As Entrepreneurs, we’re on a tireless pursuit of customers. If you’re smart, you’re also on an endless endeavor to retain those customers. A big part of what keeps customers coming back is how they are treated, and the experience of doing business with you and your staff. Many studies show that price and quality of a product/service actually rank lower than the service experience, in a customer’s decision to do repeat business.
So, Customer Service is paramount, but what is it? How does one achieve it? I propose that the solution is simple, and will allow you to offer the best service possible to your customers and clients: Trade perspectives. Step out from behind the literal and figurative counter and put on your Customer Goggles.
Outside of your business, you magically transform into a consumer – a customer who deserves great service. Ask yourself:
• What do you expect from an establishment or organization whom you’re paying?
• How do you want to be treated?
• What critiques can you make of the businesses where you spend your money?
• Are they falling short or delivering a consistently great buying experience?
Both sides of the counter have different perspectives. Different why’s. Different questions. For instance, you may be offering service in a particular way because you’ve structured your operations in a way that leads to a certain end-result or end-experience for the customer. To you, this may make perfect sense, and it’s what you can support, operationally speaking. Looking at that same service offering with your Customer Goggles on, that end-result and experience may prove to be less than pleasurable, and may even fall below expectation, from a sheer service perspective. An alignment may be in order, to calibrate operations so that the end-result makes and keeps your customers happy.
I propose a challenge: this week, everywhere you get service as a consumer or on the purchasing side in a B2B transaction, imagine how you would treat “yourself” if it were your business offering the product/service. Take note: What would you change? Now, back to the purchaser’s perspective. How do you feel? Is that how you want your customers (internal and/or external) to feel? Why or why not?
After this exercise, are there things you need to implement as a business owner to ensure that you’re providing the best service experience to your customers? Shouldn’t those changes be a business priority?
I sincerely believe that when all is said and done, customer service can be summed up by this simple quote:
“The golden rule of every business man is this: Put yourself in your customer’s place” – Orison Swett Marden