However, many of us have seen a fair share of customer service with this smile on their face, yet we don't exactly connect with them - put it bluntly, there is this teeny weeny thought that they are smiling because their job rqeuires them too. Because they can't afford to look bad on the customer feedback form.
Imagine you are in a studio, taking photos for your portfolio. You are required to maintain a smile all day long. As time goes by, the smile becomes less natural, as you are very much aware that the facial muscles are going numb.
By being conscious that you are doing something on purpose because you are supposed to do so, you become a second graded customer service officer.
So how does one achieve uber customer service, one that is more likely to bring back recurrent customers?
By serving with your heart!
Many Singaporeans (and Asians typically) lead a very fast paced life. Performance indicators, sales targets, deadlines etc... does not exactly help. Which is why some of them look forward to weekends every week, or try every means to go MC.
Before one can talk about making the customers happy, we should first talk about how to make the front line staffs (ie. people who meet the customers) happy.
It doesn't neccessary mean giving the staff more pay. After all, studies have shown that low pay is more likely to be a demotivating factor, as compared to high pay being a motivating factor.
Better customer service comes from the heart. And the heart is linked to the mind. It's all about having a positive mindset. So how do we go about doing that for our staffs?
May I propose a daring term - Brainwash them!
Often, front line staffs have been taught on how to think from a customer's point of view. What managers may often forget is to think from an employee's point of view.
It's a very Asian problem. Employers do not view employees having fun as a good attribute. "Having fun" is often connected with negative annotations like "slacker", "not serious", "unreliable" and "unproductive".
Having fun (aka The "Fish" mentality) is the first step to making shopping a better experience for the customers.
Because no one gets tired for getting paid to do something he likes - everyone like to have fun. Why make work a chore when one can do the same work by having fun?
Employees should be taught the importance of their role, be allowed to have fun in his job (ie. goofing around) and be given reasonable autonomy to make selected decisions. When employees are equipped with the importance of their role, and feel very much empowered to make an impact on the customer's life, they cultivate a mindset that exceeds the superficial smile.
Take a tour agent for example. He does the bare minimal, sticking to itinery, giving guided tours, answering all questions asked by this clients, because that's part of his job.
Another agent may constantly remind himself that that many of the tourists under him have used their hard earned money to see the world. And some of the newly married couples are looking forward to a memorable honeymoon. Having a sub standard service will make some of them disappointed, and even indirectly cause couples to quarrel.
But this will also give him unneccessary pressure.
Thus comes the next agent, who wants to have fun while being mindful of the above. He adds a little goofiness with his desire to help others, and thus makes it fun for those around him.
When you make yourself happy while making others happy, others feel happy because they know you are genuinely happy servicing them!
And this attitude will slowly metamorphisize to a mindset - a positive thinking, fun-loving passionate mindset about helping yourself help others.
By having fun, you make your job easy.
When your job is easy, you are more likely to enjoy it.
And when you really enjoy serving others, they can sense your passion.
And they will come back for more!
Fan the flame of passion, be like Johnny the Bagger.
Let the flame of passion, turn the service industry roof on fire!