Through Micah Solomon, you’ll see how loyal customers make all the difference. Exceptional Service, Exceptional Profit is about how you can get your systems and your employees to anticipate the needs of your customers, and respond to them even before they realize there is a need.
The Four Elements of a Satisfied Customer
First, you need a perfect product. At its core, a perfect product is simply a product that functions properly within foreseeable boundaries.
Second, you need to have a service delivered by caring people. If your people don’t care about your customers, you will lose.
Third, the service needs to be delivered in a timely fashion. The trick is to understand what your customers view in a timely fashion. The only opinion that matters is that of the customer
Finally, you need an effective problem resolution process. At some point you will probably mess things up, understanding exactly what to do when you drop the ball is critical to your success.
Building Anticipation Into the System
Now, let's figure out how to create raving fans that spend money with us for life. When we are talking about anticipatory service, individualized service is the name of the game. It’s important to ensure that all of your employees can do this. And to do that, you need to build a system. Here are the 7 principles that should guide you in building the system.
- Keep the systems simple. Don’t track too much stuff, and make sure that the things you do track are at the fingertips of your frontline staff.
- If it’s important to your customer, it belongs in the system. Product or service preferences, personal ties to your organization, and anything at all the customer tell you is important to them all belong in the system.
- The information needs to be available in real-time. If you aren’t able to respond in real-time, your entire organization won’t be connected to the critical data it needs to anticipate customers’ needs.
- Preferences change. Just because a customer wants something once, doesn't mean they will necessarily want it a second time. So, you shouldn’t make assumptions about things where the preference could change.
- Moods change, track them. Understanding how satisfied your customers are over time is critical to ensuring a loyal customer.
- Don’t blow it with wooden delivery. Sometimes you can say all the right things and it’s ruined by a terrible delivery. It doesn’t matter what you say if the customer doesn’t believe you.
- Be careful when using technology to ask for permission. Remember, don’t ask for a personal and private information online.
Hello and Goodbye - the two crucial moments.
In addition to these 7 principles, there are two crucial moments we need to consider—hello and goodbye. If we are in the business of creating great memories for our customers and clients, then we’d do well to focus on creating a great hello and goodbye.
When creating a great hello, a few things stand out as the most critical. First, you need to acknowledge the customer. How you get acknowledged is important as well. What you say and how you say it matters. How you acknowledge a person sets the tone for the entire experience.
Now for the goodbye. You’ve taken great pains to create an incredible customer experience throughout the process. Here’s what to do so that you don’t blow it at the end. First, personalize the goodbye with information about that particular customer. Second, make it resonate with something extra like a parting gift. Finally, make the goodbye long-lasting. Unless it would be considered inappropriate, send a follow-up note thanking them for your business.