Meetings, budgets, margins, email, quotas, customer needs, pipelines, meetings, conference calls, training, deadlines, meetings, competitor pressures, business travel, reports, proposals…and did I mention meetings? All in a day’s work, right?
In today’s highly competitive, and many times exhausting business environments, we have become conditioned to a “just get it done” approach to daily activity. While this process keeps the wheels of business turning, sometimes it’s a good exercise to revisit, and bring back to the forefront of your mind, a critical cornerstone of business that unfortunately becomes an afterthought for many.
Consistently great service is consistently great for business!
We’ve all experienced the good feeling when an employee goes out of their way to assist. It’s also memorable when someone remembers your name; takes ownership to solve a problem; actually listens to you before reacting, or simply remembers to say thank you for being a customer.
Fact is, being treated well has and always will matter to people.
But is there a business case for companies to treat people this way? Does remembering “customers are the reason you are in business” really drive value to the bottom line? Today more so than ever, these questions can be answered with a clear and resounding YES. Numerous studies and statistics support a single fact: Great and consistent service is consistently great for business.
Numerous studies have shown that over 70 percent of buying experiences are based on how a customer feels they are treated. So it's no surprise that taking exceptional care of customers (or not) has a significant impact on whether they choose to do business with you and how much business they will do with you. Do you think this just might have an impact on your bottom line?...or even your paycheck?
Keep in mind though, preaching "good" customer service is already the status quo. Treating someone with respect is expected, and not necessarily rewarded. Consistency is now required and exceeding expectations—"WOWing" the customer—is the name of the game.
One of my favorite memories of this happened when I was a much younger man and still learning the ins and outs of business relationships. A co-worker on the phone with a customer (during a marathon troubleshooting session) heard the customer tell someone in the background that they were getting hungry. My co-worker put them on hold, and unbeknownst to the customer, ordered them a pizza. About 30 minutes later while still on the phone, there was a knock on their door and their receptionist brought in a pizza!” These people were absolutely astounded!
This story was not only shared by the customer (repeatedly), but was shared by countless other people that heard of this. My co-worker didn't just wow a single customer that day; she indirectly impressed dozens of customers and non-customers alike. This was a very simple act by my co-worker but brought a personal touch into the meeting and therefore the relationship overall.
In days gone by, customer service was considered a cost of doing business. In today’s environment, exceptional and consistent customer service is a cornerstone. The premise is that if you truly appreciate your business relationships, they will not only keep doing business with you, but they very well may also refer new customers your way.
While I have had the pleasure of working at Panini for a relatively short time, I’m very proud to be working with a company where the employees recognize the importance of service for our business relations and customers.
- A customer's opinion of you and your company is largely based on emotion.
- Good customer service is the status quo. A "WOW" factor makes it a marketing tool.
- Most buying decisions are made via word-of-mouth referrals.
- Customer service is a powerful marketing tool, not merely a cost of doing business. This mentality can profoundly impact your bottom line.
- When dealing with your customers, provide them with the courtesy of listening before you respond or form an opinion.
- A Personal Touch – Never miss an opportunity to create a memorable moment for customers or business relationships through some form of personal touch. We quickly forget business decisions, good or bad; we seldom forget an experience where a company or an individual provided that something extra…that Personal Touch!
Director of Channel Sales North America, Panini