One Thing that Will Make or Break Your Business
I recently referred a friend to a trusted service provider I’ve used for years. I raved about the insight, approach, and customer-friendly experience she’d get and assured her it would be a great experience.
My friend made an appointment and told me afterward that her experience was nothing like I described. The service provider was aloof, hurried, and barely helpful.
I was disappointed for my friend, embarrassed about my rave review that was apparently not true, and annoyed that someone I trusted let me down.
What’s worse is that I am a freak about excellent customer service. My dad was the President & CEO of a major bank for a long time. He even made the Forbes Top Executives list twice.
He would tell you that it was because he understood the fundamental truth that all success boils down to how well you take care of your clients.
It was more than talk. My dad and his team implemented a bank-wide initiative that the staff internalized, and every customer recognized.
The Big Promise: We promise to make you feel like our most important customer.
I remember working there as a teller in college and watching everyone I worked with live this out with gusto. No matter who came in the bank, no matter how much money was in their accounts, each person was treated like a millionaire.
This a relational approach to customer service made the customers happy, made the staff feel great, and grew the client base like gangbusters.
It seems harder and harder to find this kind of customer care in our culture today. In fact, when my family and I do experience it, we go out of our way to offer our praise.
My daughter’s car needed service recently, and the person she was working with at the dealership went above and beyond to correct the situation, even though he was dealing with a young person. She was so impressed with him that when he handed her the keys to her working vehicle, she asked, “May I talk to your manager?”
I have to laugh because he probably thought she was going to complain about him, poor guy. He must have been surprised when instead, she informed his supervisor of his stellar work and how much she appreciated feeling as though she was his most important customer.
I would love to see excellent customer care come back in style. Not only in how we treat people when things go well, but especially in our response when they don’t.
I don’t know if the woman my friend saw was having a bad day, but I do know I’ll think twice before I send her anyone else. It’s a shame because I like her, but I don’t like looking like a liar. If other people have similar experiences, it won’t be long before she is out of business.
Don’t let that happen to you. Keep it in the forefront of your mind that every customer is your most important customer and live like it’s true. It may not be the thing that grows your business the fastest, but it is the thing that will sink it if you don’t do it well.
Share the dirt: What was your worst customer service experience? Leave a comment!