Businesses get customer service tips during Workshop Wednesday

More than three dozen local business owners learned strategies and tips for improving customer service on Wednesday during a monthly workshop hosted by HISD’s Business Assistance Supplier Diversity department.

Customer service expert trainer Mercedes Alfaro spoke to the group, presenting tips for delivering superior customer service and discussing the importance of identifying consumer needs. Alfaro works with companies across the nation, speaking on topics such as management, leadership, communication, diversity sensitivity and customer service.

“With any business, the key to great customer service starts with a loyal employee,” Alfaro said. “Your customer service personnel — anyone who you assign that responsibility to — is critical to your organization. It helps with customer retention, company reputation and possible loss of revenue.”

Positive interactions between customer service personnel and clients are vital to an organization, she noted, adding that they have the potential to increase or decrease revenues. Keys to great customer experience include respect, understanding, listening, and responding positively to any concerns or needs, she said.

According to Alfaro, 86 percent of consumers who quit doing business with a company do so because of on a bad experience with the company.

“Sometimes, employees forget that they are there to provide a service, not for their personal enjoyment,” Alfaro said. “Customers want loyalty and respect. They need to sense that they are important.”

HISD’s Business Assistance Supplier Diversity department hosts Workshop Wednesday on the first Wednesday of each month. Topics vary and are targeted to provide relevant information and assistance to minority- and women-owned businesses (M/WBEs) interested in doing business with the district.

For more information on upcoming workshops and networking opportunities, contact the Business Assistance Supplier Diversity office at 713-556-7273.