Saturday, May 06, 2006

Customer Experience - Atitude is everything

First and Foremost, may I wish a

BIG Happy Mothers Day

to all the moms who may read this blog and to those moms who are busy doing other things.

I had the opportunity of walking into our neighborhood police center the other day, and no I wasn't in trouble. I was seeking information. I was greeted by two very sharp looking officers at the desk. They greeted me with pleasant warm smiles, and were ready to answer my question, or to address my needs, what ever the task was. When asked questions they answered politely, and they were well versed in their knowledge.

Wow! if only the businesses that we own or do business with every day could get a load of this. They were also quick to smile, and even laugh in response to the customer; putting even the most tense people at ease. Yes, there were some very tense individuals that came through the door, while I took care of my concerns.

They were professional and human all at the same time. I know no less than 1200 businesses that I would recommend them to immediately take over employee training.

My curiosity got the best of me so I asked some relevant questions as to training and such. To my surprise these were street cops, the ones that drive cars, walk the streets and knock on doors. They are, as part of there shift work, put on desk rotation for two hours out of their shift. Yes, they were trained in community relations and in dealing with tense people, and no they were not trained in customer relations or in help desk procedures, but they did a superb job anyway. Why these were men and women who cared about there job outcome not about themselves, who had made a commitment to excellence and had a passion for what they were doing. Is every cop this way? No, but I would bet there are a higher percentage of individuals in the ranks of this police force than there are in the employees you hired.

The point is customer experience management is managing all aspects of customer interaction with a given business or company, and hiring the right people that can embody this, and show genuine sincerity to your customers is (should be) the prime number one step to great customer service. If who you hired employee that can do what these guys did in handling people coming through the door then you hired the right people/person.

Customer service that aids in the developing of high customer retention rates,developing strong customer loyalty and long term strategic cash flow growth isn’t an illusion, if you develop your business with the basic foundation of skilled employees that have the right attitude and are well trained in the scope of your business, including customer care. In other words use smart customer experience development. I don't think I need to relate how this would affect someone’s business. Even if you only have one employee in a whole in the wall key shop you need to focus on more than just tasking skills. Hey sure they can make great keys, but they aillienate the customer.

If you have a machine shop and two lathe operators they should not only be the best you can get at running a lathe, but they should be well versed in customer relations development and be able to answer all questions that effect your scheme of work as a company including customer help desk skills. If not, then train them.

Your businesses success depends on it. Then of course if you just want to struggle for your contracts don't. This would apply to large, regional or small firms. If your struggling making your target numbers or would just like to do more than breakeven follow the above advice.

Please feel free to comment. We are always willing to learn from you.

If you would like to learn more about customer service or customer experience management please check out "The Customer Development Center"


Glenn said...

Right on target, Tim! Companies should reexamine the competencies they look for when hiring people, especially if they are in a business or profession which has undergone a great deal of change in the last ten years. (And who hasn't?)

Anonymous said...

Exactly, Beyond any good business is good customer service. Being a part of this industry for 5+ years surely taught me a lot.. and I have dealt with hundereds and hundreds of customers on monthly basis.. Ours and ours customers..

Providing a top notch service is the key to a successfull business!

Mike Thompson
Business Development Manager
Live Admins LLC, Chicago

Carrie said...

So many companies need to get back to the basics. Making loyal attachments with customers is extremely important for success. I own a small business and recently took a customer service survey. It helped me to see where I needed to improve.