Four steps to treating every customer like a million-dollar customer

Four steps to treating every customer like a million-dollar customer

By Morgan Huether

Any customer can enter your business and end their visit anywhere from no sale to ordering one of everything or booking your plushest room. In this hyper-connected day and age, even a customer who leaves without purchasing anything could bring a big sale customer in the door. You and your team can help lead big sales to your establishment by treating every customer like they’re your million-dollar customer. Here are four tips to get you started.

Team members can’t give service that they haven’t experienced. Do you want your hostesses to offer guests water while they wait to be seated? Demonstrate it and let them experience the training from the customer side. Team members can draw on that positive, uplifting feeling of being the center of a trainer’s attention when they interact with your guests. This brings us to the second point.

Fill their bucket
Tom Rath and Donald Clifton’s book “How Full is Your Bucket” establishes the concept that we each have an invisible bucket that accumulates our experiences. When our bucket is full, we feel happy. When it’s empty, we feel crummy. We share positivity, which in turn also fills our own bucket, or we can take from others’ buckets by sharing negativity, which in turn empties our own bucket as well. Keep your own bucket full and encourage that your staff does the same. If your team is empowered to care for themselves, they can fill a guests’ bucket and give a truly excellent customer experience.

Our instinct when someone is angry is to slow them down. Maybe we make excuses or deflect, maybe we try
to make up for the anger by saying positive things or offering that it could be worse. When faced with an angry or frustrated customer, we first need to listen and make sure the customer feels their concern was heard. Often, this alone can diffuse a situation. Acknowledge that you’ve heard the complaint regardless of how true or valid it may be. We can’t always fix a customer experience that’s gone awry, but we can’t try until we fully understand the entirety of the problem.

Recognize good work
Encourage your team members to share interactions that made them feel good. The team can bond over shared positive experiences and teach each other what works when working with your specific clientele. Additionally, take time to recognize team members when a customer leaves a positive review recognizing specific team members. This is another way to fill your team’s buckets and keep them at their best.

(May 2019 Magazine)

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