With customer reviews more important than ever, sometimes its worth stopping and putting yourself in your customers shoes. Would you be happy with the service being received by your business?
Any customer who walks into your store, sends an email or makes a phone call to you is a potential customer for life and should immediately be treated as such.
Answering the phone with a smile on your face, greeting a walk in customer with polite conversation and ensuring your customers have what they need, both while underwater and on the surface, is generally expected from any customer these days.
As we all know, it’s the negative reviews that stick and could impact the next customers decision, so have a think about all aspects of your customer service and ask the following questions:
- Are staff enthusiastic about diving?
- First impressions last! As Regional Manager I enter many dive businesses and the ones who’s staff are all smiling, laughing and selling the excitement and beauty of our underwater world are the ones that I would want to dive with or purchase off.
- Do staff all have a thorough understanding of the products the store sells? Dive Gear? Courses? Trips?
- As a consumer spending my hard earned cash I want my questions answered and expect to walk out of the store with more knowledge of products, courses and trips than I came in with. Personally, I usually go into a store to purchase something, so remind staff to ‘Close the Sale’ at the end of the conversation.
- Are staff continuously alert and proactively meeting needs of divers at the dive site?
- As dive managers/owners you cannot be everywhere at once. Ensuring divers are being looked after when out on the dive boat for example is extremely important – not only for customer satisfaction but for ensuring the safety of everyone on board. Surface support (skippers/boatman) should remain alert at all times while divers are down. Headphones on listening to loud music, taking a nap in the sun should be avoided – the job of these staff are to know where the divers are underwater and be ready to act should a diver ascend and call for assistance. Be aware of surrounding environment in particular underwater currents which could sweep divers off the site and be ready to assist divers back onto the boat comfortably and safely.
- If something goes wrong do staff follow up with customers correctly? Do you have processes in place to deal with customer complaints?
- Things can and sometimes do go wrong. How we deal with these issues is sometimes the most important part of customer service! All too often we hear of minor things going wrong and unhappy customers. Ensure staff address the customer correctly or pass the information on to the correct person to deal with. Sometimes all customers want is an apology and to ensure it doesn’t happen again.
- Do you ask your customers for feedback?
- We all learn from our mistakes – this is the same in business. Gathering feedback in any form can be beneficial to ensure continued improvement. Provide pathways for customers to give feedback and most importantly listen to it and use it to improve your service.
Continuously analyzing your business including the service you provide will keep you ahead of the game and in the end your customers will remain loyal and come back – they will also tell their friends and family of their great experience – Word of Mouth is still the best form of advertising so you want this to be positive.
To learn more about the business of diving including customer service tips attend an up and coming PADI Business Academy in 2016.