I’m not sure about you, but Chick-fil-A always stands out to me in terms of customer service. And you know what, it’s sometimes literally due to only two words used by their employees, “My pleasure!” The fact that the customer care of a fast food business can stand out in my mind, out of the many industries I frequent for goods and services, proves that it doesn’t take much to set yourself apart in your industry.
There are many suggestions of phrases and language to use for customer service when the customer isn’t happy. But, what about when you are merely at the beginning stage of working with your customer, or applicant? When it’s most important to make a good first impression is a great time to have some standard, easy to use verbiage.
Here’s a specific and powerful example (to me, anyway) of what a few words can do. While at the Ritz Carlton in Berlin, Germany for a worker’s compensation conference, we loved what the doorman would say when we came back from sight-seeing and venturing through the city for the day to return to our hotel for some rest and relaxation. “Welcome home!” Two simple words that made us all feel confirmed in our pleasure to get back to where we started from earlier that morning.
You can also use a phrase with your staff to reference an outstanding customer service experience you’ve had personally. You want to recall that experience and want your client to have that same feeling. You want to remind your Recruiters of a time they received outstanding service and give that same service to your new client.
COATS Staffing Software does just that with a two-word phrase. COATS attends many conferences each year and exhibits their product and service in a variety of states. After getting suitcases and a booth exhibit in crates from the baggage carousel at the airport, lugging all of this from the airport onto the shuttle, waiting in line for their rental and finally getting to their car, they were thirsty. Looking in the cup holders, they were thrilled to see two bottles of water. This simple pleasure they found one year at Enterprise Rent-A-Car has been later used and referenced multiple times over, as an example in serving their own clients. How? When referencing going above and beyond providing the staple product or service (tech support) for their clients, they say “Give Water!” Rise above the standard and the expected norm. Make our clients feel like we did the day we got into our rental car and found something small, but a wonderful ‘extra’ when it was sorely needed.
Here’s another example of how a few words can set the tone for a really nice experience. After attending a military retirement ceremony in Virginia Beach, my husband and I stopped by Sunrise Cafe in Virginia Beach for some coffee and eggs. The waitress opened the door and said “I’m glad you’re here.” Pat and I both looked at each other and smiled. How easy was that to make us feel welcome and wanted? After waiting on us at our table, she later repeated her sentiment by changing a few words around with “thanks for being here.” She took service to another level with just a phrase that we actually have never heard at any other restaurant.
At Reliance Staffing & Recruiting, I made it a point to ensure the customer did not have to repeat themselves. Clients hardly want to take the time to provide a complete job order to one person in your firm, let alone more than one. If a client called and shared a job description for a new role within their firm, I would share this information first with our recruiter and let the client know that I had already passed on all the details before passing them off to speak directly to the recruiter. “I’ve updated Susan” on your open role and your requirements, can I have you speak with her now to discuss next steps? When the details were lengthy I’d also add, “I’ve taken notes and written down the information you provided.” This was much appreciated rather than him/her having to repeat the conversation again with another staff member in our office.
There are many suggestions, articles and blog posts about what to say, and what not to say to customers with a complaint or issue. Yet, consider how you communicate with your new client, applicant and employee when you first talk on the phone or meet in person. What you say at the beginning of your interaction will set the stage of how you and your company are viewed. Easy, repeatable phrases can be helpful to bring consistency to customer service, but make sure to not sound canned and robotic. You have to put your own personality into each interaction.
Great oral and written communication skills have always been a key factor for each employee working in the staffing service industry. Consider having your employees share a phrase or few words across the board with your applicants, employees, and clients to hone in on these skills. A few short words have made some of my experiences feel that I had received great customer service. They were more than memorable, they provided a “wow factor” and I recall the specific and few companies that made me feel this way.
By Lynn Connor, COATS Staffing Software