Brian Tracy, our mentor and author of more than 60 books on business and sales, says if you really want to be successful, ask yourself this question: “How can I increase my service to my customer today?” We couldn’t agree more.
Getting to know your customer is the first step in increasing customer service. What is your customer’s business and needs? How can you deliver your product or service in a way that will remove anxiety, improve confidence, and reduce her need for oversight? How can you best deliver your product to reduce her price, turnaround, and balance her inventory? How can you improve your customer’s business with seasonal themes, colorful displays, and community outreach to bring in customers for her business? How can you improve the way your people treat her throughout the total experience of being your customer? All these questions are part of the answer, but from our experience, improvement in customer service is built on “personalized attention.”
Sure, Customer Service is a department most businesses have, especially as they grow larger. Unfortunately, too many businesses think that establishing a department for customer service “issues” relieves them of the responsibility to provide personalized attention in other areas. They may even make the second mistake of thinking that the Customer Service Department is just for complaint resolution and miss out on the tremendous amount of suggestions for product and service improvements coming from their own customers.
But let’s look at the bigger picture. Customer service should stem from the very core of your business to the outer reaches of every customer contact and experience.
This requires that everyone, from your receptionist to your office people, from your sales people to your delivery people, and from your service people to your cashiers, knows where the money that pays their paycheck really comes from – your customer! They need to know that when customers are offered similar products or even slightly more expensive ones, they will consistently choose the one that provides the best customer service.
Getting that message across to your people is easier when they see that any interaction they may have with your customer requires some form of personalized attention. This means acknowledging your customer’s presence, making eye contact, addressing them by name, and conducting business in a helpful, friendly and personable manner. If your people take your customers for granted, they’re just not getting paid properly. To clarify this point, at least some portion of their compensation must be based on growth, profitability and customer loyalty. This does not just apply to your sales people, but everyone who deals with your customer at any level.
When your people realize the connection between good customer service, personalized attention, and their paycheck, your business will benefit. Customers will generally choose the business that treats them like an individual and shows them some empathy for their circumstances, even if it costs them a little more.
Give your people the financial connection they need to look for ways to provide personalized attention and increase your service to your customer every day. The ultimate success of your business depends on it!