A successful service strategy is the first step toward long-term service partnerships and friend referrals. Your distinctive edge as a quality-service provider attracts and retains customers; in turn, their referrals of your business expand your customer base. Customers enter your doors knowing what they want and expect; they should exit those doors having received what they needed both materially and emotionally. Employees must know how to interact positively with customers and shape their emotions memorably during moments of truth. With your customer service strategy to guide you, your spa is well on the way to rising above your competition. Integrating the material and emotional dimensions of the service partnership—your customer service employees, environment, and procedures—according to your service strategy supports your delivery on your promise of love and allows you to achieve your goal of quality customer service.
Building Your Customer Service System
Once your service strategy is properly defined, it is time to develop the system by which your business will deliver quality customer service. There are three major elements of a customer service system: procedures (spa rules, regulations, and policies); physical resources (service environment, materials, and tools); and human resources (spa employees).
Your service system should be easy to do business with. Evaluate it through the eyes of your customers. A customer-friendly system is:
- Accessible: Customers must be able to easily reach your spa when they want to—in person, by phone, or through e-mail.
- Accurate: Whether it’s about reservations, billing, or product use, the information you provide to customers should be clear and correct.
- Convenient: Customers want to get all the information they need from one point of contact, and they want to understand and use this information without running from place to place (employee to employee) or pouring over a stack of paperwork.
- Fast: Customers should never have the sense they are waiting for a very slow computer to warm up or that they’ll be a year older by the time the services you offer will be available for them to use.
- Transparent: If there are hoops to be jumped through or marathons to run, the customer is not the one to do it. Anticipate problems before they arise so the customer’s experience is seamless.
The purpose of the service system is to deliver on your promise of meeting customers’ needs with quality customer service. What your strategy promises is what your system must deliver, every time.