There’s no better focus group than the people who frequent your business. If you’re thinking about installing an ice machine, ask some of your regulars what they think about the idea. If you notice a new customer, ask them what they liked or didn’t like about your wash. You may have a great wash, but have one thing that’s driving away customers, and not even know it until you speak with the people who see your business from a different perspective.

4. Ask your employees how you can improve your business. This is part of keeping your employees happy, which will invariably make them better with customer service. However, this also a chance for you to get feedback on what you can do to improve your business. As a retail supervisor, I was always looking for ideas from the cashiers about how to improve their job experience, and customer service. I always figured, they knew their job better than anyone else. I can’t tell you how many times they were able to come up with better ideas to improve the store experience for themselves and for the customers that I never would have come up with.

Customer service can do wonders for your reputation, and make the employees job a lot more enjoyable. It’s a matter of acknowledging those who work hard for you, and treating your customers with respect.