by Brad Worthley
More than ever, customer service is becoming the number one differentiating factor between businesses. It is extremely clear that the businesses that have a culture of outstanding service are thriving, and the ones that give it “lip service” are dropping like flies.
When the economy is challenged as it is today, you also see two different camps on how to survive: One battens down the hatches, cuts back all expenses including training and service initiatives and tries to wait out the storm. The other camp cuts most expenses, but increases training and focuses more attention on customer service. Customer service has no season and has no economic boundaries, it is crucial every single day and with every single customer.
In This Article
* The biggest risks bring the biggest rewards
* God gave you two ears & one mouth
* Customer Service is not just one person’s “duty”
* “Convenience” may be the new buzz word
* Words of Wisdom
Changing one’s behavior is very risky business, because we are uncertain of the results. It is emotionally uncharted territory, and takes more energy than just maintaining the status quo. It is very comfortable being who we are and acting like we do, so why on earth would you want to change? Ask yourself these questions:
1. Do I love my job?
2. Do I look forward to going to work?
3. Am I satisfied with my current position?
4. Am I satisfied with my current income?
If any of those things are answered “No” on a consistent basis, then what have you got to lose by not trying something new?
The definition of “insanity” is to continue to do what you are doing today, but expecting better results tomorrow. If you want more from your job or your personal life, you better be prepared to make some changes that are emotionally risky, otherwise your life will more than likely not improve.
There will always be a little man on your shoulder whispering in your ear and telling you to stay the way you are. You need to learn to stop listening to the little man, and throw emotional caution to the wind – Go for it! That little man wants you to stay small, and that is not who you are. Try some of the tips in these newsletters, no matter how uncomfortable they may initially seem. Once you learn that change is not painful, and the little man is wrong, life will open many doors for you.
God gave you two ears & one mouth
Whether you are in a sales or customer service role (or both,) being a good listener is more important than being a good talker. The biggest mistake people make is talking too much. I have had many instances where salespeople will tell me about an item I have an interest in, and I will tell them that I will take it. Then, they don’t stop; they keep selling me on it after I already said, “Yes”. It is one thing to point out the warranty or installation tips after I have said “yes”, but don’t keep selling.
A great salesperson spends more time asking questions and listening, than time talking. When you ask questions, you are sending the message that you care about their individual needs. As they speak and you listen (giving them your undivided attention,) you are also sending the message that what they have to say is important and you value their input.
If you ask the right questions and listen well, your sales presentation should be no more than a confirmation that the product or service you recommended meets all their needs. Being a great salesperson and doing it correct actually takes a lot less time than simply “showing up and throwing up.”
Great customer service is the result of being a great salesperson.
Customer Service is not just one person’s “duty”
Many businesses have a designated customer service department, desk, or person. But do not fall into the trap that customer service is someone else’s responsibility. Customer service is everyone’s “responsibility,” even though it may be someones “duty.”
The number one complaint from customers today is the feeling of employee indifference, or as though no one cares. This comes from employees not taking ownership in the role of customer service. If you believe that customer service is someone else’s responsibility, then you might fall into this trap as well.
Treating customers well and offering outstanding service is not rocket science. Put yourself in the customer’s shoes and ask yourself; “How would I want to be treated?” Would you want an employee walking by and ignoring you because they thought it was someone else’s responsibility? Great customer service is about acknowledging and greeting customers in a timely manner and showing that you have consideration for their time.
“Convenience” may be the new buzz word
If the product or service you offer can provide the customer with more convenience, then make sure to use that word in your presentation. If you think about how chaotic most of our lives are, we have very little extra time. Stephen Wright, a nationally known comic said that he bought a new microwave fireplace. He was talking about how convenient it is and how much time he saves. He said he can now lay down in front of the fireplace for the entire evening, in only 5 minutes (you will get the joke about 3 hours from now, so hang in there.)
Most families have both parents working trying to keep the American dream alive. Our children are also more active than ever before with so many choices; soccer, baseball, football, karate, dance, skating, etc., so if parents aren’t working, they are driving.
Anything you can offer us that will make our lives more convenient, will have a huge impact on us. Fulfilling our needs and positively impacting our personal lives is also the makings of great customer service.
Words of Wisdom
“You are the mirror for how people will treat you. If you smile and treat them well, the chances will be higher that they will treat you the same in return.”
Brad Worthley, an accomplished business consultant and professional speaker with over 27 years of business management experience, is also an internationally acclaimed customer service, leadership and motivational expert.
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