I have said it before in other posts.... Good Customer Service is very important!
Most of the time, something as simple as a phone call goes a long, long way.
Like yesterday for example.
Yesterday we had our car in at the dealership for a recall repair and an oil change.
We had an appointment at 8am for the car.
We always drop our cars off the night before and pick them up after work whenever we have repairs or maintenance done.
The service department always calls when the car is ready to be picked up.
The whole day went by without receiving any call from the dealership.
So, my husband called them when we where ready to leave work.
The service departments phone just rang and rang.
We have a 40 minute ride home.
The dealership is about 10 minutes from our house.
My husband tried to call two more times on the way home with the same results...the phone just rang and rang.
We decided to go ahead and walk in to see if the car was done.
Mind you, it had been scheduled to be worked on at 8am.
The lady behind the service deck copped an attitude as soon as my husband asked about our car.
He was not in anyway nasty with her.
My husband explained that we just walked in to check because the phone was not being answered every time he tried to call.
"We have two people out today and I have been on the phone all day. How can I answer the phone if I am already on another call!" the lady behind the counter told my husband in a very snide tone.
Our car was just then being pulled into the bay to be worked on.
"Your car will be ready in about an hour if you want to wait."
Needless to say, my husband did not stay.
He had to get away from the woman behind the service desk before he lost it.
It was now 4pm.
He checked to make sure the lady had our home phone number and told her that he was only 10 minutes away, and he would come to get the car as soon as she called.
Fast forward to 5:30pm.....no call.
My husband calls the dealership once again.
The dealership receptionist once again tries to transfer my husbands call to the service department.
The receptionist comes back on the line and tells my husband that the service department is not taking calls at this time.
My husband explains why he is calling and the receptionist says that she will pass along the message and have the service department call us back in a few minutes.
Fast forward again to 6pm.
My husband calls again.
He once again explains why he is calling and that the service department has yet to call him back.
The receptionist puts him on hold.
After a few minutes she comes back to the phone; "I am sorry sir, the service department is now closed for the day. I am sorry I can't help you. You will have to call again tomorrow."
Fast forward again to this morning.
After we get to work, my husband checks the caller ID.
Sure enough the dealership called the shop at 5:51pm the the day before.
They called the shop number after my husband specifically told the woman that he would be home and made sure that they had the home number.
So many things handled wrong.
First of all....answer the phone!!
Believe me, I understand getting busy, but you should always answer the phone and do at least one of two things.
If you have multiple lines coming into your business, ask the person that you are already talking to to please hold for a second, answer the other line and tell that customer that you will be right back with them as soon as you finish on the other line, and then get right back to the first person you were talking to.
It is then up to the other caller whether they want to wait on hold or hang up call back a little later.
At least you acknowledged the call and did not just let the phone ring and ring.
The second thing that this large dealership should do is, have an automated system that will kick in and come on if the phone is not answered after a certain amount of rings to say that all their representatives are busy at the moment and give you the option to hold or call back.
We as groomers should always answer the phone.
Your customers pets are in your care, and if that phone is not answered owners will panic, and the next thing you know you will have an owner showing up at the door because you did not answer your phone and they thought that you closed up with their dog still there.
If you are the sole groomer and do not always hear the phone because you are drying a dog, you should have an answering machine that will pick up after two rings and let the customer know that you are working with a furry friend at the moment and unable to get to the phone, and will return their call as soon as possible.
Remember to return the call!
The next example of bad customer service....
Don't take your bad day out on the customer.
I understand that some customers can be nasty. (my husband was not)
There is no reason to take having a bad day out on the customer.
I have found that most customers understand and are sympathetic when you call them to warn them and explain that your are having a rough day and have fallen behind in your work.
A simple phone call can go a long way.
Just give the customer the common curtsy of a phone call.
A simple call from the dealership to let us know what was going on would have saved a lot of frustration and hard feelings.
If you are having a rough day and talk in a nasty tone to a customer you are waiting on, they are going to think that you are also being nasty to their dog....I would think that.
And for goodness sake, don't wait on a customer and start gripping about your bad day, or the bad dog you are working on.
That is unprofessional.
Just try to make a little joke that 'you have had better days', or 'it's been a long day' and leave it at that.
I personally can't stand when I go into a business and the employees are having a discussion, while waiting on me, about how bad the last customer was, or how stupid their boss is, or how much they hate their job, or what an idiot a fellow employee is, ect.
It is not always easy, but keep a smile on your face and be polite.
If you have a grumpy customer try to get them to smile.
I like to do that.
I take it as a challenge.
Kill them with kindness till they smile.
It works almost every time.
I have to say, that I do have a few that couldn't smile if their life depended on it, but I keep trying. :-)
The last example of bad customer service...
Make sure that you do what the customer asks you to do.
Call them where they tell you to call.
Of course, in the grooming world this means do what the owner asks you to do if you can safely.
The dog always come first!
Great customer service will get you great word of mouth (free) advertising.
Today great customer service is hard to come by.
Customers will remember how well you treated them.
They will come back.
They will tell others about you.