Account Executive Rea’s early career experiences of working front of house in a hotel that had just had a £5m revamp has taught her some valuable and highly transferable lessons about customer service, which she shares here.
1) BE APPROACHABLE
The age-old saying of ‘service with a smile’ is well known for a good reason. As human beings we are naturally drawn to people who express a warm, friendly and positive attitude. A smile is a simple gesture that won’t break the bank and will always go a long way.
Always remember that first impressions count! It’s important to look presentable when working with clients. This can be down to the way you dress, the use of body language and even your working environment. A tidy desk, ironed outfit and poised posture will ensure that your client is seeing the best version of yourself.
When you’re not face-to-face, a friendly greeting when answering the phone or a confident introduction in your email, will help lay the foundations of good rapport. The use of positive language will assure the client that their enquiry is in good hands and encourage faith in you to provide a service.
2) BE ATTENTIVE
It’s essential to listen to your clients’ needs and often helps you find the answers to their problem or opportunity. If you are offering to provide a product or service, it is down to you and your team to deliver. Establishing an organised, accessible and effective system will help you achieve this.
3) BE PERSONABLE BUT PROFESSIONAL
Offering your clients a personable experience will make them feel valued! This doesn’t need to be time consuming and costly. Noting that they take their coffee with milk and two sugars for the next time they visit, or perhaps remembering the name of their beloved pet, which initiates a conversation – just two ways you can make them feel special. Taking a genuine interest in your client while remaining professional could result in a long-term, loyal and returning customer.
4) KNOW YOUR STUFF
It’s imperative that you know your product/service and you know it well! If you don’t know it, learn it! The more knowledge and the better understanding you have will leave you equipped to handle any situation and provide the answers your client needs. This could also save you time and money.
5) AIM FOR RESOLUTION AND SOLUTION
Take the time to know what your client wants and how you can help them achieve it. Think about the process your client has to take and the actions you need to take to ensure this can be obtained. If a hurdle or unforeseen circumstance should arise, then take a step back, reassess and start the process again from a suitable point.
These are my hospitality insights which turn out to be highly transferable to agency life.