Viewpoint: Love Thy Customer
Bojan Milinkov / fizkes / kornn / Shutterstock.com
First in a series
The opening keynote speaker at The PPAI Expo 2022, Simon T. Bailey will share his experienced approach to customer relations with PPB all year.
Customer Service is a department. Customer Love is a mindset. Businesses that will thrive in what some experts call the ‘Next Normal’ must focus their attention on winning the hearts and minds of their customer.
Recently, I was invited to share insights on the customer experience with Renewal by Andersen (RbA) whose brand promise is to deliver absolute peace of mind, because every home matters. They are the world’s leading full-service window replacement company. Prior to meeting them, I asked for them to share any stories highlighting the great work they do. After I read this story, I knew that I had to share it with promotional products professionals, too. RbA’s Houston affiliate received the following testimonial letter from a recent client.
“What could have been a messy and stressful project turned out to be just the opposite! In my first meeting with Brent, he took time to explain the different types of windows and make recommendations on what windows would work best—customer, not cookie-cutter. I had recently lost my husband at that time, and Brent was so kind and empathetic, and even sent a very meaningful gift after our visit.
Kim in the office is super upbeat, helpful and always makes me smile when we have a conversation. When Ray, another team member from RbA Houston, came to take measurements, he was cheerful and efficient. I can’t say enough good things about Randall and the RbA installation crew. They worked so hard, worked very long days, yet were cheerful, appeared to enjoy what they do and enjoyed working together. The installation itself was first class all the way and the windows look stunning.
They cleaned up every speck of glass and dust and even re-installed my blinds and shades on the windows. I never felt like I was in their way. We engaged in conversation, had a few laughs together and shared some pizza, and I was almost sad to see them leave. This crew is exceptional in their work ethic, commitment, talent, teamwork and ethics.
My entire experience with Renewal by Andersen has been top-notch from start to finish. Not only do they sell and install the best products, they obviously make it a priority to only hire the best people as well.”
Now that’s a happy customer. This story encapsulates what I call the Five Platinum Service Principles for Creating Customers for Life—it’s part of the message of Customer Love I try to share with every audience I speak to and write for.
Brent took the time to authentically listen to the customer instead of having selective hearing. Are you paying attention to what your customer is not saying? Read between the lines. Listen beyond the words.
Be cheerful whenever you answer your phone. A warm greeting and smile come through the phone and is equivalent to hugging people with your voice. Ensure that everyone who works in your culture is committed to this way of thinking. This can work in a small business of one person, 10 people, 25 or far more.
Be concise and get to the point. Be clean. Your appearance is everything and speaks volumes to how you think about your brand. Do you need to invest in a new wardrobe? No. However, be mindful that people size you up within the first three to seven seconds. In those seconds, they are deciding if they want to know you, like you, and trust you. Be conscientious in your work by doing it thoroughly.
Have fun. In a world where everyone is sitting on pins and needles and dealing with the pandemic fatigue, you can be a ray of sunshine.
In a world of reviews, referrals, and recommendations, the experience you create for your customers invites them to be your unofficial marketing department. Maya Angelou said, “people may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel.”
If you are looking for an easy way to implement customer love, then check out my latest book, Be the Spark: Five Platinum Service Principles to Create Customers for Life.
Bailey has more than 30 years of experience in hospitality. The former sales director for Disney Institute, he is a prolific author and hall of fame keynote speaker. Learn more at SimonTBailey.com.