Apr 21 2016
​Customer service skills: the importance of customer care

By Russell Caird

My experience with bad customer service

I was recently staying in a hotel where I had a bad experience with poor customer service, which has haunted me ever since. I arrived quite late following a four hour journey and, to be honest, probably wasn’t in a great frame of mind! A lady greeted me on the reception desk that had clearly also had a long day. I was asked to complete the normal registration details but there was not a smile in sight. I was then subjected to the normal corporate script telling me about the timing of breakfast in the morning and whether I wanted an alarm call or newspaper.

Having signed all the required paperwork and nodded in the right places, I asked about something to eat. I was told that the restaurant had closed five minutes ago and that it wasn’t possible to provide a meal. I explained that I had just had a long drive and would appreciate it if something could be arranged. The lady reaffirmed that this wasn’t possible but that there were some local restaurants that may still be open….

To start walking the streets to find some food was not top of my list. At this point a member of the restaurant staff was passing and sensed immediately there was a problem. They asked the reception staff if there was anything they could do to help and the response was, “this gentleman wants something to eat but he didn’t arrive until 21:35 and I’ve told him that the restaurant closes at 21:30”.

Customer service can change in an instant

The lady from the restaurant immediately took responsibility and said, “Let me see what I can do for you”. She called the kitchen, arranged for my bags to be taken to my room and took me through to the restaurant. She offered me a complimentary drink while I chose from the menu. Outstanding.

This experience could have so easily ended in a bad way but because one person took responsibility and was prepared to challenge the rules to 'delight' a customer, they have a loyal customer for life.

The importance of customer care

At the Centre we believe in the importance of customer care to inspire loyalty in your customers. Our Customer care and telephone skills course is perfect for new staff to practice good customer care skills and a great refresher for more experienced front-line staff.

Russell Caird has a wealth of experience in the Financial Services industry having spent over 25 years in retail and corporate banking. He has a strong working knowledge and understanding of financial products including insurances. Working at a senior level, Russell was responsible for managing large teams to deliver demanding sales targets. 

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