Whether we are engaged in retail, manufacturing, informational, or service enterprises, or any interactive venture at all, we all have customers and clients who form the reason for the products and services we offer. Which means that everyone we encounter in our daily duties—even those problem people and chronic complainers—are our Customers!
Are those Customers always right?
(pause while the Jeopardy theme plays here…)
No. But the Customer is Always the Customer. And how we treat our Customers makes all the difference—for both the Customers and our mission. Whether they are right or wrong, our Customers deserve our respectful attention and, to the highest degree we are able, our prompt resolution of their difficulties.
In order to effectively advance our purposes and increase our level of customer service, we need to deliver a better customer experience than they expect to have.
By examining their perspective of what we do, we are better able to plan for, deliver, respond, and evaluate our programs, products, services, and partnerships to more fully meet the needs of our Customers. Such a practice can shatter the Customer’s expectations to create a resounding, loyalty-building experience.
So while you’re out there on the front lines, here are just a few purposeful responses everyone can do to help define that level of Customer Experience:
1. Smile. An authentic smile changes everything. Customers can even hear your smile as you speak on the phone, and can tell when you authentically care.
2. Listen. Scripts are monologs. Customer Experience thrives on dialogs.
3. Personalize. When a Customer gives you his or her name, use it.
4. Empathize before you analyze. Verbalizing empathy and commitment to the Customer paves a smoother road to problem solving.
5. Kindness transcends constraints. Kindness to the Customer keeps the loyalty bond alive while you work to solve the Customer’s problem.
6. Impact beats intention. Your intentions are of little value if the impact of your words is negative. For the best Customer experience, your words and actions must have a positive impact!