In my last post, I talked about the theme of Attitude. In this post, I’ll discuss the second theme of customer service: care.
Theme 2: Care
Demonstrate that you care. My favorite quote is one that has been attributed to a number of different people. I think that’s because the quote is so great that everyone wants to claim it as their own. I first came across it reading a book by John Maxwell. It goes like this: “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” Can that really be true? In making a buying decision, will someone really choose the quality of the relationship over the quality of the product or service? As they used to say on the Rowan & Martin Laugh-In Show in the early 1970’s, “You bet your sweet bippy they would.”
Think about it. Customers will never become loyal or tell others how good you are by simply buying a product. What they really want is:
- a warm, friendly response – be kind, courteous and likeable;
- to feel important – they know you have lots of customers, but make them feel special anyway;
- to be listened to – maintain eye contact and resist jumping in with an answer; and
- someone to know their name – it indicates that you recognize them as an individual.
Try it, you’ll like it – and your customers will too.
Tell them why you can. Recognize the customer for what they are. Your boss doesn’t pay you, the customer does. They don’t care what you can’t do; they care about what you can do for them. If you are not in position to authorize what the customer wants, let them know that you will take their request up with the individual who has such authority. Tell them what you are going to do, when you are going to do it, who will contact them and when they will be contacted. Then keep your promises. This helps the customer feel like they have an ally within the company without manipulating them. If you can consistently handle customer requests and objections in this manner, you will create loyal customers who will recommend you to their friends.
I would like to hear from you: how do you demonstrate care for your customers?