Margins are thin and competition is fierce these days. You do have, however, a secret weapon that none of your rivals have and you may not even know it. You may have the greatest products or services in the world but if you can’t get people to buy, come back and spread the word, you might as well close it all up. The key to success, and domination, rests with your employees. Companies talk about providing great customer service but few go beyond that and allow their employees to really be able to affect the outcome.
- To go beyond mere customer service, you must allow your employees to be decision makers. You must empower them to be the ones to make a difference to a customer or client. Many businesses demand that only customer decisions can be made from the top down. Most employees have to put someone on hold to go and find a supervisor to get a certain decision. This wastes time and can sour the customer on your company because they may think you don’t respect their time.
- Giving your employees the proper training to handle customers without needing top down approval is a crucial edge you need to be employing. You give them the training and the knowledge to make every customer or client the center of their attention. Giving your employees, all of them, the sales training, product knowledge and skills to be able to go far beyond just customer satisfaction will allow you to stand out. It gives the employees a stake in the outcome, to feel like they are actually helping the customer as well as the company.
- Give your customers more than they expect and you will begin to dominate your demographics. Inspire your employees to believe that the customer’s happiness means more than the benefit of the company because, in the long run, both benefit. If employees think that your products or services are just not right for a customer, tell them so. If customers call with a complaint, handle it immediately and don’t stop until that customer is happy and will return. If what you have is what they need, empower your people to upsell or provide a service that is not expected. It is giving the customer more than they expect, and empowering your employees to give it them, that will separate you from your rivals.
-Written by Kevin Sawyer