Customer Service 101

The employees on your team who are interacting with customers are the backbone of your business. After all, without customers you don’t have a business at all. Customer referrals are a powerful tool, so when customer service is done right it can bring in more business than any other revenue. 

How do you ensure that your business has the best customer service possible? 

  • Start at the beginning and hire the right people. Your employees are your best tools so it’s crucial that you have the right people in place.
  • Train your team. It starts with you making sure that your employees have the proper training. Set internal standards for the way customers are treated and stick with it. Follow up with regular training reminders and updates  — letting your employees know what works best.
  • Be responsive. Whether the feedback is positive or negative, respond quickly. If there is a problem or any dissatisfaction, see what you can do to fix it. 


Now that we know the basics of customer service, it’s important to note that different types of businesses have different types of customer service needs. Let’s break this down by two popular business types: retail and restaurants. 



While the delicious food is surely a reason customers will want to come back, if they don’t receive good customer service on top of their good meal they’ll have one foot out the door. 


  • Anticipate your customer’s needs.


Keep glasses filled, keep the temperature in the dining room adequate ( wait staff and other employees tend to be warmer in a restaurant and dining guests tend to be cooler), and ensure that the customer has everything they need on the table.


  • Don’t make them wait.


Timely service is always important but doubly so in the restaurant world. If a guest gets their meal and your wait staff doesn’t check in until 10 minutes later, the guest could be missing a side item, a condiment or have an empty drink and still be waiting to begin enjoying their food. 

Customers should be greeted quickly after sitting down and wait staff should check in regularly throughout the meal. 

  • Fix problems immediately. 

If one customer has a problem with their meal and you don’t handle it swiftly, the other three guests at their table will have cold food ( if they politely wait for their friend) by the time it’s handled. That doesn’t make for a great dining experience. 



When retail stores do customer service properly, they’ll have the same customers coming back for years and years. 


  • Ensure employees are knowledgeable about your products.


Make sure that your employees have all of the tools they need to learn about your products so they can properly assist in selling them. Have employees come in early one day and allow them to test out your products, give out informational booklets, or create a slideshow to review the products you sell. 


  • Keep employees on their toes.


Use incentives for employees who receive positive feedback or use a Secret Shopper network to keep your employees always doing their best work. 


When it comes to delivery, customers typically only interact with one person — especially now that most food is ordered digitally and you don’t even need to make a phone call to order. It’s important to have the right person on the front lines. 



  • Delivery times.


Offer a broad range of delivery times options. This allows customers to plan ahead ie: ordering groceries for the next morning and allows your business to plan ahead.

Ensure that you can properly staff and meet the delivery requirements that you have laid out. 

  •    Always be prepared.

Have you ever had a delivery driver that doesn’t have any smaller bills to make change? Or maybe they didn’t bring the proper condiments or utensils needed for you to eat.

Since the customer isn’t at the restaurant the options are for the delivery driver to return back to the same location or for the customer to be dissatisfied. This is a waste of company time. Save yourself the hassle and have your delivery drivers carry anything a customer might need  — and backups, right in their vehicle. 

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