May 4, 2009

Maintain Special Customers


Customer is a King, maybe we often heard that word. As a good business man of course we agree to that word but what if the customer is more choosy and demand?

The customer is always right?
Well, not always. But even if they're wrong you have to bite your tongue and be subtle if they complain. Your job is to help satisfy their need. Getting angry and telling them the error of their ways is not helpful.

Knowing what they want or they need
- They might not have a clue and require close guidance
- They might have some idea but need your advice
- They might know exactly what they want

You also have to know the type of your customers, so that will help you to dealt with. Customers divide into six category :

1. The elderly
As we get older we slow down and need a different sort of help. What the elderly don't need is to be spoken down to as though they are less than worthy of our best treatment. And remember to:

• Take your time and don't rush them.
• Avoid technical jargon or 'hip' words they won't understand.
• Avoid patronising them or speaking down to them.
• Be prepared to repeat main points again.
• Write details down if they are long and difficult to remember.

2. Children
If you work in a shop you probably deal with children regularly. As they are tomorrow's customers as well as today's you should treat them with as much care as you do older customers. Remember to:

• Use simple language and vocabulary.
• Use their name if you know it.
• Help them with money and to sort out their change if necessary.
• Distract them rather than rebuke them if they misbehave.

3. Foreign customer
Foreign customers may be even more nervous than you when they try to talk to you. They are in a strange country where most of us don't speak a second language. Remember to:

• Listen to them carefully.
• Speak slowly, use simple English words and avoid slang.
• Use short sentences only, writing key words down.
• Check you understand what they mean by repeating their words carefully.
• Avoid shouting, laughing, showing embarrassment or impatience.
• Ask for help from someone else if you are really stuck.

Physically or mentally disabled
It is very annoying for the disabled to sometimes be treated as though they are stupid rather than lacking in one of their senses. Try to forget they are disabled and concentrate on them as a person. If they are physically disabled watch for signs that they need assistance. Remember to:

• Open doors for them.
• Don't rush them even if you're busy.

If the handicap is mental, remember to:

• Be patient and let them take their time to tell you what they want.
• Use easy-to-understand language.

4. The blind
The blind don't always carry a white stick. They may be partially
sighted and can see a little. Remember to:

• Speak as you approach them.
• Don't shout - they're blind, not deaf.
• Don't grab or drag them to a chair. If they ask for help, gently guide them.
• Read information to them and ask if they would like you to repeat it.
• Don't compare things visually, i.e. different color shades, size, etc.
• If they want directions to another part of the shop, office, recreation center, etc., either take them yourself to their destination or arrange for someone else to do so if they want extra assistance.

5. The deaf
The deaf are not always easy to recognise and if they are only slightly deaf they can probably cope quite well without any problem. However, if a customer is profoundly deaf, remember to be sensitive rather than patronising. Remember to:

• Face them continually when you are speaking.
• Many deaf people can lip-read but if they can't, write down what you want to say. Keep it brief and use key words.
• Don't shout - this will distort your mouth and make lip-reading difficult.
• Use simple signs - thumbs up, for instance - to check they understand what you've told them.

6. The know-it-all
You will sometimes get a customer who knows it all - has seen it,
done it, bought the T-shirt, etc. To deal with the know-it-all you will need to keep calm. Remember to:

• Listen and try to establish what they really want.
• Explain your staff are fully qualified if they insist on telling you or them how to do their job. Thank them for their interest anyway.
• Be assertive and firm if they go on for too long.
• Be polite even when you are really busy and just want them to leave.

You may have to ask yourself several things to help them:
• Do they require a product or service?
• Is the product in stock/staff available?
• Do you know where to locate the item/see who can do the job?
• Can you immediately lay your hands on the information?
• Do you know how to handle a computerised or manual stock/job allocation programme?
• What happens if you are running low/there are no staff available?
• If the item is out of stock, how do you reorder?
• Do you know where the order book is? Do you have a bookings diary?
• If a service is urgently required do you know how to check staff are available to do the job? Who do you check with before you commit the workforce?
• If the customer just wants information where do you find it?
You should know how to help them. That doesn't mean you should know all the answers.
• You might need to talk to your colleagues and ask for advice.
• Perhaps one of the staff is an expert in the particular product/ service the customer is interested in. In this case it is better to refer the customer to them.
• You may have the information in your filing system - a brochure, specialist information leaflet, instruction sheet, etc.
• If your company arranges staff training you may have learnt about a product or service which is just right for the customer's need. Refer to your notes to help the customer.

Some customers have handicaps which make it difficult for them to communicate with or understand you. Think of the above types of customer. How have you dealt with them in the past? Have you always treated them properly, in such a way that they leave you feeling happy and satisfied?


donadzku have this information from  "Delivering Customer Service"  by Shelia Payne

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