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ARTICLESCustomer Focus

LET CUSTOMER'S KNOW WE CARE

This summer we visited Manali, which is a hill resort in the state of Himachal Pradesh in North India. It is a valley with the river Beas flowing along and we literally saw the clouds passing by. A great place to relax and unwind. 

We stayed at the Sterling Holiday Resorts (India) Ltd. During our visit to the restaurant we saw this notice titled KVG. ‘Kitchen Visit by Guest’. It was basically inviting guests to visit their kitchen and have a look for themselves how it was maintained and offer any suggestions for improvement.

Any establishment would normally take all efforts to keep the place hygienic to meet health and safety regulations and of course for customer satisfaction. This satisfies all interested parties. The matter should be closed there.

TRANSPARENCY

But inviting a guest to your kitchen is letting him inspect for himself and see the effort taken to ensure the highest standards to satisfy him. It is showing confidence in your commitments. We pass a message of transparency in our operations. Having invited the guest, the visit is bound to elicit suggestions. As a matter of fact it should be expected and welcomed. Most important, it is building the customer’s trust in your establishment. It is telling him that we care and want to satisfy you. See it for yourself.

Isn’t it great to visit a seafood restaurant where you can choose what you like and see the preparation through a glass window between the dining area and the kitchen? Other than the preparation, which should cater to your palate, you are now satisfied you got what you ordered for.

HYGIENE

Similarly when you enter any establishment the cleanliness, hygiene and maintenance of their rest rooms is a direct reflection on their level of customer focus and care. Restaurants, shopping malls, movie theatres are few such places where you could spend a considerable amount of time and hence may have to use the rest rooms. One would think twice before visiting establishments if their restrooms were smelly with leaky faucets, empty soap dispensers, door latches not locking up, dull or dirty mirrors to name a few. It is an important factor to be kept in mind in customer care. This determines repeat visits and referrals, which in turn reflects on your business and growth.

FRIENDLY ENVIRONMENT

Similarly the first impression you give the customer has a lasting and permanent effect on business success. Aspects such as excellent parking facilities, environment of the reception area, cleanliness of the premises etc enable the customer to form an image of the company and confirms his future relationship with the establishment.

Comfort in getting access to your establishment and a convenient parking mean a lot to the customer. An efficient looking reception without papers cluttered and phones screaming away, assures his visit. The cleanliness and décor of the place speaks for itself (whether they expected him there or not).

You cannot have a magazine or newsletter of Jan. 2003 strewn around when you are in Sep. 2003. Also it would be most unsuitable to have a gossip magazine in a medical clinic or a medical journal in a beauty parlor, as this would mean changing the focus of the customer from the purpose of his visit.

In short the customer should be made welcome, not only by the human element but the surrounding should also mould itself such as to make it a congenial visit. The tangible and intangible, the emotional and material factors should all welcome him. They act as signals luring the customer to your establishment and making him comfortable and at home.

Why not throw him the ‘red carpet’? After all he deserves it.

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Gangadhar Krishna

phone: +971 50 3841898

gangadhar@delightingcustomers.com

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