Customer Appreciation Means
Big Bucks for Your Business
by Kim Goff
How many times have you referred a restaurant to a
friend? Think about why you made that referral … was it the food or the
service? Maybe it was both, or maybe the service stood out to you. Let’s
say the restaurant you refer costs $50 for dinner for two; if you refer
four people, and they take your advice, you just made that restaurant
$200. On the other hand, if you had a bad experience and told your
friends not to go, that restaurant just lost money.
No matter how good the food is at a restaurant, people always
seem to remember how they were treated; if they had to wait “forever”
for their food, and how often they saw their server. What it really
comes down to is the service. Memorable customer service is what makes
people come back over and over again, whether you are running a
restaurant, retail store or service business. If your business has
excellent food, but terrible customer service, customers are probably
not going to come back.
We live in a busy society where time is everything. The three
common pet peeves that customers have with any type of business are
waiting for a long period of time, being ignored by employees, and not
feeling appreciated as customers. These three issues can make or break a
business. By investing in customer service training, companies can
greatly improve their bottom line, and nothing is more important during
tough economic times. Here are some customer service training tips.
customer is always No. 1.
This is the best way to train your employees on the
importance of customers. “Without customers, there is no
profit, without profit, there is no business, without
business there is no company, and without the company, there
is no you.” When your employees understand the importance of
customers to the business, they’ll start to understand how
important their roles are as well.
make customers wait.
Greet customers as soon as they walk in the door. If a
customer calls, answer the phone by the second ring. If you
are busy with another customer, do not make your new
customer wait a long period of time. Acknowledge customers
as soon as they come in and see if another employee can
assist them. If there is no one available, let them know you
are busy with another client and ask if they can wait. Be
sure to give them an estimated wait time, and if they cannot
wait, ask them if they would like to make an appointment.
Always ask customers, immediately, how you can help them.
If they walk in, they can walk right out. Even if you
already have greeted your customers, you still have to pay
attention to them. Always check back in to make sure they
have what they need or offer your assistance. Many
waitresses get stuck with the check because they never check
back in on the customers. Customers will walk out if they
Being a business professional means looking, acting and
saying things in a certain way. No matter what industry you
are in, it’s important to watch what you wear, just as it’s
important to pay attention to what you say and how you say
• Always dress appropriately. No matter what the type
of business environment
you work in, wear work-appropriate clothes.
Encourage employees to avoid
wearing anything too casual like sweatshirts or
flip-flops. Female employees
should be encouraged to avoid any clothing that
is too tight or revealing.
• Speak in an appropriate manner. Do not use foul
language. Never make any
negative comments about a customer’s appearance,
ethnicity, economic class
• Be enthusiastic. No one wants to deal with an
employee who hates his job.
Even if you do not like your job or are having a
bad day, do not show it. This
turns customers off. If you are not interested in
your business or company, why
should anyone else be?
appreciation for customers’ business.
This is one of the major factors customers consider when
returning to a business. Showing them how much you
appreciate their business can turn them into regular
clients. The most obvious way to show this is by verbally
telling them, “Thank you for your business; we hope to see
you again.” This should always be said to your clients, no
matter what else you do to show your appreciation. Other
ways include “freebies,” coupons or discounts.
your “regular” clients.
Once you learn a client’s name, always address him or her by
it. Personalize clients’ service by learning what they like
or prefer. Get to know something personal about them,
whether it’s their hobbies, children or job. The more you
can start to personalize service for your regulars, the more
appreciated they will feel. There is nothing worse than
going to an establishment on a regular basis and having the
employees there ask who you are, or, worse, act like they
have never seen you before. Your goal is to make every
customer a regular client, but personalizing service for
your already established clients will make them life-long
Investing in customer service training for your employees can be just as
important as perfecting the quality of your business product or service.
You can have the best product or service out there, but if you do not
treat your customers well, they will not come back. If you treat every
customer with the utmost importance, respect and courtesy, however, your
outstanding service will get your company more referrals. And the more
referrals your customers make, the more money your company makes.
Kim Goff is a professional speaker and author, who works as a
communications director for the United Way of York. In addition to being
a freelance writer, she also works on the blog, Volunteer Now! for the
York Daily Record and is the Philadelphia Special Needs Kids Examiner
for www.Examiner.com. She speaks
on overcoming obstacles, life balance and women in the workplace, and
she is the author of “Female Empowerment – A Personal Journey.” To hire
her for your next speaking engagement, e-mail