Customer Service Tips

Delight Your Guests!

Delight Your Guests! 150 150 Pedrotti's Ranch

When you invite someone to be your guest, customer or client, that invitation comes with responsibility. The responsibility falls on you to provide quality, interest, passion and commitment.

At Pedrotti’s North Wind Ranch, we have made it part of our daily mission to delight our guests. We take this to heart and encourage you to do the same, regardless of what your mission is on a daily basis. Commit to the customers and clients you serve and show them that you are dedicated to creating a great service, product or experience. Keep in constant contact with your clients and always make sure you are on the same page with them. Your visions may not always perfectly align, but it is important that you understand what their expectations are – and then, you should work to exceed them.

Mistakes happen and you may experience some kinks in the planning and preparation for your client’s final product or experience. Therefore, it is also important to maintain an open line of communication.

Go the extra mile for your guests, clients or customers – whether it is a party you are planning, a project you are researching, a product you are developing or a cake you are baking. Show them your gratitude for the business. Thank them often and of course your own team and support system. When you are on the road to accomplishing your task-at-hand, take advantage of the diverse talents and abilities that you were bestowed with and put your best foot forward. With the “whatever it takes” mentality, you are sure to create a delightful experience for your guests.

 

The Consumer Experience

The Consumer Experience 150 150 Pedrotti's Ranch

Customer service is the most important element of any professional industry. Happy customers and positive consumer experience can do wonders for your business – from event venues and restaurants to IT support and financial services. Make the experience count for your customer, client, guest, attendee or consumer.

There are a variety of ways to make the consumer experience impactful for each of your respective clients. Here are a few we often reflect on when considering each interaction with our guests:

THE OVERALL EXPERIENCE: Don’t leave out any detail when considering the customer experience. Each interaction you have, from the initial response to an email inquiry to the final goodbye after the event (or customer experience) has ended is important! Be consistent in your messaging. Be responsive. And showcase the positive culture of your company throughout the experience. Don’t just let the purchase or the event or the service be beneficial for the customer – rather leave them with a spectacular impression from first contact to completion.

PERSONAL TOUCH: In order to increase your chances of making a loyal customer or client, you must add your own personal touch. Every company’s personal touch will be a little different. Know your clients – and if you don’t, then get to know them – their likes, dislikes, birthdays, preferences. Use this knowledge to surprise client with cards, gifts or even just a particular way to provide your service. Brand your company by providing your own personal touch that will be recognized and appreciated by customers.

BE A CUSTOMER: Pay attention to your own customer experiences when YOU are the customer. Note the things that really make you enjoy a particular service or product. If you constantly remind yourself to understand the perspective of the consumer or the guest, you will better comprehend how to treat your own customers. Think of your own positive (and negative) customer experiences in order to offer the best you can to your client.

FOLLOW-UP FRENZY: Elicit feedback from your customers. Thank them. Tell them how much you appreciate their business. Send them notes, emails, tweets or Facebook messages. Always make a personal connection. Step it up a notch by actually visiting them at their office or calling them to talk about their experience (when this is appropriate). Develop a method to secure the voice of your customers, collect their compliments and their complaints and track their satisfaction level. If you don’t measure it, you can’t change it. If there are things you need to change, change them! There’s always something you can do to keep improving. So, jump on the follow-up bandwagon – because following up and personalizing your relationship with your customer can make all the difference.

You know you love being treated like you’re a one-of-a-kind, top rate consumer. Take those same things that you love and apply them to providing one-of-a-kind, top rate customer service to YOUR consumers.

Make Your Brand Count

Make Your Brand Count 150 150 Pedrotti's Ranch

Back in the day, a brand was something you attached to the hind end of your cattle to let everyone know who owned them. While that’s still true, nowadays, you associate a “brand” with your favorite coffee, car, beer, organization or other product or service.
Of course, a recognizable and relevant logo or trademark is the first thing people see, but it’s the product or service associated with the visual that truly creates the brand.  You can have a fantastic and creative design, but if your business doesn’t live up to the expectations, it doesn’t really matter.

Starbucks recently updated their logo by removing the “Starbucks Coffee” text that encircled the coffee siren in the center.  This works because the design is still recognizable – and reflects that the company has expanded its services beyond coffee.  Starbucks now markets tea and other items, like breakfast foods and sandwiches.

Coca-Cola goes to extraordinary lengths to protect its trademark typeface – you see that distinct cursive writing, and no matter what the letters are, the image still says, “Coke.”

So, what should you consider when branding your company for the marketplace?

  1. Know who you are and what you are trying to “sell.”
  2. Keep your image simple, clean and timeless.
  3. Make sure your product or service meets or exceeds the expectations established by the branding.

