20 or so years ago when I wrote and delivered my first customer service training course, a large part of the programme was dedicated to 3 areas 1. understanding the customer and their needs 2. not simply meeting but exceeding expectations and 3. understanding why customers leave.
This week I had a mix of all 3, the one that particularly stuck in my mind was number 3 – why customers leave. I am sure you have all heard the theory about perceived attitude of indifference, well trust me it is alive and kicking in Guildford.
Last Friday my computer started playing up, not firing up, crashing and all the things a small business can well do without, so on Saturday off to the repair shop I went. I chatted through my problems with a very helpful young man, we will call him Mr Saturday, and agreed that on Sunday I would take the machine in to have a full diagnostic undertaken.
All well and good, Sunday afternoon I again descended upon the shop and was greeted by 3 very bored looking men, we will call them ‘The Sunday club’, who simply stared at me and looked very blank. I started to explain the symptoms (again) to all 3 as no one person took control of the situation. As I was explaining in my non tech way the issues, one assistant turned around and started polishing something, one started to bar code scan his wrist and the other looked very blankly at me. I assumed that the latter was ‘serving’ me.
Eventually to my relief Mr Saturday came into the shop and took over. He assured me that he would call on Monday to discuss the diagnostic results and talk through possible solutions.
On Monday afternoon I called the shop and asked to speak to Mr Saturday, which Mr Saturday? came the reply we have more than one, was it the short one with long hair? By now despair was kicking in, ‘mmmmm he had a beard’ I said, huge laughter from the other end of the phone. I am delighted that I can so easily cheer people up on a Monday afternoon. Very quickly the line went dead and a voice said ‘hello, can I help you’? ‘Is that Mr Saturday’? I asked, ‘yes’ came the rather puzzled reply, ‘I am sorry my colleague just thrust the phone at me laughing’ he said, I wasn’t sure who was calling!
I shall stop the story here only to say that in the next few months I need to purchase a new and very expensive laptop, I could buy it at this shop as not only do they repair but they sell computers also but I have decided to spend my money elsewhere. In the words taken directly from the film ‘Pretty Woman’ – “big mistake, huge”.
Finally you need to know that this morning the computer would not fire up again. Maybe that is actually 2 expensive computers I need, one thing is certain I definitely know where I am not going to go to spend my money.
So what are the lessons here, for me it is simple:
1. Positive attitude is infectious, make it work for both you and your customer.
2. A perceived attitude of indifference is a reality for those who experience it.
3. Negative perception costs businesses money.
4. Really get to know your customer, explore their needs, concerns and problems.
5. Work with them to find practical solutions.
6. Make all customers feel special, go out of your way to be helpful.
7. Show you care in everything you do.
8. Never assume the customer is happy.
9. Live and breathe excellent customer service.
10. Do not simply put your effort into building new customers, keep existing ones happy.
For more information about how Acet People can help you develop and build customer relationships please check out our Personal Effectiveness and Customer Service training programmes. www.acetpeople.co.uk/recruitment-training-courses/