To many small business entrepreneurs, the concept of customer service is nothing short of “insulting.” Of course, they provide the best customer service known to man. They all do. But in fact, they all don’t. They all could. But they all don’t.
Here are a few points that I think you will find interesting, if not thought-provoking.
- Customers don’t talk to the company. They talk to you! Anybody who comes in contact with either customers or prospects are the “company. “I just want to say, ‘thank you’. I’m a new customer of yours, and the way Susan handled my questions and solved my problems was nothing short of excellent. I wish I could receive this type of service from every company I have to deal with.”
- Great service starts with a great attitude. Your attitude is our business. Would you like to talk to you? If the answer is “no,” it’s time for an attitude adjustment. Just today, I called my local Honda Dealer to change a service appointment. The way this young lady answered the phone almost had me asking if I should call an ambulance. True story. Some people just don’t get it. Some managers just don’t get it, or they would not hire the walking dead. My advice to you – Get it.
- There is only one judge of great service… the customer. Do you ask the customer how they rate your service? If not, how do you know what they think? Most people vote with their feet. You are probably losing customers without any warning. Don’t allow this to happen. Ask.
- Customers don’t think of themselves as customers. They think of themselves as people who need our help. Enjoy helping people – you’ll do a better job. Our customers are customers second – and people first. It is the job of the sales department to identify customers. Your job is to maintain sound customer relationships. Learn to look at problems through their eyes. Then, respond accordingly.
- There’s no “right way” to talk to customers. Every customer is different. Every problem is different. So, every conversation is different. Some companies use prepared scripts when they deal with customers. That approach may make conversations more efficient, but less valuable. Less sincere. Talk to your customers one at a time and cover the points that interest them.
- Don’t just talk to customers – talk to your fellow employees. You are the voice of the customer inside your company. Give yourself a test: Did a customer say something to you that your entire organization needs to hear? Did you pass the message along? Your entire team constitutes a “team.” They all need to hear both the good and the bad. I think the word here is “communication.” Communicate freely with your team.
In my next column I will have a few more common sense reminders.
Mike Marchev is a down-to-earth motivating sales trainer, author and business coach who specializes in the travel industry. For a complimentary copy of Mike’s 12-Word Marketing Plan send him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with the number “12” in the Subject Box. His daily column is made possible by AmaWaterways.