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Does Your Business Deliver ‘5-Star’ Service? Here’s How to Tell

18th February 2021, 8:45am EST

Original article from Strixus Magazine

Offering 5-star service isn’t just for those in the hospitality sector — your company might benefit from focusing on it, regardless of industry.

In terms of satisfying customers and keeping them loyal, 5-star service can go a long way. It’s also a direct reflection of leadership and company culture. If a company isn’t offering phenomenal service, then leadership might not be emphasizing how important it is to pass it down to their clients. As a business, it’s critical to know whether you’re providing this level of service so you can evaluate your overall leadership and keep your business operating competitively.

How Your Staff Treats the Customers

Many businesses see customers as dollar signs. But in companies where 5-star service matters, employees enthusiastically engage with the people who are utilizing their products or services. They understand that customers have value outside of their bottom line — and they treat them accordingly. They’ll proactively reach out to see how the customers are doing and whether they need anything. In a dental office, for example, that might mean calling or emailing a patient to see how they’re doing the day after a procedure.

There are a lot of great examples of companies that understand that the interaction between customers and employees is essential. At Home Depot, for instance, you can walk in for just about any project and the staff will show you exactly where to find what you need. They’ll also present you with choices. Similarly, Apple might have long, frustrating lines at times — but the employees are typically responsive and often answer your questions with so much patience that you don’t mind the wait in the end. At Disney, workers will even replace spilled ice cream cones for free! They understand that it’s worth a few dollars to create a flawless, enjoyable memory for people. And that kind of thinking encourages customers to keep coming back.

Each of these companies attract consumers with a unique product, service, or entertainment. But ultimately, the fact that the staff doesn’t treat clients like dollar signs helps them rise above the rest. So, take note of what happens when employees and customers come together.

In contrast, low ratings and a high number of complaints are red flags for clients. Awkwardness and tension during any initial interactions signal trouble, too. The emotions people experience during an engagement have such a strong influence on how they remember their experience with your company — and they might even write a negative review, whether it be true or not.

Emphasizing People Over Technology

In this modern age, more businesses are highlighting the technologies they use to deliver products and services to customers. The general sentiment from leaders is that those technologies can make products, transactions, and interactions more efficient and satisfying.

But no fancy infrastructure, flatscreen, or website can substitute human touch. Just think about the pet rock that Gary Dahl sold in the 1970s. There aren’t many products lower-tech than a bunch of big pebbles. Even the packaging was a basic cardboard box. Still, Dahl sold outrageous numbers of his signature pet rocks because he connected with people while stimulating their sense of fun and humor. And it paid off to the tune of seven figures.

Knowing that you can’t substitute human touch and great service, you can begin to break down what people actually look for in it. Humans desire human connection. Not to be too sappy, but customers want to talk with workers who genuinely listen and approach situations with empathy. In other words, it’s about balancing both information and emotion according to context. Your AI-based system can’t quite handle that just yet.

So ask yourself, are you training your team to work just with technology or with people? Do your employees really have the listening, conflict resolution, and other soft skills to help customers feel heard? If the answer is no, it’s time to invest time into training so they can learn the behaviors that are most appropriate for making customers truly happy.

With the Right Strategies, Achieving 5-Star Service Is Totally Attainable

At this point, there’s no technological substitute: 5-star customer service can only be the result of great leadership and an excellent team. Offering customers the human touch makes a difference, but it requires you to invest in soft skills training. If you’re not doing that, it’s time to start. Get feedback from your clients/patients, observe first-hand in your offices, and find out from employees what they need to overcome hurdles as well. All of these strategies will help you improve the customer service you offer and create evidence that you really are more about creating relationships — not just about the money. With 5-star service, the money will come.

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