I’ve been thinking alot about customer service lately and I’m convinced most companies haven’t a clue about what it is and how to deliver it. Of course these are my own thoughts and my own personal experiences but my hunch is that I’m not the only one with these experiences.
First of all, great salespeople have passion. Not only for what they sell but for life. It shows in how they build connections and network with people.
They have enthusiasm for all things good; and they spend time making “all things good.” Even things that aren’t good or things that go wrong or bump in the night. Consider the salesperson that finds out a big job is cancelled because the customer suddenly is taken ill and goes to the hospital. Rather than sitting around stewing and complaining about the commission loss, he/she runs to the hospital with the flowers.
When they speak, they smile and they have a twinkle in their eyes and it’s real. You just know they’re passionate. They’re passionate about what you’re doing or buying.
They are aware of the world around them and how they fit. In other words, it’s not “all about them.” It is truly about the other person in their presence.
They think of customers first as friends.
They develop interests outside of their industry so they can connect with their customers.
They care about their community and make an effort to support what’s important; through these associations they build life long friendships.
They network face-go-face and on line. They know that social media will help them stay close to their customers so they take the time to learn new skills.
They know it’s important to build “repeat and referral customers” so they find ways to stay in touch.
They treat their job as if it were their own business. They know it’s their job to market and follow through with their customers. They know that “consistency is better than good salesmanship.” Actually I think good salesmanship is consistency. (According to a study done by McKinsey, 70% buy because of how they’re being treated.)
They really care about other people, they are kind and it transcends the sales floor.
Over the past three months I have had many experiences as a customer, most “not so good” but some very, very good. I know the good experiences will stay with me forever.
They look for things to do and ways to satisfy their customers that are above and beyond what’s expected. I recently purchased a small camp and needed almost everything from heating to painting to cable services. My experiences were amazing–some great and some not so great.
The representative from Surbane Propane Gas who sees me pull into the driveway and says, let me help you unload your car-I can do it for you. (This was before the sales pitch, why, because he cares or knows it’s a good idea.) The other gas company didn’t even thank me for calling. I told Suburban Propane I called them because when I was little the Surbane Propane delivery man pushed my mom’s car out of the snow. I was 9 at the time; who says kids won’t be customers?
My electrician who says, “Lis the house key is under the stone, the note is on the door to explain how to drain the water in the pipes, I put some cold drinks in the fridge for you and watered the new flowers you planted.” Why, because he knows it matters to me, did he charge me, no. Even if he charged me it would be okay. Wow, is he single?
How about the advertisement for Angie’s List about the plumber walking the dog. The home owner is late to meet the plumber and the plumber walks the dog; it’s cute and gets the point across. The plumber sounds like a thoughtful guy.
Customers will pay more money for great customer service not just ordinary stuff. My friend was sitting in the diner and told the waitress she was having a terrible day. The waitress said, don’t worry about a thing, I’m going to feed you and take care of you and I guarantee it will help.” My friend left a $5.00 top on her $8.00 sandwich. “I felt loved she said.”
The cable man who said, “let me clean out that gutter for you, I’m taller than you and it’s not a problem. Along with, do you have your lap top with you, let me hook up your wireless router while I’m here.”
“I’ll build your dock at my house and deliver it. I know you’re near the lumber yard but think of all the clean up, lumber all over and your beautiful garden. I would hate to step on anything.” This is alot different than “docks sure are expensive these days.” What does that mean?
The flooring installer who says, “I know you can measure Lis but suppose you’re wrong, that would be awful for both of us.” This is alot different than brand X who said, “we don’t care what you do, we don’t let customer’s measure.”
Great salespeople look for ways to give away their hearts to their customers. They know that being remembered by their customers after the sale will get them many more sales and many new friends.
Lisbeth Calandrino is an award winning author, trainer and blogger. She is author of the book, Red Hot Customer Service, 35 ways to heat up your business and ignite your sales. Lisbeth can provide customer service/ sales training using the principles of her book at your place of business or through video conferences.