The pursuit of excellent service as an owner of a business or a consumer seems to be an elusive goal. In my time with business people, this topic is difficult work. It requires thinking in the place of the customer. What do your customers want in the area of service? First and foremost, your customer is thinking about themselves, not you. As a consumer, you think the same way with the vendors who service you. What is it we all want when we give our cash to a business? We want to know they care. Their service is one means they show this. How they position and create an experience is another way they can show they care. Have you ever walked into a business and felt the owners were seeking how little they could give for your business? They are thinking about themselves also, to their own detriment. They lose.
Here is what the business person who shows care looks like:
1. Above and Beyond. Processes, systems and methods are not bulletproof. They are required, but life does not always fit into a nice box. Life happens outside the scripted definitions of service. When the customer’s project goes awry, or your burger does not come as requested, or your vendors fail, you have the opportunity in that moment to exceed the customer’s expectation. Too often business people give excuses, make it the customer’s problem, blame the customer, blame their business, or ignore the issue. How about taking responsibility for the issue and solving the problem? Make it your problem. Telling someone about the problem is not service. Bringing answers and resolutions is service.
2. Relationship Over Transactions. Is cash driving your behavior or is making a difference? If it is the former, you are getting through the delivery with your customer. Big deal. What if you want to make a difference with your customer? Connect with them. Let them get to know you and what you stand for. That is assuming you stand for something and are worth getting to know. If not, work on it. Do the same. Get to know them and what matters to them. Too often business people leave the opportunities under their nose unfound because they are transacting, not relating.
3. Tell the Truth. The world is craving directness and truth. There are plenty of people managing each other. Cut through it and refresh your customer. Tell them when you can or cannot do something. When you cannot do something, get involved in finding a solution for them. If you cannot do this, then you are deficient in knowledge and people who can bring value to your customers. That should tell you to grow your own value by having answers. No answers, no value.
4. Attention to Design. What does a person feel when interacting with every touchpoint of your business? What adjectives would describe their feeling? Shoddy, cheap, uncomfortable, uncommitted, awkward? Or how about empowered, exhilarating, classy, special, valued? Start with one of the senses – sight. What does the person see when they engage you? Does it communicate you care about them or yourself? Caring about them looks like well thought-out design and an investment in the appearance of your website, furniture, dress, car, equipment and every other item they absorb instantly through their eyes.
Care goes beyond the sterility of service. Care makes a connection with the person who wants to connect with you. It takes thinking and selflessness. Would you like to find out what your customers think of you now? Perhaps a way to start is survey them. If you would like to know how, post a message at our site for further details. Differentiate yourself today by care. Prove it to yourself that you actually are in it for more than a buck.