Busted! Four Commercial Embroidery Customer Service Myths
Everyone agrees that customer service is what makes a commercial embroidery shop great. Not everyone agrees what exactly makes great customer service.
To increase customer loyalty, bust these four customer service myths about commercial embroidery.
In the commercial embroidery industry, customer service means different things to different people. When you ask an individual shop owner to specify what “customer service” really is; you may not get the same answer twice.
Customer service can mean any one (or more) of these things:
- Quality product
- Competitive prices
- Fast response times
- Accurate digitizing
- Creative designs
- Knowledgeable employees
With commercial embroidery, excellent customer service is under-promising and over-delivering; telling your clients you will do something, and then doing it. It is the philosophy that an embroidery project is not finished until the customer says it is.
Technology has made commercial embroidery a highly competitive field. The internet elevates comparison-shopping to a new art form. Powerful digitizing and design programs, like Sierra’s Stitch ERA Liberty, makes creating professional commercial embroidery designs something almost anyone can do.
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This level of competition makes customer service even more fundamental to the success of a shop. It is not something to be taken lightly.
For the most part, commercial embroidery shop owners can agree (somewhat) on what makes exceptional customer service. On the other hand, there remain a few myths that are roadblocks to providing the best service possible.
Here are four customer service myths for commercial embroidery:
More employees will improve customer service
The way you handle customers should not be based on the number of employees in your shop. If your staff does not have the right attitude to provide stellar customer service, hiring more warm bodies will not make things better. This is one case where quantity does not apply to quality.
Pay people more and they will perform better
Money can motivate your employees to return to work in the morning, but it will not encourage them to do a better job. What genuinely makes them tick is recognition. Knowing that they are doing a terrific job is what changes behavior and attitude.
Make sure you recognize the good work your employees are doing, and performance will improve, as well as the loyalty of customers.
Every employee has the power to meet customers
In commercial embroidery, employees have a role in creating a remarkable product, but they do not all feel they have the power to do what it takes to make customers happy. Workers on the shop floor are afraid the wrong choice will lead to a reprimand, or worse. Management is afraid of losing control, by having every decision second-guessed. This leads to a rigid power structure and a customer service gridlock.
To improve customer service immediately, develop an attitude in the workplace that rules are necessary, but there are also times the rules need to be broken. In times when that happen, there will be no repercussions or punishment.
It is the duty of management to ensure that all employees feel empowered to provide customer service. That is “job one.”
Customer service is everyone’s responsibility
As a commercial embroidery shop owner, if you automatically assume that every employee understands what makes good customer service, you are mistaken! It is not a given that they all know the fundamentals of how to make people happy.
Your priority should be to inform, train and educate every employee in the elements of excellent customer service. This should not be a one-time-only discussion. To have a team of people motivated to providing the best commercial embroidery, customer relations are an ongoing process, not something presented only at a new hire orientation.
Coach, encourage, compliment and praise your employees. When they do something right, do it again! The money and effort spent is an investment in one thing that makes you different from the competition—your people. Look at it as an investment in your company’s future.
Everyone looks for ways to increase ROI (return on investment). Busting these four customer service myths is the easiest way to a higher ROI. It will increase customer loyalty, sales and profits, and move your commercial embroidery business to new heights.
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