Never leave any customers alone with their thoughts.
Businesses and organisations fundamentally produce goods, experiences, services and are made of two essential and distinctive parts:
The first part is the actual product. In its simplest form this will be the food and drink menus for a restaurant, the bedrooms for a hotel, the vehicles for a car manufacturer, the flights for an airline or the goods for a retailer.
The second part is the service (how a business makes people feel). Actually service is an integral component of both parts because service is both the main product as well as the supportive and complementary part to the main product.
Good businesses deliver quality products and a matching service based on TRUST. In religion trust is the basis of love. Without trust there is no love, without love there can’t be loyalty and without loyalty there can’t be longevity.
Service, as you know, is very subjective and as such the way it is perceived can vary from person to person. Customers (ie human beings like you and me) have all the same basic needs around the world. So from that basis, what we need to do to ensure 100% ( or very close to) customer satisfaction is, in my view, very clear, simple and straight forward . After all, we are all fundamentally the same!
Socrates famously said “a life unexamined is not a life worth living”. By that he meant we should look within, learn and know about ourselves, we should seek what we really want and aim to be better and good human beings.
Let’s apply the above paragraph to service that delivers 100% customer satisfaction.
First of all it is key (and non negotiable) that staff within the business know the product they sell inside out. It is also essential they love their brand and what it stands for.
“We” and all other human beings on this planet are all the same and want the same thing. We react in the same way to any negative and positive stimulus. Therefore if we know ourselves and what we like then we know others and what they like too. Only we must be actively thinking about it and want to please our customers in the first place, if we are to make a difference. We absolutely need to know what good looks like, what good feels like. We need to give before we take and it is our job to be charming and thoughtful first and not the other way round. This is about ownership and responsibility.
This is why I say, if you want to give 100% customer satisfaction : Never leave any customers alone with their thoughts. Make sure you give them the answers before they ask the questions and reassure any concerns before these are even addressed. If you are with your customers at all times they will invariably feel you care and that they can trust you.
What do I mean by that? Here are two examples below:
Imagine a customer going to a restaurant, the table booked at 1.45pm is not available and the Gazelle on Red Bull directs him to the bar for a drink until he can be seated for his meal. Rather than let the customer wait indefinitely for the table, just communicate simply and update the customer about the status of the table. This way he will know you are on it and that he can trust and rely on you.
Imagine a customer car is due for a service/repair. The parts required for the repair are not available. Before the car is collected from the customer’s home by the dealership driver, the service advisor will contact the customer, explain the situation and will keep him informed (using the preferred method of communication) of the parts status so that the customer can be confident you care and will follow up on the issue.
Never forget that customers can find themselves alone with their thoughts at any moment and at any point within the customer journey.
A true service professional will always anticipate and know how to spot anyone alone in their thoughts at any given point of the customer journey and how to deal with any situation. This is the only way to instil trust between the customers and YOU and the brand YOU represent.
More often than not it is as simple as stating the obvious ie “just to let you know this will take 15 minutes….”
Really and truly it is no different than any interaction or relationship we have in our daily private life.
How do your children know you love them?
How does your wife/husband/partner know how beautiful they are?
How do your staff/boss know they are doing a good job?
Because you tell them and state the obvious, they know. It is as simple as that. And it follows the Golden Rule of Service number 8 “Treat others the way you would want to be treated”.
Do not leave any customers alone with their thoughts (ever). Make the effort and show that you care. Open your eyes, look, listen and give them your full undivided attention. As Shakespeare said “They do not love that do not show their love”.
Make Excellence a habit!