Most customers are getting tired of hearing companies chant the “CUSTOMER SERVICE MANTRA.” Based on my personal experiences in the marketplace, chances are pretty good that most companies are still full of baloney.
There are a great number of organizations out there who still don’t know how to spell customer service, no less deliver it on a regular and consistent basis. TOO MANY!
Allow me to clarify. You might be good at it – servicing your clients – now and then, when you feel like it. But how often is that? Again, based on my experiences, not often enough.
Customer service has nothing to do with “smile training” or reminding me to “have a nice day” in a monotone voicing bordering on boredom. It is more than what you say. It is all about knowing which side of the bread the butter goes on and who makes your job possible. It is an unwavering understanding of knowing where the money comes from and whose satisfaction level is the only benchmark required.
It is coming to work living and breathing the fact that without paying customers you could stay in bed all day with nothing to do but worry about your future eating habits. When a customer says jump, you say “how high?” When a customer wants “2” you deliver “2×2”. Get it? * See note following this article
If you wake up in the morning and the first thing out of your mouth does not sound like the word “customer” then you have some work to do.
I am often asked, “Mike, is the customer always right?” Of course not. The customer is often dead wrong. But the customer always, always, always is the customer. Until you decide otherwise. * See note following this article
If you don’t particularly care about how the economic system works, you can be right. Go ahead. Be right. Otherwise, work with the feelings and thoughts and buying habits of the customer. Until you hear otherwise, customers will continue to make the world spin on its axis.
*NOTE: I can hear many of you shouting from the rooftops. “Marchev is dead wrong. Customers can be, and often are, a pain in the ass.” Chill people. I’ll see your comments and raise them a notch. “People have a unique quality of becoming very difficult in a drop of a hat.” But here is the differentiating point. Don’t allow just anybody to be one of your customers. But when you select a person, family or organization to be placed on your “customer list,” then it is in your best interest to jump accordingly. If you are not willing to “jump,” remove them from your list. I really don’t expect you to do this, but I urge you to do so for your own well-being and that of your company.
Mike Marchev freely shares his experiences, strategies and observations with travel professionals in an effort to keep them on top of their game. For a complimentary copy of his 12-Word Marketing Plan send him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mike’s daily column is made possible by AmaWaterways.