We’ve all heard the term “World Class Customer Service.” This phrase brings companies like Amazon, Lowe’s, and The Ritz-Carlton to mind. Forward thinking organizations with sound leadership strive to make a positive customer experience a staple of their business model.
The primary goal for any service related business is to build a loyal base of customers that are consistently happy with the product and service that your organization is providing. In any service-based company, there will occasionally be issues resulting in unhappy customers. One of the most overlooked segments of customer service is the recovery or the response.
Challenges and difficult transactions can happen no matter how great of a company you run. One of the biggest areas that companies fail in is not acting swiftly and decisively to come up with solutions when problems occur. The beauty of American business is that we as consumers typically have our choice of what service provider(s) we want to work with. If company A drops the ball, company B will be right there to try to swoop in and earn your business. That’s why it is crucial to any good business to treat your customers well and never take them for granted. By reacting quickly to resolve an unpleasant situation, you will most likely be able to retain your customer and possibly create an opportunity to make the relationship with that customer stronger than it was before. In my experience, picking up the phone and speaking directly with your client is the best course of action so that nothing gets lost in translation.
Conversely, if you fail to quickly correct that issue with your unhappy customer, you may have not only lost the customer, but you may have also hurt your reputation in your industry, causing you to lose a chance to win business from other prospects.
In the business that we’re in, the Appraisal Management space, the industry is relatively small and tight knit. If you do an excellent job servicing a client, word will likely travel fast that you’re a good provider and other potential clients will want to work with you. Of course, the same goes for the alternative: negative feedback tends to travel faster than the positive. That’s why it’s important to treat every client and every call as if it’s the most important call of the day. This type of mindset needs to start at the top and resonate all the way through your organization.
So how do you make this a reality on a granular level? The key is fundamentals. When the phone rings, make sure that it is answered quickly and professionally. When an email is received, make sure that your team responds quickly and in a detailed manner that offers your customer the solution that they are seeking. Deliver on what you promise. If you tell your customer that you are going to do something, do it. Finally, be likeable. It sounds simple, but it’s amazing how often people let problems from their personal lives effect the way that they communicate with people in their professional lives. If a restaurant server is having a bad day at home and carries that negative attitude into work, it is likely that his customers will notice his ill performance and, in turn, will probably tip that server less. Why should that be any different over the phone? You owe it to your customers to give them your best all of the time, even if you’re the one having the bad day.
Deliver your customers truly “World Class Customer Service” and you will find that growing your company and landing new clients will come easily. Your results will speak for themselves and people will want to work with you because you are the best at what you do.
Jon Tallinger – S.V.P. & National Sales Director