There are so many choices when companies are on the lookout for a new vendor. The question arises—what will make your company more attractive to new customers than the others? If you are a leader, take a look at your customer service, and your customer service qualities.
Dissatisfied consumers rarely go to the source to speak about their gripes. Disgruntled customers simply move on. However, you can be reasonably sure that they will be more than eager to post online or speak to others about the negative experiences they’ve had.
People discontinue with a service because of three chief reasons:
1.) They caused damage (cause hurt in some way);
2.) They didn’t listen; and
3.) They wasted the client’s time.
Do you offer something more attractive than competitors? What must leaders encourage their people to bring to the table so that prospects and existing customers feel that there is no need to look further?
There are essential qualities to foster within your customer service that will bring business growth:
Having zeal for what you do lets others know how much you value it. When they see your interest, it attracts them because passion is contagious. Spirited people are fascinating and draw others to their cause. In the customer’s mind, eagerness comes off as dedication or commitment. Ask yourself, would I rather hire the person with enthusiasm, or apathy?
Convey your enthusiasm to your prospects, clients, as well as your employees. Be genuine, because insincerity is transparent and will work against any “building” you’ve already accomplished. Practice an enthusiastic sales pitch on a willing audience first, to gauge the level of interest you generate (of course, a presentation skills coach always helps). Dale Carnegie called enthusiasm, “the little recognized secret of success.” Be enthusiastic about the right things, and you will win others to your side.
“Flexibility is the key to success.”
The wisdom of those words is inspirational because humans are creatures of habit. The thesaurus offers synonyms for the word, “flexibility” such as, “suppleness,” “elasticity,” and “give.” These are the qualities that help business people to play well with the cards that life and their jobs have dealt them. By being creative (flexible), or well skilled at adapting to change, industry professionals are able to develop ways to be more successful and thrive under any conditions.
Part of this willingness to change and grow is in the ability to look at prior mistakes and seek ways to correct them moving forward. Avoid the “black and white trap”—accept gray as an answer. Sometimes solutions require us to think outside of the box, which requires courage (a fundamental ingredient of flexibility). Our success is directly proportional to the amount of flexibility we have. “Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape!”
When a tradesperson lacks product knowledge or is unfamiliar with where to find the information, customers lose confidence. Being good at a job includes knowing the industry’s terms and trends, or having sources to learn about them. Beyond that, develop the communication skills necessary to be able to present ideas to a wide audience.
An ancient Greek inscription on a temple stated, “Know thyself.” Improving Communications encourages people to “Know thy audience.” Remember that our “world” is not theirs. When delivering information about a product or service to others, consider audience background before choosing the language of presentation.
Educate your prospects and customers so that they feel empowered (instead of feeling like the sale is being forced upon them). Give them the gift of knowledge. When customers are clear on what they want, and then you deliver it to them, they will reward you with repeat business and referrals. In business, you need to know information (and where to find it) and you need to know about people (and how to tell them).
IMPROVING CUSTOMER SERVICE
Enhancing these customer service qualities will increase your ability to meet the customer wants and needs. Excellent Customer Service means consistently exceeding customers’ expectations. To do that, be enthusiastic about your product, find the right solutions for the project, and have the know-how to make doing business easy. You will create a positive, memorable experience, and have a happy, repeat customer.
(Check back next week for Part II…)
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