As I’ve often said, what distinguishes one company from another in today’s competitive marketplace is its relationship with the customer—in other words, customer service.
This survey also found that product superiority dropped down to the #3 reason companies win deals, with just 35% of companies citing it versus 56% who say relationships drive their wins.
And once again who has the awesome responsibility of creating that relationship with the customer? Every employee at your organization, including yourself. In that moment of truth which is:
It’s worth repeating that a customer doesn’t care what you know until they know you care. First fix the customer, then fix the problem.
So how do you create relationship with customers? I believe it’s a training issue (but then I do have a bias on the people side).
First, by treating customers (internal and external) with dignity and respect.
Second, by listening to what they say, acknowledging what you heard, and responding accordingly.
And Third, by delighting them, and by that I mean:
I say it’s a training issue because we all know how to talk, but very few of us know how to communicate. Communication means that a message was sent, it was delivered, and most importantly, it was understood.
We are also poor listeners, even though it’s not necessarily our fault. Because we live in a fast paced society, we listen for the pause to jump in and take a customer where we think they want to go—and we may be wrong! This brings them back to their initial presentation and takes time for you to listen again and take them where they do want to go.
There are also representational systems whereby we imbibe information. Knowing what your customer’s preferred mode of receiving information allows you to respond in the same way thus establishing rapport (connection) and the beginning of trust. You hear the expressions, we’re on the same page’ or ‘we’re in synch’ which means you are on the same wave length so to speak.
This is where empathetic responsiveness is most impacting. My working definition is the imaginative transposing of oneself into the thinking, feeling and acting of another and so structuring the world as he does.
Wouldn’t you love to hear someone respond to you something like this, “Thanks so much for calling, how may I help you? So if I understand you’re upset because _____, is that correct? My name is Rosanne and I’d feel the same way if that happened to me. Let’s see what we can do to remedy this situation for you.”
Known as 'the practical champion of the human, she authors the best-sellers, Wake Up Your Call Center: Humanize Your Interaction Hub, 4th edition, Customer Service and The Human Experience and Lay Your Cards on the Table: 52 Ways to Stack You Personal Deck, and hot off the press How to Kick Your Customer Service Up A Notch: 101 Insider Tips as well as her popular ‘tips’ newsletter on How To Kick Your Customer Service Up A Notch! available at http://www.HumanTechTips.com. Reach her at Rosanne@human-technologies.com.