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Is the key to client happiness happy employees?

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Expert advises agents to build “authentic” customer service

Good customer service is vital for travel agencies and other companies in the travel and tourism business. In a new book, The Power of Service: Service Through the Eyes of Customers, expert Joy Karp gives a “new approach” to customer service, one that focuses on “authentic service that comes from the heart.”

“Customer service is more important than anything else. It has to be established as the most critical factor in bringing back clients. Employers have to work with employees to create authentic service. That’s going to come from the top,” she says.

“What the customer really wants from service is to feel good. We all have triggers and a lot going on in our daily lives. If you can have a trigger of an experience that makes you feel good, you’ll want to replicate that experience. The old service was to stand up there and be bubbly. I was so darn bubbly, I scared people! I was trying hard, but I wasn’t listening to people. I was so into staging that presence, that I wasn’t real.”

She says that some agents are quiet, keep their heads down and show a lack of confidence, but after customer service training, their confidence rises and they provide great service. But “anyone who has a bad attitude should be replaced or put in another position.”

She adds: “You have to show customers you’ve turned over every stone to give them what they want. By doing the extra work, you’re building a relationship and you’re building loyalty. You become the go-to agency.”

Agents can build loyalty by building an emotional bond with the customer. “Learn as much as you can about that customer. Then they become your customer and your friend. Becoming involved like that used to be a no-no. But there’s nothing wrong with it.”

Travel Market Report

[pictured: Terrace Cafe, Holiday Inn Batam]

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