To capture who we are and what we do, we use a rustic wagon wheel image to accompany our “Pedrotti’s North Wind Ranch” text.  It offers the ambiance of the western style without being too limiting, as we host events of all types, shapes and sizes. Plus, it’s simple and timeless.

We’re taking that design and using it throughout our materials to help reinforce the image to our target market. The goal is to have an effect like a branding iron — helping our guests associate Pedrotti’s North Wind Ranch with a wonderful entertainment experience and memories for a lifetime.

Southern Hospitality

Southern Hospitality 150 150 Pedrotti's Ranch

Ever think that you should have been a cowboy? Maybe we should take some tips out of their handbook.  While waiting for a friend to meet me for lunch the other day I realized that often times reminding people about that southern hospitality that Texas is known for can make a world of difference on their perception of a place, and it doesn’t cost a dime to win over the hearts of your customers.

It was a simple act; the hostess would greet people by opening the door for them and directing them to another young lady who would then take them to their seat with a sincere and welcoming smile. My surprise was in the delight on the faces of guests coming in. It seems like such a simple thing to do, but it pleased the customers so much. It takes no time out of your day, but in today’s fast-paced business world, many people overlook tasks like this and forget that the small steps are what take you that extra mile.

I spent the rest of my day making it a point to hold the door open for someone behind me, and the appreciation on the faces of those people was a reward in and of itself. We open the door for people coming into our house, so why would we not extend that courtesy coming into our business, or our home away from home? Giving customers that individual attention will only improve your company’s reputation in the eyes of a community.

Open that door with a big Texas hello and remind people of that southern charm.

Service with a Smile

Service with a Smile 150 150 Pedrotti's Ranch

It’s a simple thing in customer service, but it is effective. It’s a smile.

Something so easily delivered and yet so meaningful can really go a long way when it comes to servicing your clients and customers. We encourage smile usage as many times a day as possible. It’s one of the things in business with which you really can’t go wrong. When you are speaking with clients, put on your smile – whether it’s on the phone or in person – you’d be surprised, but people can tell when you’re smiling, even over the phone!

A smile is contagious, and it is also a necessity. It’s a business enhancer. It is an emotional boost. It’s something you can give that the competition doesn’t always remember to give. Show those pearly whites. Regardless if you’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed, that smile will make you and your customer feel better. Use your business sense, and ALWAYS provide service with a smile.

Who’s Your Hero?

Who’s Your Hero? 150 150 Pedrotti's Ranch

Have you ever considered how much impact your heroes can have on your life? It seems we think of heroes as all of the big names that are paraded across our TVs, the ones who make the big bucks and the ones who are household names. While we can find heroes in those places, it’s important to remember to recognize the heroes around you.

Two of my biggest heroes are my parents. They have taught me so much and have allowed me to experience a life of great versatility. Each day, I try to understand and learn from the business decisions my parents make so that I can continue to enhance my own professionalism. A hero doesn’t have to be someone who scores the winning run, it can be someone who encourages you in the office, teaches you a lesson in customer service and demonstrates great character in the face of adversity. These are the greatest heroes to learn from and appreciate.

Don’t get lost in daydreaming about what it would take to get fame and fortune. Instead, focus on the superstars in your own life. Let them teach you, guide you and help you grow so that one day, you can return that favor to the next in line.

Ask What You Can Do

Ask What You Can Do 150 150 Pedrotti's Ranch

Today, we celebrate the anniversary of a speech that was significant to the growth and development of our nation. It’s a phenomenal thing to consider that John F. Kennedy’s speech was so memorable and inspiring that we are still talking about it 50 years later.

It is our job to play not just a role, but a significant role so that the things we do today will show significance tomorrow, next year and maybe even in 2061. Let’s come together – not just as colleagues and businesspeople, but as a nation and a world. Let us individually build our character and work ethic so that we can continue to grow, help others and benefit mankind.

I feel like this speech was written for everyone who hopes and dreams. And quite frankly, that is every person. I am blessed enough to get to work in an industry I love where I truly believe that I can benefit others and enhance lives – perhaps it’s through great customer service or a well-executed event plan, but it allows me to work hard, give back and provide something of value for other individuals.

None of us are perfect. Our businesses aren’t perfect. Our nation isn’t perfect. But it’s our job to work hard, come together and make it better. Here are a few excerpts of Kennedy’s speech I enjoy the most, and I hope you, as readers, enjoy it just as well!

“So let us begin anew – remembering on both sides that civility is not a sign of weakness, and sincerity is always subject to proof. Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate.”

