Do You Consistently Get All The Little Things Right? - Column #154
Companies that make it their business to foster happiness in their customers are the most enlightened and successful of all. Business operations are, first and foremost, about serving people and ensuring their satisfaction. Increasing the happiness, pleasure and fulfillment of the patrons who support you with their hard-earned dollars builds a base of loyal and referring customers.
One of the biggest differences between creating raving fans of your customers and not is getting the little things right on a consistent basis. Just a moment of reflection on your own experiences will reveal your favorite businesses — the ones you frequent often and enthusiastically tell others about — are those that consistently go the extra mile to provide you with a happy and satisfied feeling.
For any business to become a lasting success, satisfying customer wants and needs must remain a priority. Every customer comes through your doors for a reason. Understanding what they truly want and then fulfilling it will promote satisfaction. Customers will come back for more and tell others about their wonderful experiences.
The greeting your customers receive is vitally important because it creates a lasting first impression each time they engage your business. If the greeting they receive is
non-existent or lackadaisical — lacking in enthusiasm, smiles and a caring attitude — your customers will be turned off from the start. Conversely, if they’re acknowledged quickly by a smiling, happy person who’s receptive and caring, they’ll be open to your business and what it has to offer. The greeting is an opportunity to set the stage for success every time a customer chooses to do business with you.
I’ve yet to meet a person who didn’t want to be heard. Yet, all too often customers aren’t heard by the businesses serving them. When this occurs, customers aren’t being served at all. They’re undervalued and neglected. What’s more, they know it. This feeling won’t endear them to your business. When you truly listen to your customers and train your team to do the same, customers feel acknowledged, valued and cared for. The result is greater trust and rapport and in turn customer satisfaction and loyalty.
When you and your team members truly listen to your customers, you’ll be able to more accurately comprehend their wants and needs. Asking key questions will help you fully understand their desires. Paying attention to their answers will position you to offer appropriate high-quality solutions. With this type of solid communication in place, your business increases the probability of meeting and even exceeding your customer’s wants and needs.
Another important demarcation among poor, good and exceptional businesses is the manner in which mistakes are handled. Errors made by your business should never become the responsibility of your customer. This is a sure-fire way to damage your reputation and lose business. It’s far wiser to be integrity based — to own any missteps made by you or your team, no matter how costly — and do all you can, within reason, to correct the situation with your customer. The impression you’ll leave will be a lasting one.
In exceptional companies, owners, managers and team members want their customers to leave feeling not only satisfied, but also better than when they arrived. Ultimately, it’s the feeling you give your customers that matters most. When people leave your business feeling better, you’ve added value to their life. They’re after a quality experience, not just competitive prices.
All of us have our favorite places to do business, and the reasons are obvious. These companies constitute the exception to the rule and have set themselves apart by going above and beyond in satisfying us. They truly care about their products and services and the people who make their success possible.
If all of this seems overwhelming, engaging the assistance of a professional coach or consultant offers an effective means to uncover your weaknesses and efficiently turn them into strengths.
Make it a priority to get the little things right. Commit to running a business that consistently delivers on the basics. Do it with integrity and gratitude because without satisfied customers, the happiness and success you desire will prove illusive.