We all know what it’s like to be a customer. Really, that is what we all are most of the time. So, why do we sometimes forget what it’s like to be one when we are on the other side of the transaction? We are by nature self oriented because we are after all, ourselves. In any situation, our primary focus is seeing things from our current point of view. Here are a few things to keep in mind, despite ourselves at the moment, when we are the provider of services to our customers. Like us, they want to hear:
1. Realistic delivery dates. We all want what we want when we want it, but having a reasonable and reliable idea of when you will deliver is really what helps customers set the right expectation. This in turn keeps them happy when you actually get it done when, or even before, you say you will.
2. A good price. Ah, that word “good” can be a moving target, right? Really, each person’s definition of value for their dollar varies as widely as the temperatures in Atlanta each week. But in general, we all have a pretty good idea of what we are willing to pay, within a pretty reasonable range, for almost anything. And really, you are not that different from most people. Think about your price as your “customer self”. Then, set it and forget it.
3. Our goal is the same. Exceptional customer service only happens when we, as the service provider, make the need of the customer our own to the greatest extent possible. Just like we can, our customers can tell when we are squarely on board with getting them what they need. See serving them as a “we” thing, not just “I” and “you”.
4. We Have Solutions. Let’s face it. We don’t have super powers. So, it’s likely that on any given project, there will be something your client needs that you yourself cannot provide. Have a ready bank of resources and solutions that you can offer them and follow up to assist them as needed.
5. You Are A Priority. Focusing on one person at a time is becoming a lost art. With cell phones, tablets, and the like buzzing in our pockets and bags constantly, we are just one distraction away from making our client’s feel as if they are not important enough. This mistake can be a relationship killer. Whenever you are meeting with a client, get in the habit of keeping all alerts switched to off. If you must take a call, it’s good to let your client know this at the beginning of the meeting and suggest a way that you will make it up to them should the call come.