Creating the “Black Tie” Customer Experience
“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou
What a profound quote for business today and creating the Customer Experience. This is what our Black Tie Experience training is all about.
No longer it is “just good enough” to serve the customer. In fact, the customer experience needs to happen not only with the customer, but with the prospect, vendor, co-worker and business acquaintance. Why?
Everything that we do, whether as individuals or companies, can now be observed for everyone to see via social media. Here is the challenge however. Some of the people in our companies don’t necessarily believe this. If they did believe it, there would not be one negative review on Yelp, Yahoo or any of the social media sites today. Why? They would be treating every customer and prospect wonderfully.
So what can we do so that people never forget the positive way you made them feel?
It first starts with training. And not just the typical “customer service” training. It is a training on your company culture and mindset. In this training, you need to let everyone know –
What your brand is all about
How everyone needs to continually protect and enhance this brand
What is expected of all employees when it comes to carrying on this brand in the marketplace
What is the purpose (and not the function) of everyone in your company related to delivering a powerful and positive customer experience.
Employees need to understand what the company is all about, and they need to become empowered and engaged in the mission of the company. If they feel passion and appreciation in their jobs, it will show in how they serve and act towards the prospect, customer or coworker.
Too often we see companies in a rush to hire and train people. Do you know that for every $100 in compensation (sales), the average company spends less than $.50 of this money on training? Compare this to “world-class” customer service companies who spend about $5 of that $100 on training their employees. These companies consider it an “investment” in their people and their clients. And it shows.
How do you make your customers feel? Are you building a loyal and raving client or it is a “1 and done” relationship? There are many different factors that go into building loyal clients and here are just a few of them. (Our workshops and seminars on The Customer Experience go into detail on how to create this experience for your clients and not make them a “1 and done.”)
1. Make it personal– Get to know more about your client than just his or her name. What do they like to eat, drink, do, etc.? Know the birthdate and/or the anniversary of when they became a client with you and celebrate these events.
2. Be Proactive, not Reactive– I call this – “the vision.” Can you anticipate your clients’ needs before they can? Or are you always reacting to their needs?
3. Ask this question– How else can I help you today? And it may not have anything to do with your business, but it has everything to do with theirs. Who can you connect them with to solve a problem that they may be experiencing?
4. Handle last-minute requests with…Professionalism. That can be challenging at times, especially when clients change their minds, and orders… a lot. But all of us can pick up poor body language cues and non-verbal communication, even on the phone. Make sure your people handle these requests with a smile on their face, no matter what they may be really thinking about your customer.
5. Thank them over and over– This doesn’t always mean with gifts (although those are always nice). It could also be in the forms of a special price on a product or service they order from you. It could be special recognition on your website or social media sites. It could be having their favorite beverage and snack waiting for them the next time they come to your office (or when you visit them).
These are just a few ways to not only build loyal client relationships (and friendships), but to make people feel better about you and your company brand than they do about your competitor.
You want your clients (and your employees) to feel “extraordinary” when they experience your brand! Make every experience, the Black Tie Experience!