VUSSC/Content/Tourism/Customer Care/Conducive Business Environment

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Working environment - Presentation of work area and equipment

Customers also judge the organisation/agency on the standards of presentation of the working environment. Isn’t it?

Clean, neat and tidy work places give customers the impression of a businesslike environment in which their needs will be taken care of. Customers don’t expect high standards of service when the workplace is dirty or untidy.

We need to ensure that we have got all the equipment and resources that we require and that any equipment is in good order. This may be as simple as making sure that you have got a pen that works or it may involve ensuring that the vehicle that you use to visit your customers has been regularly serviced.

The Accessibility/availability of the type of service provided

In order for your services to be accessible to your customers, they must be able to visit your premises without difficulty or contact you easily in other ways. Access problems can occur when:

  • the opening hours of your business are not the times that your customers want;
  • your premises cause difficulties for disabled customers;
  • customers cannot park near to your premises;
  • nobody answers the telephone;
  • there is no proper signage to guide customers.

The availability of services is about being able to supply services at the times when customers require them. Availability problems occur customers have to wait for a long time for a service to be provided

If your services are not readily accessible or available it will be difficult for you to maintain a reliable service and customers will become frustrated with your organisation.

Working under pressure

When you are very busy there is a danger that customer service standards may not be maintained. Whilst you may have to spend a little less time with each customer you must make sure that you continue to give your customers excellent service although you are working under pressure.

Very often people complain that they have too much to do. However, at busy times you should pay particular attention to the following aspects of customer service, which must not be neglected because you have a lot to do:

  • Greeting customers;
  • Identifying and checking customers’ needs;
  • Courtesy and attitude towards customers.

Make sure that your body language does not suggest that you are trying to rush your customers or that other aspects of your job have become more important than them. In this way you will be able to maintain a consistent standard of service and get through the busy period without damaging your image with your customers.

You can now complete activity 35.

Activity 35

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Describe the situations in which you find yourself working under pressure and explain how you continue to deliver consistent and reliable service even though you are very busy.

Situations when you work under pressure How you continue to deliver consistent and reliable service?
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Many of the topics that we have considered earlier in this course also have an effect on consistent and reliable customer service. Do you recall them? They include

  • Staff attitude and behaviour – always being courteous and behaving in a professional manner;
  • Staff personal presentation – always being clean, tidy and appropriately dressed when your customers are present;
  • Timing (Speed of Service) – avoiding keeping your customers waiting;
  • Cost / Value for Money – helping customers to feel that their money has been well spent.

You can help to make sure that customer service is consistent and reliable by:

  • Confirming and meeting specific customer needs – making sure that you know exactly what your customers need and providing the service that meets those needs;
  • Locating the information or services that your customers require;
  • Confirming service meets needs/expectations – checking that the services that you have done for your customers have met their needs and expectations;
  • Dealing with problems when service is not consistent – taking appropriate action when problems occur - We will examine the subject of resolving customer service problems in more detail later.