Think back over the last few days and try to remember the last time you received great customer service from someone. Now, when I say customer service, I mean, a prompt friendly greeting by someone who showed they cared about your needs. Someone who delivered what they said they would deliver; a cashier who thanked you for your business; a contractor who showed up on time; a contractor who finished on schedule. You know what I mean.
The often-heard statement, “We provide Customer Service Excellence”, sounds really good doesn’t it? We hear it all the time from companies, don’t we? It’s in their promotional materials, their mission statements, on their websites, comes out of their mouths, and often they advertise it right behind their so-called “service” counters. If only words spoke louder than actions. Outside a few exceptions, the best we get these days is a sizzle. I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for some fireworks!
Generally, we have lost the “Art” of Customer Service, so I would like to share with you a few tips on how you can put the fireworks back into your customer service business:
- The right customer service attitude is critical.
If you’re a leader at your company, then you have to set a great attitude example. Choose to be positive all the time and deliver customer service passionately. Ensure everyone at your company is doing the same – always!
- Don’t try to seduce prospects by over-promising goods or services to them.
When you do this, you open yourself up for failure. You actually should try to reduce their expectations and give yourself some freedom to adjust where necessary. Deliver what you say you will or more. We’ve all heard the old cliché, “Under-Promise and Over-Deliver”. It’s easier said than done, isn’t it? We tend to want to promise prospective customers more, so they feel the value. We also enjoy over-promising to make ourselves feel more valued. When you under-promise, you have the opportunity to continuously impress your client. When you over-promise, you can potentially stress yourself out and look desperate; and possibly appear to be a liar. The great Henry Ford once said, “You can’t build a reputation on what you’re going to do.” If you agree he was right, let’s agree we should build our reputations and relationships by what we actually do and deliver.
- Keep your word but don’t make it your motivation to deliver.
Deliver because you should! If you are one of those people that are always in the “promise mode”, slow down and consider some other options.
- Don’t let “busyness” drive your work style.
Put nothing in front of providing the best service possible. Many people try to show people how important they are by how busy they are. Manage your workload and use effective time management practices, but don’t be an expert in “busyness”.
- Deliver to your customers because you have the passion to do so.
Don’t do it just because you said you would. It’s very easy to spot someone who is just going through the motions. Today, people want to work with people that they feel are truly engaged in the service or product. If you don’t enjoy what you’re doing, find something to do that you can enjoy.
- Be creative and deliver more.
Go in with the attitude that what the customer or client asked for is just the beginning of the relationship. This creates an opportunity for both of you to evolve and who knows, you may even become a referral team. It can’t hurt!
- Keep your customers informed if you’ve learned something in the process that is totally unrelated to what they’ve hired you for.
It is good business and can actually be worth a lot to them…and you.
- Deliver something extra without asking them if they need it.
There is no promise here, just delivery!
- Create your own style and deliver your product and/or services uniquely.
Wrap your services in nice packaging and top if off with a bow!
Today, there are many people desperately trying to grow their business through what I call desperate measures. They will put down the competitors, over-promise, cut their price to the slimmest margins, and quite frankly, lead prospective customers on. If you stay clear of these mistakes and move forward with the techniques I’ve described today, you and your business will be much better in the long run. If you build relationships this way, you will have a foundation that will be able to sustain the toughest of storms and competition.
Now, get out there and light up the skies! Happy Independence Day and have a great week!