Achieving Excellence In Customer Service
Tuesday, May 9, 2017 at 10:04AM
Briquell Morales in 2017, Customer Service, Management, Operations

This article, by Dennis Kissman, was published in Marina Euro-Report –  March 2017

Do you promote your marina by providing “excellent customer service” or are they just buzz words that sound good?  To achieve “Excellent Customer Service” it does not have to be expensive to implement but it does take management’s commitment to make it the best marketing tool you have for your business.

There are two key words that define “excellent customer service;” first, it involves an interaction with another person, and second, it is the sum total of what your organisation does to meet and exceed that person’s expectations to produce an overall customer satisfaction.

Before you can develop an “excellent customer service” program for your marina you have to understand what your marina is.  First, a marina is part of the hospitality industry; second, a marina is a capital intensive service business: third and most importantly a marina is not just a place to store boats, it is a gathering place for people.

To achieve success in “Excellent Customer Service” it must permeate throughout your entire organization.  There are two key components that should be addressed in order to have a successful program; first you have to invest in a dedicated employee training program and second there must be employee performance feedback.  The training program has two components; one for new hires and two a refresher program for all employees including management.  One of the best tools for a regularly scheduled refresher program is to include role playing.

To know if your employee training program is working you need feedback.  Surveying customers on a regular basis is one of the best ways to measure an employee’s performance as well as measuring the success of your employee training program.  Before you take action on negative feedback try to determine where the weakness is occurring, often times it is not the employee but what they learned or did not learn from your program.

Once you determine where the problem is you want to work with that employee to improve.  Likewise when there is positive feedback you want to let your employee know that as well.  That brings us to the topic of what is appropriate form of recognition when your employee does an outstanding job.  Financial recognition is always the first thing that comes to mind but there are other forms that may be more appropriate.  For example, an extra day off with pay or something as simple as being featured as the employee of the month in the marina’s newsletter that goes to your customers.  Regardless of what you settle upon as the appropriate employee recognition you want to encourage your employees to continually strive to do better no matter how good they are now.

One of the best forms to reinforce customer service with your employees is by having constant but subtle reminders of what customer service means to their jobs.  With that thought in mind having the following posted in employee areas is a good way to keep customer service as an important part of every employee’s job.

The 10 Commandments of Excellent Customer Service

1)  The Customer is the most important person in our business.

2)  The Customer is not obligated to you – you are obligated to him.

3)  The Customer is not an intruder on your work – he is the reason for it.

4)  The Customer does you a favor when he arrives – your service is not a favor to him, but your purpose!

5)  The Customer is not a slip number, or statistic – but a person with the same feelings and emotions as you.

6)  The Customer is not someone with whom you argue or match wits!

7)  The Customer brings you his or her desires; it is your job to fulfill those desires.

8)  The Customer is deserving of the most courteous and attentive service you can provide!

9)  The Customer is the person who makes it possible for the marina to pay its bills, provide salaries and maintain the property.

10)  Without our Customers, there would be no marina.

There is one final thought to keep in mind if you plan to use customer service as a marketing tool to promote your marina; it has to be more than just words. It takes dedication and hard work that has to be in place and acted upon in a consistent manner.

Article originally appeared on marinamanagement (http://marinamanagement.com/).
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