As the world turns on its axel our society is moving forward at a break neck pace due to technological advances. These innovative solutions are great on one hand yet are also a main culprit to diminishing customer service experiences.
The heartbeat of every business should be to provide great service throughout every phase of customer interaction. Recently, I have encountered a number of unpleasant situations as the recipient of poor customer service. There were several instances where I actually felt attacked as a result of sharing my honest opinion regarding personal preferences. In that moment, the individual serving failed to recognize the main reason they are in business which is to cater to the needs of their customer. The basic definition of serve means to: to be a servant of, to satisfy or to assist.
Why is customer service such a critical piece to brand excellence? The reason is because it sends a resounding message to every person connected to the individuals who become aware of your business practices positive or negative through firsthand experience. Customers become your freelance marketing agents promoting good news or negative propaganda which definitely can impact your bottom line over the long haul.
During my studies in beauty school I will never forget one lesson my instructor, Michael Jordan, told us as it pertains to serving our clients. Initially, we were nervous to provide full consultation and service without his supervision. He stated to remember that our spa service would be 90% intention and if we delivered amazing experience our guests would be more than pleased. I cannot tell you how many clients have wept on my table from how well I took care of them during that appointed space in time.
It is essential that we as business owners refrain from taking our repeat clients for granted. Today’s consumer is becoming highly selective and more apt to do business with organizations who create positive experiences. They work hard for their money and want to invest in companies who recognize their value and willingly express their appreciation.
One of the main keys to improving overall customer satisfaction is to begin listening to their verbal concerns. If a prospective client finds it challenging to obtain answers to their questions create systems to help expedite the process.
Secondly, follow up with a potential client immediately within 24-48 hours of noted interest. Recently, I conducted a customer service evaluation on BMW automobiles. As I went into the representative’s office He had about 10 salesman of the year awards on his desk. During my visit, he took down my contact information but never followed up to thank me for my time or to extend additional facts that could incite a conclusive buying decision.
Thirdly, respect and honor those whom you serve. I once worked with an individual who was providing graphic services and communicated how there appeared to be a disconnect in the design draft. The individual adamantly stated they knew I was not going to like it but sent it because they felt it was congruent with my brand. If a client is not happy with your service avoid hostile communication and focus on delivering products, goods or services that will leave them beyond satisfied.
Fourthly, address your customers immediately upon arrival. How often do we walk through business doors or grocery lines and the attendants are having a full fledge conversation never acknowledging your presence until it’s time for payment to be rendered. I was impressed with an Auto Zone sales associate who was standing at the door to greet me upon entering. As I searched for the perfect strawberry air freshener he mentioned specific details surrounding the make and model of the car I drove up in. Excellence is in the details, and the details will hand deliver the dollars.
Lastly, in the words of Phil Crosby, “Quality is the result of a carefully constructed cultural environment. It has to be the fabric of the organization, not part of the fabric.” Allow me to avidly encourage you to, love what you do and do what you love. If you are no longer happy in your professional or personal life take time to evaluate ways to enhance your internal fulfillment. Ultimately, every company should have a long term goal of building a strong brand name. Develop a culture which ensures that ambassadors understand the importance of creating a wow experience that will leave customers singing your praise and not solemn disgrace.
About the Author:
Kristie Kennedy is a visionary leader, who serves as a women’s beauty, business, brilliance and body image speaker. She operates in a multiplicity of gifts with a passion for empowering individuals to live magnificently in the face of adversity. Ms. Kennedy is currently, the beauty columnist for Amoize Magazine. In May 2012 appointed as the Tallahassee Ambassador for Heal a Woman, Heal a Nation, Inc. Served as 2012 Ms. Tallahassee, Fl. for Ms. Corporate America (1st runner up). She was crowned in September 2010 as the 2010 American Image National Woman. For more information visit her at www.kristiekennedy.com.