- Ian Gregory
Every organization has customers. All of them. Those customers are the lifeblood of that organization and they should be treated well. Agreed? So how important is customer service to your organization? What does good customer service mean to you in day to day operations? Who are your customers? Did you know that you have internal customers as well? Customer service is usually what separates organizations and builds loyalty to the brand. When people feel like they are being treated as special, they have a tendency to go back and repeat that experience and you should be all about that experience.
Most companies have some form of feedback whether it’s a written survey, an online survey or some kind of assessment to measure what their customers think about them. They are usually numbered from one to five (sometimes ten) and they ask how you rated your experience. Anything above a three is usually counted as positive and completely misses the point about customer service. You see customer service really isn’t about service, it’s about LOYALTY and only 5’s or 10’s are worthy of that.
Disney, only measures fives and because of it, Disney’s positive rating hangs around the low to mid 80 percent. But, Disney knows what few other companies seem to understand, that if you want return customers and the word to get out about how great your company is and how great you do what you do, then 5’s or 10’s are the only numbers that count. Plus only counting 5’s gives you a truer picture of what is really happening and in the case of Disney, it is used as motivation to try and consistently reach that 90 percent range.
Many assume that customer service is about being nice, smiling, never arguing with the customer, trying to help the customer solve their problem and it’s hard to argue with those things right? Newsflash! From a customer’s standpoint, that puts you in the AVERAGE category. As customers, we expect those things. Miss out on any of the things listed above and you can expect a 3 or less on your survey. Even doing all of the above just gets you a 3 and maybe, if you’re lucky a 4. But it doesn’t guarantee a return customer because you weren’t paying attention to the loyalty part.
So how do you get 5’s? You have to give the customer an experience, a reason to come back. You have to make that customer feel special, that they are the sole reason you are in business and you want their life to get better because of their contact with you. That makes you a partner in your customer’s life, a friend, a trusted mentor. And partners know details about each other. Names, likes and dislikes, personal preferences, etc. All things that mean you care about that other person.
Then you must show that you can be trusted with that information they have given you. So greet them by name, ask about their family, and inquire about how their life is going and how you can help that quality of life. How about painting that picture for them that helps them see how your product will actually help their lives become easier or better or smoother.
You also have internal customers, the people who work in your organization. Are you treating them like a worker or a customer?
We recently finished a course on leadership for a manufacturing company that produces cutting tools and the managers were struggling with the productivity of their floor workers. We helped them to develop the big picture of what the products these workers were creating actually did out in the real world.
Because of these cutting tools these people make, farmers were able to increase their crops and help feed the world, families that traveled in cars were safer, children now played on equipment that was creative yet safer. Did it make a difference? The stories we got back said resoundingly yes! The workers now felt that they were important, that they were really making a difference in the world and it changed everything! When the internal customers felt important, production increased. Simple as that. What a great example of paying attention to internal customer service.
So stop, think a minute about your customer service. What can you do better? How can you make people feel important? How do you make a difference in the world? If you need help with creating that bigger picture, give us a call, we can help.