There may be one certain thing that is slowly, and quietly, killing your brand and your dream. The most successful companies have long known what that is and have addressed it to the point where it becomes a major weapon in their long term success. Most entrepreneurs and small business owners seem to think that it is their products and services that really mean the difference. In a certain sense that may be true, at least for the short term. Long term results, however, need something more.
- That something more is respect. Showing the proper respect for a customer or client and having a consistent plan in place to achieve those results every time out is what will set you apart. Doctor’s, of course, don’t get it. When has anyone, in the history of humankind, ever actually seen a doctor at the time of their appointment? It’s because they don’t respect their customers (patients) at all. If they did, a three o’clock appointment would mean just that. Remember, your customer’s time is as important to them as yours is to you. Making that a hallmark of our customer service strategy will lift you over any rival.
- Stop thinking you are going to beat your rivals because your products or services are less expensive. Only the average companies believe that. You dominate due solely to how you treat people. This must be ingrained into every employee and there must be a clear plan that everyone follows with regard to how your customers, and potential customers, get treated. Expect mediocrity from your employees and that is exactly what you, and your customers, will get.
- Measure what needs to be measured and make certain that everyone knows what you are measuring and evaluating. There must be certain and clear customer service metrics that everyone can measure their performances by. How many times does the phone ring before someone answers it? How long are people waiting in line at your cashiers? How long have diners been sitting at their table without service or food and drink? Create those metrics and hold everyone to certain standards of measurement.
- Finally, know what your customers expect and exceed those expectations. Think Disney. No one exceeds expectations like they do. If you promise something you had better deliver. If your word, and the word of your employees, are consistently no good, you will not be in business for too much longer. Respect and measurable results are what will launch you to the top of your industry or profession.
-Written by Kevin Sawyer