A Special Report from JoAnna Brandi: Author, Speaker, Workshop Leader
1. Move your focus from serving the customer to caring about the customer and building relationships. Service is reactive. Caring is proactive. It’s all about understanding what the customer needs and delivering it even before they know they need it. Caring is a quality of the heart. Customers don’t care how much we know, until they know how much we care. Think about caring this way: Create Authentic Relationships with Everyone – with Energy and Enthusiasm! Do so Exquisitely and you’ll stand out from the others!
2. Make the center of your universe creating value, not creating profit, and even more profit will follow. When companies are focused only on creating profit they often make stupid mistakes that take value away from the customers. Trust that when your daily focus is creating value you will, as a result, create more loyal customers who will lead to more profit.
3. Enroll every member of the organization in the effort since Customer Care is everybody’s business. Make sure that everyone (and that means everyone) in the organization knows how they create value for internal and external customers. From the security guard to the accounting department, everyone needs to know the important role they play in delivering on the promises the organization makes to the customer. Everyone needs training in building better relationships. Everyone is a relationship manager.
4. Foster ownership and self-responsibility in every position. No excuses. No blame. You get the problem, you solve it. No passing the buck! Customers don’t want to hear that you’re going to check with your manager and get back to them. They don’t want to repeat their story and they certainly don’t want to hear your story about why it couldn’t be done. They want it resolved now. Customers want to know your whole company is solution oriented. Empower everyone to solve problems. Give them the permission, the info and the resources they need.
5. Recognize that it all starts with belief systems. What fundamental beliefs have to be changed in your organization in order to create and support Exquisite Customer Care? Does what you really believe support your focus on the customer? How do you think about customers “Around here?” If there is even one person in the organization who sees the customer as an interruption to his or her work, the culture needs some tweaking. If your belief is any less than “Around here the customer is the reason we are in business,” you are off track. Change those beliefs.
6. Loyalty is the goal. Customer “Satisfaction” is just a passing grade. Studies show that satisfaction is not a predictor of future buying. You must strive for loyalty with both customers and staff. Loyal employees offer more value to the customers; loyal customers bring more value back to the company in the way of repeat business, referrals and positive word of mouth. It goes around in an appreciating and profitable cycle.
7. Put a new value on interpersonal skills. Every customer has personal and business needs and, when we lose customers, it is very often because they simply perceive we don’t care about them. Loyalty is an emotional attachment. Make sure you have great emotional as well as technical skills. Make sure everything you do shouts “We care” and “We appreciate your business.”
8. Develop a “new math” in your business. Change the measurement and reward systems to reflect the value you put on customer retention and loyalty, referrals, and great interpersonal and relationship skills. Attrition is a COST, and in many companies a big one. Make sure somebody is keeping score.
9. Expand your view of the customer. Everyone in your organization is both a supplier and a customer. And internal customers need care too. Anyone you provide a product or service to is a customer. Treat them well.
10. Recognize that without caring there can be no quality. Quality in products, quality in the delivery of a service all stems from caring. Do everything you can to identify what caring means in your organization and nurture its growth.
Want to learn more about how you can create Exquisite Customer Care in your organization?
Visit JoAnna Brandi’s Customer Care Coach® at www.JoAnnaBrandi.com to learn how you can easily and affordably train your staff in the “The Art and Science of Exquisite Customer Care.”
After 20 years in the field of Customer Retention and Loyalty, JoAnna Brandi, the author of Winning at Customer Retention, 101 Ways to Keep ’em Happy, Keep ’em Loyal and Keep ’em Coming Back and Building Customer Loyalty – 21 Essential Elements in ACTION has designed a self-study training and coaching program that puts training your team in your hands. It’s for managers who want to set their organizations apart from the competition with a customer care focus that enables their businesses and careers to thrive.
Every 20 – 30 minute lesson chock full of:
- actionable learning
- a personalized “pep-talk” from your coach, JoAnna
- lots of exercises and extras to put what you learn into use with your team immediately
We recommend doing one lesson a week. It’s a weekly reminder of your commitment to improving customer care. It’s continuous learning for continuous improvement.
Visit JoAnnaBrandi.com for more information and a complete course outline. You’ll be one step closer to Exquisite Customer Care!