I often asked myself, is there anything genetic in great customer service. In 2008 I was working in a home appliance store in a small town of 50,000 people. I must mention, during the early stages of my career I was an extremely emotional person, those emotions got me into a lot of trouble but on the other hand, they built amazing relationships with amazing people. Read that again “amazing relationships with amazing people” because genuine emotions will always make an impact on people as emotions are linked to empathy and especially on your customers.
In this blog, I want to go back to basics and offer a few tips on what I think great customer service is, and steps to build a customer centric culture. I often mention “the customer is King” and I live by this principle, because if there is no customer simply there is no business, I heard some of my colleagues saying when at work “I don’t care, I am not paid by the customer, I am paid by the company” and when I hear this I also remember Richard Branson who said, take care of your staff and they will look after customers, to some extent he is right but the “customer should always be first”.
However, it is easier said than done, I have worked with some amazing humans who were always focused on giving 100 percent to their customers, but because the company culture was not focused on growing people’s culture and focused on short term profits, the result of the business, and its stakeholders, will suffer and choose another brand perhaps and the organization will start losing their clients, therefore, suffer on the long term.
The very first step to always have a great connection with your customers and clients is to start fixing your company culture, redefine your values and create a people strategy where you focus on your employee’ happiness, a culture of employee empowerment, a culture of self-decision makers, where more freedom leads to collaboration, the more collaborative and interactive your team is the more focus will they have on the result a.k.a. your customers. Creating a strong company culture and live by those values will also build a legacy and brand history, something that people will always remember about the brand.
The second step and one of the most important to get more customers is the recruitment strategy, what I mean by that is to focus on the hiring process and the people you hire. I was amazed at what a personality test can do to a team and most important to managers knowing how to motivate their teams and how and manage the daily workload in a much more effective way. There is one thing I would make a priority when hiring people is to hire highly empathetic humans, a person who is able to place itself in someone else’s shoes will have a higher percentage of chances to sell the product or the service or even better, to make a connection with the customer.
The third step is to always “go the long way” with customers and show that you care and nothing is ever too much for you, I remember when I was working at the shop, one time I was walking back home after work, living in a small town has some advantages, I ran into one person who was visiting the store a few times, while he was waiting for the bus as I knew most of my customers and clients I couldn’t pass near him without being polite and saying hello, at when he remembered me and also remembered to ask a question about one of our products. Since I was not during working hours or even at the store, I could’ve said no but I stopped and I explained the products he was interested in, the new models, I specifically remember this story and it’s the perfect example because the next day that person who before came only to visit the store came and bought the product for which I took five minutes of my time to explain and to make a connection.
The tips above and the short story are to emphasize the important role of empathy in the organization from the hiring process to focus on building a customer-centric culture to better practices and employee engagement to deliver better results and get more customers.
I hope you found something valuable here and I always take feedbacks of any kind on board, if you liked this please share it with your tribes and let me know if I can ever be helpful just drop me a message and I will be more than happy to help.