Restoring Respect in How People Do Business (Part 2)
The Second Blog in a Series of Three: How You Treat Your Customers
Last week we talked about How You Treat Your Staff. But now, what about your customers? Where do they fit on the respect graph?
What does good customer service mean to you? Maybe it’s a friendly and accommodating representative who helps you find what you’re looking for. Or perhaps it’s the fast email response you get from your legal advisor when you have an important question that needs answering. Or maybe it’s the human being who answers the phone to help you instead of the automated computer voice that never seems to direct you to right department.
Good customer service can mean a thousand different things to a thousand different people. Those all-important elements that contribute to good customer service are often specific to each business. Even though every company is different, one thing is for certain: we all have customers – be they corporations, end consumers, groups or individuals. And without these customers, our businesses cannot succeed.
Good customer service is about creating value for your customers.
This should be your primary goal. When you’re evaluating a new product, hiring a new staff member, or considering the implementation of a new service, ask yourself…
“Will this change add value in the eyes of my customers?”
If you’re always thinking about your customers, then you’re instinctively treating them with respect, you’re catering to their needs and you’re constantly finding ways to make them happier. And what can you respect in return? Repeat business, loyalty, direct referrals and long-term growth. If your customers are happy, there’s no reason why they’d ever consider going somewhere else.
Is it a lost art?
With constantly evolving technologies, digital solutions and web based platforms, companies often make the decision to replace people with systems. It saves on costs and makes the business more efficient. Or does it?
Although technology has certainly made our lives easier in more ways than we can count, this isn’talways a good move. If the automated phone system can’t seem to answer people’s questions, or if the customer would really like to have a delivery person come to their door rather than a drone, well then you may just be causing undue frustrations. And frustrated customers tend to look elsewhere to get what they need…
In many ways, we’re losing the human connection when it comes to business. In some cases, this may suit our customers just fine, but in others it may be taking our business in the wrong direction.
Be the refreshing exception, not the aggravating norm.
What other companies lack in customer service, you can make up for in your business. Think of this as the ultimate opportunity to shine in your line of work. And when you make new changes and implementations, always go back to the critical question: Am I creating value for my customers?
If your competitors have poor response times, highly automated services and a shortage of personality in their frontline personnel, do the opposite! Use impressive customer service as your competitive advantage.
Treat your customers with the ultimate respect and see how they respond. It may just be the key to sustainable business in your company.
Keep an eye out for our third and final blog in this series next week: How You Treat Your Advisors, Partners, Associates and Colleagues.