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Service Excellence - what to look for as consumer

Regardless if the business is big or small, local or internationally, service is what sets one apart from another. One might have a mass load of products with bad service, and the other just enough products to keep you interested, but the service is amazing and you feel at home. Which would you shop at?

Here are a few questions you might want to ask yourself when shopping for your product or service – in no specific order of importance.

Does the consultant or business understand my needs?

Many companies make the mistake of thinking they know it all when it comes to the customer’s needs, when in fact nobody knows exactly what you as a customer want if you don’t tell them. That’s why it is key for a business to listen to your needs before giving you a solution. You might even end up buying more than expected from your provider. Some might see that as a problem, but they will return for more.

'Service with a smile'

Image from Flickr: - see link for copyright restrictions.

Do they seem passionate about their product?

Passion is what drives any company to success, and you will see it in the manner they present their product to you. Would you rather deal with someone that is just after your money? Or would you deal with a business that loves their product and enjoys presenting their business to you? The answer is simple – You would go to the business that loves what they do, because 9/10 times you will get better service from them.

Do they treat me with respect and professionalism?

One thing you have to remember is you might be dependent on them for their product, but they are just as dependent on you to keep their doors open. Reality is you will be able to get this product from another supplier, especially if the product is in high demand. Your provider should be rolling out the red carpet for you for supporting them. Regardless the size of your business or importance of the individual, companies should be treated equally and with great importance.

Are they on time and available to see to my needs?

The longer you wait for them to rock up to the first meeting, without even bothering to notify you, odds are you are going to wait for them to deliver the service too. Time in any business means money. Do you want to sit and wait for them? They should be there at least 7 - 10 minutes before the meeting.

I buy from this provider on a regular base. Do they know who I am?

Companies focused on client service know who their supporters are. A “Good day Mr. Lovtosh Opalot” goes a long way. So you know they value you as a client if they at least made the effort of remembering your name. Some companies go as far as mailing or sending messages on your birthday. Some offer holidays away or send gifts on important days to thank you for your support.

Do they know their product?

Do they know what they are offering you? Asking questions to which they should know the answer, which you as a client know would be of great importance to your business, might cause you endless if they don’t. You have to know that this product will deliver and they will be able to support this need. Therefor make sure they know their product.

How do they deal with complaints?

Reading their reviews from customers might be a way of picking up how proper they deal with clients. This will be a great indication of their service. Google them or read social media pages about them. Clients won’t keep quiet if they feel that they have received the worse service from their provider. Some might, but not all of them. So read the reviews. If all their reviews are written by their employees, you know something is fishy. Believe it or not I have seen it. It is normal for a company or business to make mistakes, but how they deal with the client after making these mistakes are what set professionalism apart from hustlers. Admittance to making the mistake and accommodating the client to make up for it is key. Blame shifters and “passing the bucket” will just frustrate you as a client. So it is of great importance to do your homework on the provider you choose.

Do they call me to make sure I’m happy and follow up with me promptly?

Some companies have software with which they monitor the service they deliver, which they use to phone you to tell you there is a problem. This is service at its best and shows they are actively seeing to your business. Obviously this can’t be done with all services, but giving you a call once in a while or at least monthly to follow up and show they are still interested in your business after delivering the service is of great importance.

Have I spoken to anyone who made use of their services in the past?

Word of mouth will help you with choosing the right provider. Ask friends and family or ask the question on social media. Remember “the highest trees catch the most wind”. Meaning big companies will definitely have everyone love their service. There will be slipups especially because they are so big and deal with so many clients. So work on the pros and cons, the average of good toward bad service reviews and the extent of it.

Have they gone the extra mile to accommodate my wants and needs?

Let’s say the restaurant you went to is known for their chocolate, peanut milkshakes and you are allergic to peanuts. You went with a group of friends so you want to stay there with them. You ask the waiter if they can give it to you without the peanuts, and they just say “no” without even asking the kitchen staff. Would you be happy? Your company should go that extra mile for you. If you looking for something in their expertise they should at least point you in the right direction if they can’t provide.

These are just a few things you should consider when choosing or staying loyal to your supplier. It might not be a bad idea to give a new provider a chance. Seeing as they are new and they have something to prove as well as no bad habits to come from. Happy customers, successful business and vice versa. Are you happy with your supplier? Have a look at what we at Estilo Industries have to offer in terms of branding and clothing. We are a new company in the Western Cape focused on making a name for ourselves, and building long term business relationships.

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