So you think you offer good customer service! Lets take a look and see how your company measures to some of the real leaders in service; Nordstrom and Zappos. What sets these companies apart from the rest and how does your company look side by side with these leaders?
They start by understanding their customers’ needs and taking care of those needs.They do that by listening to what the customer says. Taking the time to talk with the customer instead of sending the customer to voice mail. Taking the time to visit the client in person, even when there is not a problem, instead of using email for every correspondence. Taking the time to train employees and know that everyone in their company has the same service and satisfaction mentality and it starts at the TOP with the owner or manager.They understand that nothing will replace customer contact in the service business. We depend on it for our mere survival.
We don’t sell widgets, we sell service and that means person to person real live contact with the people who buy from you.Potential customers or people who buy from your company are buying you. They can get anyone to clean their home or office…but it is their trust in you to take care of their needs that they are buying. They are buying a service relationship where meeting needs is expected, but service driven treatment of them is often the exception. The special relationship you have with clients will last longer than the price you charge or the occasional mistake that you might make. Why? Because at the end of the day, they trust that you will take care of them.
Just as “anyone” can follow rules and policies, it is a good manager or owner who knows the right time to relax the rule and take care of the customer. Too many times an owner feels he/she has to have a laundry list of policies and procedures to have a successful business. They get caught up in “not letting the customer take advantage”. While I agree that systems and organization is a must for every successful business, the wise biz owner won’t make it difficult to do business with his or her company. The wise owner makes certain that every business decision made keeps the focus on client satisfaction.
Make doing business with your company fun and exciting. Make customers feel appreciated through your words and actions. Know that because of your training and follow up, all of your employees will know what to do when faced with a customer issue. Empower them to simply “take care” of the customer. When they understand your company philosophy regarding customer care and satisfaction, it will be easy to execute.
Address every customer by name, thank them for their business, show your appreciation by doing little things or giving an occasional extra service, respond to their concerns quickly, be a hero in their lives. Customers KNOW when you care and when they feel appreciated and valued for the business they bring to you, they won’t be in search of a company who will treat them well. They have already found it!
So look at your policies, relax the “rules, fines, penalties” of doing business with you and treat every customer as if it was your only one. Then you will truly be in the “service game”.