|GOOD CUSTOMER SERVICE|
©mrkent.com, 2008 -
Try to understand how human beings react in a positive way to special treatment that goes beyond their expectations.
Imagine yourself as being the king or queen of an imaginary land somewhere far away. Your kingdom exists in a place where thousands of people live and work. All of your subjects go about their business each day, earning their livelihood and living a very happy life. There is only one thing wrong: Nobody ever recognizes you as their king or queen. Nobody ever pays their taxes or obeys the rulings you set down. They know you are their ruler but it makes no difference to them, and there is absolutely nothing you can do about it. You have no power to change the way things are in this imaginary world.
Your customers have the same feelings and desires as you have. They wouldn't want to have all of the responsibilities of a king or queen governing a kingdom where no one cared anything about them. But, they would love to rule over a kingdom like the ones we know of in the real world. They, also, would never want to give up that feeling of being treated special every day.
That's why it is so important to think of your customers as kings and queens. They really do rule over us in the same way a king or queen rules a kingdom. They are the people who decide whether or not we are allowed to earn a comfortable living, a meager subsistence, or, to be in business at all. It is their final decision that makes or breaks our success in the business world.
So, if your customers are your rulers, wouldn't it be wise to treat them in such a way that they leave your place of business feeling like a king or queen? If they have a choice of doing business with you, or someone who does treat them like royalty, where do you suppose they will go the next time they need your products or services?
A king or queen who never receives a crown will never be satisfied in that position, whereas, if they are ceremoniously crowned and catered to by their servants on a regular basis, they will always look forward to the next moment of exaltation. That's why it is so important to make sure your customers look forward to the next time they need your products or services. They need to be made to feel like royalty every time they transact business with you.
Think about the term, Customer Service. Look at the word, Customer. What do the first six letters spell? (CUSTOM) The dictionary gives the following definition for this word:
Specializing in the making or selling of made-to-order goods.
If you were to go to a thrift store, shopping for a suit, you may, or, may not find one that fits you. You would be fortunate if you did find one that fits well. On the other hand, if you wanted to be sure that your new suit was made of the finest materials and fit your body perfectly, without risking the possibility of imperfection, you would need to find a tailor, or at least find a shop that has tailoring services available. You would need to spend some time, standing still, while the tailor took measurements and exhibited various fabrics from which you might make a personal choice. Then, when your suit was finally ready to wear, it would be customized by the tailor and you would be the customer. So, when we talk Customer Service we are talking about doing something special for those who come to us for service.
Service - what does that word mean? Dictionary definition:
Employment in duties or work for another.
It means pretty much the same thing as Servant. You are working FOR someone. You are under their supervision and leadership. That's correct! Whether you like the feeling or not, if you are to exhibit good customer service, you must take the position of a servant. You cannot let your personal feelings interfere with your role as a servant. After all, your employer is paying you to serve. Your employer is paying you to be nice to his or her customers.
So, when you look at the term, Customer Service, you are looking at a term that plainly states: "Tailoring my behavior and actions in such a way as to accurately meet the needs of my customer in such a manner that I take on the role of a servant, and place the customer's desires above mine throughout the transaction."
If you can remember to think in these terms as you work with people on a day-to-day basis, your customers cannot help but feel like royalty every time they do business with your company. If you neglect this concept while other competing businesses practice it you will seldom find customers returning for a second visit.
A very good principle to follow is this: Provide unexpected service. Customers expect certain things of a business. They expect to receive quality products or services for the money they spend. In recent years customers have become accustomed to being able to return an item that proves to be unsatisfactory. What does unsatisfactory mean? It means they were not satisfied with it. There doesn't have to be anything wrong with it, it just didn't satisfy the need of the customer. Many businesses have found that an uncomplicated return policy will bring customers back to purchase more merchandise in the future. Businesses have also found that only about two or three percent of the total number of shoppers will abuse a liberal return policy. Ninety-seven to ninety-eight percent of all shoppers simply recognize the symbol of good customer service and enjoy shopping that much more.
Finally, customers expect a decent amount of customer service. They expect to be treated kindly. They really do not expect to be treated special - just kindly. Therefore, if your customers find themselves being treated better than they expect to be treated when they do business with you they will return again and again. People like to get the warm-fuzzies they feel when treated special. On the other hand, if they are treated in a manner less than what they expect, for some reason, they never forget the experience.
I had an experience several years ago, Christmas shopping for a gift. I was in the electronics department of a large chain that has since claimed bankruptcy. There were many people shopping, it was late in the evening, and I asked one of the associates on the floor for assistance. The associate responded with a rude gesture and unkind words. It has been so long ago that I can't even recall what she said, but I can still remember the feelings she brought out of me. I have never shopped at that business again. The point is this: It's odd that I can't recall why I won't shop there, but my emotions have never gotten over the feelings generated by that associate's lack of customer service.
YOUR ASSIGNMENT FOR NEXT 24 HOURS
Over the next 24 hours make it a point to provide the unexpected. Use the technique on your customers as well as your family and friends. As you perform the exercise maintain a spirit of "Glad I could help." Keep your pencil and paper handy in order to write down each occurrence as well as any noticeable changes in the behavior of your subjects. In short, treat those with whom you come into contact like royalty - you may find it to be something that is very enjoyable.