With Christmas shopping now well underway, a store like Harrods really is pulling out all the stops, to give its customers a seasonal experience they won’t forget.

Good customer service is an integral part of everyone’s job, (whether they work at Harrods or not), and should never be seen as an extension of it.

Your organisation’s most vital asset is its customers. Without them, you would not and could not exist. (I hope Harrods would endorse my words). Remember, when you satisfy your customers, they not only help you grow by continuing to do business with you, but will also recommend you to their friends and associates. And THAT’S when you know you’ve delivered good customer service!

With this in mind, here are 5 Top Tips outlining some essential principles for customer service:-

1. Thank colleagues – they are your internal customers!

Remember, your work colleagues are your internal customers and they also deserve a regular dose of appreciation. You cannot deliver great customer service completely on your own!

You have to read an article about this in the Guardian! http://www.theguardian.com/careers-advertisement-features/harrods-retail-management-luxury-customers

Sincerely thank them for what they do to help you and how much you appreciate their support. Treat your co-workers with respect and chances are they will have a higher regard for both you and your customers.

The level of external service will never exceed the level of internal service. Treating customers and colleagues well is equally important.

2. Know who is boss

You are in business to serve customers’ needs, and you can only do that if you know what it is your customers really want.

And maybe this isn’t exactly what you already offer. When you truly listen to your customers, they’ll let you know what they want and expect and how you can provide good service.

Never forget that the customer pays your salary and makes your job possible.

3. Identify and anticipate

Your customers don’t buy products or services. They buy good feelings and solutions to problems.

Most customer needs are emotional rather than logical. The more you know your customers, the better you’ll become at anticipating their needs. Communicate regularly so that you can recognise their problems or upcoming needs.

4. The power of ‘Yes’

Always look for ways to make your customers feel good or solve their problems.

When they have a request (as long as it’s a reasonable one), tell them that you CAN do it or at least are willing to try. Look for ways to make doing business with you easy. Be flexible not rigid. Take special note of these requests as they often provide clues on how you can make service improvements.

5. More than expected

Many organisations provide similar goods and services. Future success lies in providing customer with a distinctive personal touch that will elevate you above your competitors.

– What can you offer customers that they cannot get elsewhere?

– What can you do to follow up and thank customers even when they don’t buy?

– What can you give customers that is totally unexpected?

– What would it take to add an extra 10% ‘wow factor’ to your service?

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