Did You REALLY Mean to Say That?
Recently, I visited a specialty grocery market that offers a variety of foods and beverages from across the world. I asked the wine steward if he carried a particular labeled champagne (I like, Perrier Jouet). He asked me if I meant to inquire about “a cheaper brand of wine”. His question caught me so off guard, I was not sure whether to be insulted that he insinuated my palate was not distinctive enough be familiar with this brand of champagne, or whether I should have been astonished that he felt comfortable assuming I did not know what I wanted. In either case, I helped him understand that I knew exactly what I asked for and asked him to answer my question. As it turned out, the store did not have the champagne in stock, however, the bottom line is that he lost the sale—I bought the wine from a competitor. I did not enjoy the interaction with the wine steward nor the lack of customer service. Needless to say, my customer experience was unpleasant.
By year 2020, the customer experience will be the main brand differentiator—not price. Organizations that invest in employee training, culture and development, and onboarding (also known as organizational socialization, which is the process used to train new employees on critical knowledge, skills, and behaviors so that they become effective and proficient within their organization) will find themselves far ahead of businesses that do not make the investment in proper training.
How can customers trust businesses when they feel disrespected and ignored as they shop for goods and services? Continuing this type of behavior will assure that the business’s integrity and character will be called into question not to mention a reduction of sales.
Character is developed in the give and take activity of daily life. At the very minimum, treat others as you want to be treated. The payoff tallies up to more than just profits. Brian Tracey, New York Times best-selling author, said it best in his book entitled, No Excuses, “when you choose the higher value over the lower, the difficult over the easy, the right over the wrong, you feel good about yourself and your self-esteem increases. You like and respect yourself more and you have a greater sense of personal pride.” Practicing the behavior that Mr. Tracey describes, in my opinion, is priceless.
Here is something worth thinking about: What if your customer service was so incredibly superior, that your business’s product/service would almost be considered a secondary benefit?
Until next time, make it a great day and provide exceptional customer service to every customer every time.