- Posted by Kevin
- On 17th January 2019
Business equals customers: plain and simple. And if you don’t believe me, try doing business without them.
I was truly amazed when I heard a story of a business treating a customer badly with a ‘Well there are plenty more of them to pick from attitude.’ The probability is that this is being done as form of cost cutting exercise to protect the bottom line. After all, the bottom line is important isn’t it? It is but its at the bottom for a reason. Its merely an outcome that reflects how other functions of the business are working and, I would suggest that, if you have a focus on the bottom line and not the other functions of your business it could well be costing you a fortune.
So, back to my story…a little while ago our daughter Sharon and her colleagues at Tute Education arranged a coffee morning in aid of Macmillan Cancer Charity. A great event was had by all and more importantly the team raised almost £250. Sharon was given the task of depositing the money raised into the Nat West Bank. After a short wait in the queue Sharon arrived at the teller’s window, armed with her money, only to be told she would have to go away and recount all the money and bag it up into appropriate bags because at the Nat West ‘we don’t count money!’
Flabbergasted, Sharon left, walked a few yards to the RBS where the attitude was the polar opposite; they bent over backwards to help Sharon deposit the money. Question ‘Which bank is Sharon likely to use in the future?’
It is easy for all of us to nod our heads in agreement that the way Sharon was treated by Nat West was to say at the very least poor. The rules and procedures that have been put in place, have acted as a comfort blanket for the staff to say NO to the customer. An easy way out instead of allowing the staff to make a judgement call on what is best for the customer, which in the long term will have a much better effect on the bank results int the future. So a good question to ask yourself is ‘What rules and procedures have we got in place that are making our customers look elsewhere?’ and of course ‘How can we change them?’
If you are not already familiar I would like to introduce you to The Law of Precession. Effectively what it states that if an object is attracted to a second object and is moving towards it, another result will occur at a right angle.
An great example of this is the bumble bee. Every day the bee has a purpose and that purpose is to collect nectar, whilst gathering the nectar from the plants its legs rub on the plants and hey presto we have pollination.
So how can this law work for you in your business.
If you were to draw a line in the sand today and declare that your purpose from here on in will be to give all your customers a fantastic experience, what do you think the right angle effect will be on your bottom line?
There is also another great by-product for you, your team, and your business, the bee is working on purpose it goes to work buzzing, not bitching and moaning! What difference would it make to your business look if everybody came in buzzing?
So how do you do it? It starts with a commitment, the commitment to place the customer at the centre of your universe. What is your vision of perfection, for your customer service? What is the experience that you believe each and every customer will receive when dealing with your company? How will they be feeling after dealing with you? What are they going to be telling people about the experience? How will you look to the outside world?
Your service vision should make you feel proud and a little bit scared.
With your vision set and committed too, it is time to look at your delivery processes What are your customers moments of truth? Where are the bottlenecks? What areas do you need to look at with an outside in pair of eyes? What areas do you find yourself saying we have always done it this way. Which areas of your processes are driving complaints?
How easy is it for our customers to buy? What rules, regulations and processes are getting in the way of a truly remarkable customer experience?
This is not necessarily easy; sometimes it is hard to admit we are getting it wrong. However, once you answer these questions and put in place systems to fix any challenges you will more than likely be way ahead of your competition.
To ensure that you consistently stay ahead of the competition you need to take a really good look at the culture within your business. This needs a top down approach and involves everybody in your business. Customer service is not a department, everybody in your business is in customer service. It has to be part of the DNA of the business. It must be part of your recruitment process; what are the attitudes of the people you are recruiting when it comes to customers?
Regular ongoing training needs to take place and the necessary steps and measures to make sure the training is implemented.
There needs to be accountability for all members of the team and rewards and recognition for those that excel.
You will also need to have in place some form of measurement that will keep you informed on how you are performing. This could take the form of customer surveys, mystery shoppers net promoter score etc. Regular feedback is your opportunity to improve and once again by implementing changes you will stay well ahead of your competition.
Get this right and it will be a game changer for your business.
If you would like to learn more come and join us for a morning of learning at the beautiful Mere Brook House for our Take Control of Your Customer Service Workshop.