The Customer Is the One Who Matters
Note the phrase "real or perceived." This is very important in understanding excellent customer service. It is not your perception of how good the service is that counts. It is the customer's perception that matters!
These perceptions include how customers react to your attitude, your concern for their problems, and the way you handle their questions or service requirements.
When you provide service over the telephone, you may speak with the same customer many times. Even though you have never met this person face-to-face, you probably have an idea of what he or she is like. You may even have a mental image of what a particular customer looks like. Customers are no different. Likewise, they also have an image of you. As a valued employee, you have the ability to influence the perceptions of many customers. It is important to remember that you are in a direct position to win or lose company business!
Take time to put yourself in the customer's shoes. The following writing is an excellent reminder of who the customer is.
I Am Your Customer
"You often accuse me of carrying a chip on my shoulder - but I suspect that this is because you do not entirely understand me. Is it not normal to expect satisfaction for one's money spent?"
"Ignore my wants and I will simply cease to exist. Satisfy those wants and I will become increasingly loyal. Add to this satisfaction with any little extra personal attention and friendly touches you can dream up - and I will become a walking advertisement for your company."
"When I criticize your service - which I certainly do whenever I am displeased and to anyone who will listen to me - take heed. I am not dreaming up displeasure - the source of it lies in something you have failed to do to make my experience as enjoyable as I had anticipated. You must find that source and eliminate it or you will lose me - and my friends as well."
"I abhor waiting. This is an important privilege that money buys from you. And, if I am not spending big money with you this particular time, just remember that if you treat me right, I will be back later with more money to spend."
"I am much more sophisticated these days than I was just a few years ago. I have grown accustomed to better things, and my needs are more complex. I am perfectly willing to spend more money with you - and I have more money to spend - but I insist on quality to match your prices."
"I am, above all, a human being. I am sensitive - especially when I am spending money. I cannot stand being snubbed, ignored or looked down upon. I am proud. My ego needs the nourishment of a friendly personal greeting from you. It is important to me that you recognize my importance to you - that you appreciate my business."
"I am your customer now, but you must prove to me again and again that I have made a wise choice in selecting your company over others. And, you must also convince me repeatedly that being your customer is a desirable thing in the first place. I can, after all, do business elsewhere."
"Do we understand each other?"
Related Tags: value, customer, customer service, loyalty
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