Why do we still have to put up with erratic and inconsistent customer service?
A fortune is spent by companies on building brand awareness, advertising, and training sales people to win new business. Yet, the simple philosophy of outstanding customer service is often ignored.
Your best salesperson is often your receptionist, the person answering the phone, or your service engineer. Yet, we frequently pay little attention to the impact they have on potential clients.
My recent experiences have highlighted this – painfully! These included a car hire company, whose desk staff seemed to find me invisible despite there only being three of us in the office, the car salesroom, that had to have three reminders before returning my calls. However, the gold star award goes to the funeral home, whose total lack of empathy caused my whole family to walk out mid-way through making arrangements. The latter was a referral, we were not even considering anyone else – but we changed our minds as the people there made very little attempt to nurture or care for us at a very difficult time.
Conversely, I’ve had great customer care – from the other car hire place where I went after the first one let me down – they made it a joy and fun to be there. I now go back there very time.
What does it take to provide great customer care? It’s not difficult. Be ACE
- Attentive – make that person feel wanted and appreciated, listen and make sure you understand their needs
- Cheerful – a smile goes a long way to building good bonding and rapport
- Efficient – respond quickly, show people you want their business
Smart companies make it their philosophy to build this into their company culture, ensuring it is repeatable and consistent across all staff. Companies such as Disney, John Lewis, South West are renowned for it – and the volunteers at the London Olympics were remembered for the outstanding customer care they showed throughout the whole event.
So, look at your staff, are they providing great customer care? Do you realise how important a role they play as sales people for your company, or do you leave it to chance?