By Ashley Laabs
In indoor tanning businesses, bad customer service can quickly overshadow any products or services on the menu. Sometimes, it’s as simple as posture, tone of voice, or using the wrong wording with a client who is on the edge of meltdown. Other times, it goes completely unnoticed how employees and owners alike fail to unlock the intense loyalty of their happy customers with just the right words.
For a quick and costless way to fine-tune your customer service, consider these common phrases and the impact they can have on your business:
“Thank you for coming in. How can I make today better for you?” Customers enjoy the feeling that something is being done specifically for them, which is why servers who use the phrase “for you” get tips that are up to 12 percent larger. And don’t wait until a customer is leaving or purchasing to thank them for their business – share your gratitude immediately. By letting them know that you acknowledge and appreciate them before any money is spent, customers will feel happier and more trusting.
“I can take care of that for you.” The simplest problem solving takes place when the person at the counter is empowered to make some decisions. Of course, these issues should still be documented for future reference and accountability, but everyone loves immediate gratification. When your employees can solve the problem immediately, don’t miss an opportunity to let them know that the solution will be easy and fast.
“I don’t know, but I am happy to find out.” This works on multiple levels. Instead of spouting potentially incorrect, and therefore unhelpful, information prefaced by “I think,” tanning consultants should take accountability for the fact that they aren’t quite sure. It’s okay not to know. Indicating that you are glad to help or would find pleasure in knowing the answer yourself helps ease the tension in situations where the person at the counter cannot solve the problem him/herself.
“I understand how you feel.” Sometimes, all a customer wants is to be heard, so hear them out! Listen to what they are saying and put yourself in your shoes. Most of the time, you’ll be able to comprehend why they are disgruntled, so tell them that you’re on the same page, and that you’d probably have the same reaction. After diffusing that initial disappointment, get on their side by committing to finding a solution.
“Thank you for bringing this to our attention.” Having good customer service means the same problem doesn’t happen twice. When a customer has the courage to speak up about a problem they have experienced, it is deserving of thanks. For that one person who brought it up, there may be 10 more who didn’t. Always convey that these issues are important to you, that you want to find a solution together, and that you are taking steps so that this never happens again.
“My pleasure,” or, “I’m glad I could help.” When a customer thanks you, one of the worst things you can do is say, “No problem.” Despite the literal meaning of this phrase, it can make customers feel like they have been bothersome or have inconvenienced your staff in some way. Instead of responding so casually, reciprocate their thanks and show them that it makes you happy to be of service to them.
Fire up your customer service by keeping the customer as the center of your universe. Using these customer-centric phrases, you will find that the numbers (and dollars!) will follow.