No one ever told a story with enthusiasm about an experience that was average.
You might think an experience must be grandiose, time and money consuming, or over-the-top to make a strong and lasting impact, in fact, much like everything else, the magic is in the details. When we hear the term “customer service”, we think about a certain structure, strategy, or behavior that revolves around dealing with clients and customers so that they can feel satisfied and secure enough to invest in our product or service, but there’s a lot more beneath that surface.
Let’s dig into the root of it all.
A buyer can probably find your product anywhere, but what makes them want to buy it from you?
People yearn to feel recognized and important, whether it was your employees or your customers.
More often than not, the customer always comes first, but come to think about it, your business is essentially run by your employees, not your customers. Think of it like this: the customers are the lifeline of your business, whereas your employees are the doctors at work.
If an employee is miserable at their job, it affects the overall outcome of your revenue and organization, because it is undoubtedly felt by your prospects.
This also has a counter effect, when the customer isn’t happy and no longer invests in your business, your revenue will be affected, and there is a chance employees will lose their jobs due to budget restraints. That means: no profit, no customers, no employees, no business.
That being said, exceptional customer service starts from within the workplace environment and culture, stretching out into the employee’s purpose, which then radiates out into the market. When a company culture is weak, there is no foundation on which employees can build their character and purpose on. The transformation must start from within and work its way out.
How employees are treated and the workplace atmosphere will dictate the mood of employees which alters their attitude and performance. Happy employees put their soul into their work, and that is very noticeable to someone who is looking for reassurance to entrust in their decision to invest in your product.
There is common ground between the brand and the consumer, that’s why they selectively go for it. It could be the brand’s values, how it presents itself, the quality of the service or product… This is why it’s important for the employee to retract what that is accordingly, and act on it.
Here is where the employee’s purpose comes to play. Having a strong sense of why they’re doing what they’re doing, they’re able to connect with consumers effortlessly because they innately understand why the customer is there, in other words, what makes their service unique.
For example, if a company is eco-friendly, it’s going to attract eco-friendly people. If the employees themselves don’t care much about it – they’re just selling to sell, rather than selling to genuinely serve the purpose as to why the customer is there in the first place. A customer will relate better when an employee expresses that common ground and understanding, making them believe that this product belongs to them because they value the same things.
This core tactic is contagious, within the workplace and beyond. Competition wants to live up to the best, so they can do better, and customers want to get the best with the least effort.
Hotel chain Ritz Carlton has a storied reputation for great customer service and are often used as a benchmark across different companies in various industries that look up to them.
A little incident that proved they go the extra mile for their customers left a huge impact.
Upon a child forgetting his dear teddy bear, Joshie, at the hotel during a family vacation, the staff then contacted the parents to let them know he’s been found. Luckily, the father had already told his son that Joshie had extended his vacation and so he kindly requested the staff to take a photo of it by the pool.
To their surprise, the loss prevention team did a grand gesture when they delivered Joshie back to them. He arrived in a package along with some Ritz Carlton branded goodies (a frisbee, football..) and a sweet binder that meticulously documented Joshie’s extended stay at the hotel. From getting a massage to making new friends, riding a golf cart, and taking shifts in front of security monitors, the team made sure to portray they took extra care of what is a precious item to a young boy, albeit creatively and seemingly from the heart.
Exemplary customer service distinguishes your brand, builds repeat business, combats price competition, and improves employee morale. Not only will this act of kindness ensure the family would return as customers, but is also a story to be told, and everyone likes a good story – let alone be involved in one themselves.
Enter the big bang of a lasting reputation, based on genuine customer service performance that was generated from a well-cultured company that inspired passion and purpose in their employees.
Learn more about finding purpose in what you do by reading our previous blog post: all roads lead back to yourself.