Raising Standards of Customer Care

blackboard-customer-servicePutting forth the time and effort to create a culture of service will greatly increase the whole perspective of your business.  It can increase profit and promote more positive emotions for employees and customers.  However, it must start at the top, if the owners and managers are not dedicated to providing a service culture, it will be impossible to have it as a part of the business.

Baseline Survey

By researching what your customers what, feel, and expect, it gives you the opportunity to provide them with just that and more.  By being customer-oriented it helps customers feel they are valued by your business and are more likely to come back and give you the best type of advertising: word of mouth. 

Hiring Wisely

The last thing you want is people inside your business who are unqualified and/or unmotivated in helping your business succeed.  Everyone who is hired into your business should be accountable to the same behavior, and if a hiring mistake should take place the person should be let go.  You want to enforce a “team mentality” and if you get a sour apple in the group, it can easily cause problems.  Be specific when interviewing. Some good questions to ask during the hiring process include asking for a specific example and ask how they handled the situation.  During their explanation, pay close attention to body language, tone and volume of voice, eye contact, exact language, and emotional response.  If you hire inadequate employees it can become a huge burden to have to re-do the entire process.

Service Standards

Clear standards must clarify your expectations and those of the business, and are important because they create the underpinning for attitude and behavior expectations as well.  Written standards are suggested and should be placed in a spot that is easily available.  They must be enforced or there will be no accountability of the employees.  If everyone is aware that they will be held accountable to sustain these standards, they are more likely to perform better in the workplace – and if they don’t that would be labeled as a hiring mistake and should be let go.

Training and Coaching

Service standards are helpful, but most of the time when hiring on a new employee they must be trained under these standards.  Again, if the employees understand that they are accountable for their actions in the workplace, they will be more likely to take the training process more seriously.  All training must be directly related to standards.  A lot of training does not work because an employee will go into a work environment that is nothing like what they were taught during training.  When training, it is easy to get carried away with telling the novice what to do; however, studies have shown that people are more likely to rebel when told what to do and are more likely to follow through on their own ideas.  Encourage them, don’t discourage them. 

Rewarding Behavior

Training is best reinforced when acknowledgements and rewards are used.  The best place to incorporate this is during the training and coaching process.  It speaks volumes to employees when you are willing to take time to recognize their hard work within your business.  It also gives them the incentive to keep doing well, and the others to step it up so they to can be acknowledged for their work and dedication.

Creating an environment of customer care excellence is a must in the spa world of high touch and personal care.  However, to accomplish these high standards day in and day out demands a cultural of consistent expectation and reward for your staff.  If your spa is already functioning tear out the habits of the past and announce new levels of expectations. If you are just opening a spa, get it right the first time.

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