You're Up and Running - How's your Service?
Updated: Oct 26, 2019
You’ve done all the prep work. You’ve rented the storefront, you’ve bought the fixtures, you’ve advertised, built up your social media. You have office space your website is live. The doors are open you have guests! You have your first inquiry! Things are going great. A week later you get your first complaint through social media. You reply immediately "I’m so sorry, that should’ve never happened!" The guest says, you’re right it shouldn’t have, now what are you going to do about it.
That's the question, "Now what?". You have a complaint on social media for all of your followers to see, and for all of the guest’s followers to see, not to mention the community groups they may use to complain and gold old fashioned word of mouth. How you respond will set the tone for your business and how others perceive you do business. Are you ready for the challenge?
Your guests can make or break you. A bad complaint from one guest can be seen by hundreds on social media, worse it could go viral. This doesn’t even account for the complaint traveling through word of mouth. We live in a society where complaining to see what someone can get is the game. There are hundreds of articles about how to complain to get something, advising guests on how to write the perfect complaint. As business owners, you have to be very careful how you handle these issues when they arise. The best way to combat a complaint is to not let it happen in the first place.
What’s the best way to do that? Create a guest service policy, a policy that you stand by, a policy you teach your staff, and a policy you uphold. Too many times a business opens and the staff is trained on how to do the basics, to run the actual business. Unfortunately, not everyone is trained in guest service, customer service or client service, whatever the name, it’s all the same. It’s all about engaging customers and turning them into loyal guests or clients.
Guest service is more than just knowing the basics of how to run the business, regardless of if it’s hospitality, clothing, home décor, a printing business, tech start up or event planning, how you treat the people you are coming in contact with matters. Knowing how to respond to guests when an issue arises. In general knowing how to communicate. The key to building your guest base and loyalty, is how you and your staff engage with your guests.