Poor customer service can cost you a lot. Outstanding customer service should the bedrock of your brand. It can make or break your business. If everyone in your company takes ownership of your brand, what it stands for, and how you treat people, you’ll deliver a remarkable experience to your clients. In turn, your company will grow exponentially. Every touch matters.
Rule 1: Exceed Expectations
To attract loyal clients, don͛t just seek to meet expectations, go beyond them. Find out what your clients actually want and need, and what form of communications they prefer. Wow them like Disney.
“One Heck of a Handsome Lawn…”
When I was a kid mowing lawns for a job, my dad told me, “Give it all you’ve got..I took this to mean finish as fast as I could, collect the money, and go on to the next. Well, you can imagine my surprise when I went to mow that same lawn a few weeks later and it was already done. In fact, it looked about ten times better than usual. Figuring the homeowner did it herself; I knocked on the door and asked about it. And here’s what she said, “Oh, I found someone else to do it. For the same price, they weed and edge”.Crushed, I went home thinking of all the money I was going to lose over the mowing season.
But here’s the thing. I wasn’t thinking of the homeowner, or of service to others. I was only thinking of me, and what I was going to buy for school and how full my piggy bank would be.
So, at my fathers urging, I shifted my thinking and tried something new. On my next customers lawn, not only did I mow more carefully, but I trimmed the hedge, edged, weeded, and watered the garden. And I did the same for all the rest of my customers lawns. It took longer, and I missed watching Star Trek, but I felt really good at the end of the day.
Each time I mowed, I invited the homeowner out to see the lawn to make sure they were satisfied before they paid. When Mr. Hansen said, That’s one heck of a handsome lawn – the best job I’ve ever seen and ask if it cost more, I told him he could pay the same, or whatever he thought it was worth. I did the same for all the rest.
I ended up getting almost every house on the block as a customer, and my brothers lawn mowing customers started asking him if I could do their lawns. I was able to buy fun school clothes, the coveted striped socks (featured in Seventeen Magazine) for friends, a present for my moms birthday, and filled the piggy bank too.
So the lesson learned to attract loyal clients was don’t stop at basic customer satisfaction. Instead, deliver beyond what they expect, you’ll feel good, and they’ll gladly pay more.
Rule 2: Delight Clients at Every Touch
Sometimes though, rapid growth and business success causes problems. When youre in more demand, you have to devise ways to continue giving amazing service. Systems help save time and create efficiencies. While that might impress your manager, and help you deliver, it’s usually not what the customer notices.
Rule 3: Value Integrity
In financial terms, you can run a very successful company, but its not worth the money if you don’t operate with integrity. Integrity really can be the secret to a more successful business. While that sometimes may run counter to popular thinking in the business world, if it’s missing in your company, clients and employees won’t trust you so you won’t have their loyalty.
Rule 4: A Service Culture Rules. Create It.
Experience has shown me that employees who fit well with their company’s culture do a better job. They want to share your brands mission and dedicate themselves to caring for clients well being. So hire for cultural fit before skills.
Rule 5: Deliver a ‘WOW’ Experience.
When you surprise your clients with thoughtfulness, you open the doors for business to return to you many times over.
Once my team was still early for a private event, yet later than we told our client, Stacey we would arrive. We always got on site at least 2 hours early. On this occasion, we had experienced a flat tire and arrived only 45 minutes early. This caused Stacey a lot of stress. Although our team rallied and everything was completely ready before her attendees arrived, a member of my team sensed her stress and immediately removed a $1650 charge for the beginning of the event, apologizing if we caused her to be anxious. Stacey was blown away, and relieved. A new team member expressed that she thought we were crazy to do that.
But guess who Stacey called when she wanted to hire for a large corporate event? That $1650 returned to us over $35,300 in additional business.
Rule 6: Say Thank You
“Thank you” is one of the most powerful expressions. You can pave the way for a lasting relationship that keeps giving by taking time to send a thoughtful note or gift to personally thank your employees or clients.
Empower your team to discover exciting ways to delight clients. As your service improves, you’ll build loyalty to your brand and grow your business. For example, Linda, our receptionist decided to send soft pink wildflowers near Valentines Day to clients who were recently widowed. She included a thoughtful note saying the team was thinking of them. It stirred emotion, gratitude, sparked many phone conversations, referrals, and deepened relationships.