Now is the Time to Deliver Remarkable Service
(If you don’t do it, your competition will!)
Considering the current realities of COVID-19 and the overall impact on the economy, it is critical that every business elevates their service levels and wows all customers that come in contact with their business.
So why is it that many businesses just aren’t delivering remarkable service? Worse yet, they are failing at delivering even average service. Is it simply that they don’t pay enough attention to improving their service or building stronger relationships with their customers? Are they just too busy in the day-to-day operations of business that they aren’t spending enough time working ‘on’ the business to improve customer service? Perhaps they don’t invest enough time and resources in training their people. Or they may not know how to properly train someone in customer service.
Businesses must understand what it takes to retain customers. The ones that do this well have great leaders who see the importance of making their people better. If you want to retain more customers and acquire new customers through your sales process, delivering remarkable customer service is a significant catalyst to help you get there.
I have definitely observed, and even received, some really bad and downright pathetic customer service since the spring of 2020. You would think with the scarcity of customer traffic for many businesses since the onset of COVID-19, that everyone would be rocking their customer service delivery to gain and retain every single customer possible. Sadly, this has not always been my observation or experience. I have encountered several examples as a customer where I contacted a business for products or service, agreed to a price and committed to move forward, yet no one returned my emails, phone calls, or even texts! Mind boggling, I know, considering I was willing to pay them, yet they were somehow too busy to get back to me. Busy doing what? Looking for new customers? I was right there agreeing to be a customer but they didn’t see me waiting and hoping for any sign of remarkable service. Heck, I would have been willing for entry-level customer service at that point, but NO service? Extremely disappointing and quite surprising!
You cannot retain what you do not first gain
These businesses lost me as a customer before they even gained me as one. They failed to see the value of my business, both immediate and long-term, which brings me to my next point.
Do you know the potential Lifetime Value of your Customers? (i.e. revenue/transactions; transactions/year; revenue/year; # of years that customer will be ‘your’ customer; customer lifetime value; likelihood of “great” and Remarkable Service keeping your customer).
Here’s an example: I am a customer at a drycleaner. Let’s look at the lifetime value of my business to that store as a customer. Let’s say I spend $30 in a given week on dry cleaning. If I do that 50 weeks a year at $30/week x 50 weeks = $1,500 per year that I pay for my services. You get a pretty quick number of what I’m worth to that business as a customer in one year. Now what if I’m a customer for five years? What if I’m a customer for another 10 years, 10 x $1,500 = $15,000. The lifetime value of one average customer like me, Mike Mack, is valuable!
Every employee in every business must understand the lifetime value of all of their customers. Not just the big customers, but the average/typical customers.
Are you prepared to make your customer’s problem YOUR problem?
One of my favorite stories that I shared in my book, REMARKABLE SERVICE – ‘How to Keep Your Doors Open’ occurred more than 25 years ago, and I still tell it because it was that Remarkable.
In a previous career, I spent three years working in Prince George, British Columbia. One of my favourite restaurants there was called DaMarinos, a delightful little Italian restaurant with amazing food and remarkable service. Their spaghetti carbonara was amazing!! One afternoon I took a few hungry colleagues with me who were in town from Vancouver and we arrived just at the beginning of the lunch-hour rush.
As I entered the restaurant, my favorite waiter Vince promptly greeted me at the door. “Good day, Mr. Mack, how are you today?” I told him I was great. He responded, “Do you have reservations?” I sheepishly nodded, “No, sorry, we didn’t know our lunch schedule and plans today.” He replied, “No worries, Mr. Mack, that becomes my problem.”
Even to this day, that line is still etched in my mind and it was, and continues to be, one of the most remarkable statements that I have ever heard from a customer service perspective! I was totally delighted, and that remarkable service was so memorable that I continue to tell this story all the time.
If you aren’t willing to make your customer’s problem your problem, then who will? Your competition?
When was the last time that you made your customer’s problem your problem?
Do the Little Things Make a Difference?
The little things may be habits, behaviors, or small ideas with attention to detail that are routine in your business and your employees just do them at the right time and they seem to get joy in doing so. Maybe you are offered a coffee or water; any employee you see acknowledges you and says good morning, even if they aren’t the person meeting with you; a small thank you email comes to you after a meeting with a business; your car is washed and shined up at the dealership without you asking; and the list goes on and on. No BIG deal right? But the little things do make you feel great!
As I have observed over the years, businesses that provide remarkable service tend to have happier and more satisfied customers who tell others about their service. Ultimately, that creates stronger loyalty and it can enhance the ability to ask for more referrals or recommendations. As a general rule, their businesses also run more smoothly. Their teams are more engaged and helpful, they retain great people, and they are able to weed out the poor performers. They likely have better sales/revenue than a business without remarkable service and the customers tend to be less price sensitive when they get remarkable service. The team working at a business with remarkable service likely has some extra passion to make it all about the customer and they love what they do. Customers tend to remark about the little things and there is usually a consistent theme, and consistency can win the day when it comes to creating remarkable service.
As you can see from a customer’s perspective, it really is the little things that can make such a big difference.
Take the time now, with your entire team, to think about your business and how the little things can make a difference for your valued customers. How can you elevate your service to a level where customers may find it remarkable?
Five little things you do well:
Five little things you need to improve upon:
Want to learn more about Remarkable Service?
To celebrate the three-year anniversary of the publishing of my Amazon bestselling book, REMARKABLE SERVICE – ‘How to Keep Your Doors Open’, I am offering a FREE copy of my eBook. Now more than ever, businesses need all the support they can to “keep their doors open”. CLICK HERE to access your FREE copy and when you download the book, please feel free share it with all of your employees.