Every business has customers, whether external or internal. By one means or another every business employee provides services (i.e., work) to others (i.e., customers). Often it is the external customer that receives the most visibility and attention (from the sales, marketing and production departments) since they ultimately pay the bills. Internal groups (Administration, HR, IT) provide services to their respective internal customers, often without receiving the similar public recognition of success or failure.
Regardless of the profile of your customer, types of services, types of expectations, processes and strategies, it is fundemental to start at the most basic: Your customers are PEOPLE. People wish to feel special and important. We all want that. We will voluntarily maintain relationships with those persons, institutions and businesses that give us that special feeling.
Listed below are suggestions as to how you can make your customer feel special and important:
- I have a name, use it. I understand that I might need to provide you with a customer identification or registration number. However, once you know who I am, use my name and make me feel like a real life person.
- I have an opinion, ask me. Informal means of surveys are fine, but if you have the opportunity to ask me I will tell you, the good and the bad. But I will feel better about you and your company or organization and will reward you with more loyalty. You might even get a great idea from me.
- I am here, acknowledge me. I don´t mind waiting (too long) if you have a others to serve ahead of me. But let me know that you know that I am waiting and am important to you. A simple smile, knod of the head, “I´ll be with you shortly, I appreciate your patience.” Don´t pretend to not notice me or ignore me.
- I like to be surprised, surprise me. Do something unexpected and it doesn´t have to be big to make the difference. A free sample, unexpected discount, a special thank you.
- When you are wrong, apologize to me. We all make mistakes. Commitments are not always kept. Things happen through no fault of anyone. But you are the face of the company or organization. You can turn something frustrating and bad into something positive and good. Let me know that you are sorry and will make things right as best you can.
- I am important, listen to me. There is passive listening and active listening. When you can repeat back to me what I meant (i.e., the message) rather than what I said (i.e., the means), you truly have listened to me. You will make me feel more important and I will feel more loyal to you.
Do these things each day in both professional and personal life, and we will feel better about ourselves and nuture and grow our customers and personal relationships.
For additional information, contact Nexus Teleservices.