“Build a great experience, customers tell each other about that. Word of mouth is very powerful.”-Jeff Bezos, CEO Amazon.com
If you attended a party where the host snarled at you, reluctantly offered you a drink, looked past you to greet someone deemed more important and basically couldn’t wait until you left–chances are you would as soon as you could.
Unfortunately, that’s the experience many of us receive today. We’re not treated as a valued customer–a guest–to be respected. Rather, we’re a nuisance to be endured–we’re the blaring car alarm when they’re trying to sleep. In the business world, customer service has become a dirty phrase.
In my experience companies too focused on new business risk ignoring, alienating, and then losing the clients and business they already have. Customers that are taken for granted soon leave, and business suffers.
Here are five key rules I’ve noticed that help
1. Use the Right Term.
First, don’t call people clients, or even customers. It’s much better to refer to them as “guests,” and we are their host. We should always happy to see them and strive to make their time with each of us a great experience.
2. Anticipate Needs.
A great waiter knows when to refill your glass or bring the bill, just as a great company anticipates what their guests need, often before they know it themselves.
3. Give Respect.
It costs nothing to be courteous, but you can pay dearly if you aren’t.
4. Treat Everyone like a VIP.
“There’s only one boss,” Sam Walton once said, “the customer. He can fire everybody from the chairman on down simply by spending his money elsewhere.”
5. Show immediate Action and Solutions, Not Blame.
Sometimes things mess up, but apologies, which matter, mean nothing if they aren’t followed by action. Well done is better than well said.
In short, providing great guest experience isn’t its own department. It’s everybody’s job.
Adapted from an article by Eric Schiffer