“Let both sides seek to invoke the wonders of science instead of its terrors. Together let us explore the stars, conquer the deserts, eradicate disease, tap the ocean depths, and encourage the arts and commerce.”

“All this will not be finished in the first 100 days. Nor will it be finished in the first 1,000 days, nor in the life of this Administration, nor even perhaps in our lifetime on this planet. But let us begin.”

“And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country. My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man. Finally, whether you are citizens of America or citizens of the world, ask of us the same high standards of strength and sacrifice which we ask of you. With a good conscience our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God’s work must truly be our own.”

Communicating to Sell

Communicating to Sell 150 150 Pedrotti's Ranch

Communication and sales go hand in hand.  Selling a product or service requires a proper plan to specifically communicate the reasons that the product meets the needs of the consumer. If you can effectively illustrate the need for your product or service – more times than not, your communication (or sales pitch) will lead a customer to buy what you are selling.

Here are a few tips to help communicate to obtain the sale:

  • It is not about your product, but listening to the customer’s needs: Listen to what the customer is saying and also what they are not saying. Reflect on what they say to show that you were truly listening to their needs and desires. Don’t sell just to sell – but to provide an answer for the consumer. A potential customer may not always need to buy what you are selling. In these instances, don’t force it. Listen to them to decipher if your product or service can assist them in finding a solution for their need.
  • It is not about eye contact, but personal space: Although eye contact is important, body movement and space is often overlooked. By using gestures and movement, you keep the attention of the customer without having a stare-down. Be aware of your surroundings and the distance between you and the customer. With distance make sure you are in a personable distance without popping anyone’s bubble. (For all of you Seinfeld fans – keep the “buffer zone” in mind.)
  • Establish two things with your customer – credibility and trust: Credibility should be the first attribute you strive for in your product or service. By demonstrating that the customer’s problem or need can be solved by your product you are showcasing credibility. This, in turn, leads to the customer trusting you because of your product or service.
  • Understand how the customer makes decisions: By listening to your customer, you can better understand their decision-making process. This allows you to understand whether they want the facts and statistics, purchase comparisons or visual representations of the product or service. Each customer or client has unique desires.

Set the Tone

Set the Tone 150 150 Pedrotti's Ranch

Tone matters.

Regardless of what you are trying to get across with your words, your tone will establish a basis for your conversation. It does not matter if you feel positive – if you are using a negative tone, it will make it hard for individuals to receive the message in a positive manner. Without welcoming expression and body language, communication can be easily misinterpreted. Additionally, contradicting your tone and words can be very confusing and frustrating in your interaction – not only with your clients, but with any person receiving your words.

Online communication is becoming more relevant for companies especially using online help tools. Expression is especially important if communication is being done over the internet. Since there is no tone to hear, your words can be offset by grammar marks that contradict the words that you use. Often miscommunication through the internet or text is done by all capitalization, improper grammar or underuse/overuse of punctuation. Because the person cannot see you face-to-face, understanding your tone becomes a challenge.

Be self-aware and pay attention to your tone and expressions when using either vocal or written communication. Do your best to ensure that your tone coincides with the message you are trying to share. Improper communication can lead to unnecessary troubles – both professionally and personally. Proper communication is the key to proper customer service, regardless of whether your “customer” is your client, guest, friend or a stranger on the street. Let your tone to speak for itself.

Please feel free to share your thoughts! I’d love to “hear” them.

The Disney Key to Hospitality

The Disney Key to Hospitality 150 150 Pedrotti's Ranch

Customer service in the hospitality business is a key element for any successful business. Walt Disney has discovered one of the best formulas to a successful customer relations atmosphere. The Disney way has been a benchmark for customer service for more than twenty years. The Disney corporation maintains four keys to its customer service methodology that helped it to become the customer service leader it is today.

  1. Legendary attention to detail
  2. Exceed  expectations
  3. Theme, theme, theme
  4. Be guest-centered

Disney encourages a solid, well thought out recovery response to any and all customer complaints. When things go wrong, this allows the employee to transform an unhappy customer from a one-time user to a loyal customer. Problems are viewed as a chance to create an opportunities. Many employees view a problem as a hassle or a negative event and do not realize that is a unique opportunity to improve the image of the company.

One of the biggest principles that Disney practices is employee relations. They encourage employees to demonstrate spectacular relations with their guests and also their fellow co-workers. Treating each other the same way that the employees would treat a guest is a beneficial way to boost morale within the internal workings of a business.

Disney’s formula is:

A quality guest experience + a quality cast experience + quality business practices = THE FUTURE

Practicing sensational customer service, such as courtesy and etiquette, can and will improve your company and its image. Have a helpful attitude and accommodate each guest who enters your doors, and you will find success.

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