Recently I wrote about a book called: “Choosing Civility”. One thing I like about the book is that it puts the responsibility for change on us, not on others, Even the title says it well. We have the ability to choose how we act.
Since my job is to help companies increase customer loyalty, this thrills me. Because the best way to increase customer loyalty is to treat your customers well every time with no exceptions. You need to deliver what I call “Amazing Service”. And to do this means you and your employees need to consciously make the choice to treat them well. It doesn’t just happen by chance.
This is hard for some people. It’s hard because very often we’d prefer to have the other person be responsible for the success of our interaction. And we’d rather blame failure on other people too. I see this in my work all too often. And, unfortunately this idea of blaming others is propagated by many so-called experts.
One of the most popular topics in customer service is how to deal with difficult or complaining customers. The description of the topic itself shows us the bias. Before the seminar even starts we can see the customers are already labeled as behaving badly. They are referred to as “difficult” or “complaining”. So many trainers and seminar leaders teach us how to handle these “challenging” customers.
We’d be better off if we focused on the situation and how to handle it better. This helps us realize we need to manage our attitudes and behaviors if we want to make positive changes.
No matter what role you play or what business you’re in, you always have a choice in how you treat people. With choice comes responsibility. If you want all the benefits that come with increased customer loyalty, then you have to choose to do things that help your customers want to come back. Like service. Or to be more precise, like providing amazing service to every customer every time with no exceptions.
Choose to provide amazing service and you’ll get more customers coming back. It’s simple. Choose to provide less than that and you’ll have fewer customers returning.
If you feel your company could benefit from more repeat and referral business, then consider these questions:
- What choices do your employees make that affect how customers are treated?
- Could your customers have a better experience than they do now?
- Could their calls be answered in fewer rings?
- Could emails be responded to more quickly?
- Could products be shipped sooner?
- Could orders be processed faster?
- Could errors be reduced?
- Could wait times on hold be decreased or eliminated?
- Could customer’s questions be answered more thoroughly and accurately?
- Could their questions, problems or challenges be anticipated better?
- Could they have more complete communication throughout the sales, order and fulfillment process?
If there are ways in which your customers could be served better (and you know there are!) then what would your company need to do differently to make them happen? What would it take for you to choose to make these changes? Why would you choose to not make them?