What does it mean when we say we want to be the kind of company that delivers excellence? How do we get there from where we are now? Every business, whether you’re an IT Service business or you sell the latest fashion in shoes, wants to connect with their clients and give them the best possible experience. But just wanting to do it isn’t enough; you have to know the steps you need to take to get there.
Being the Best
Part of the idea of delivering excellence is being the best at what you do. But you don’t have to be the best at what you do in the world; you just need to be the best of what you do for your clients. The first step is to define who those clients are and what they need from you.
Know Your Tribe
Let’s start by asking who your clients are. These days the web will connect us up to a wide array of people who share our interests. We join online groups, chat on forums, and we talk about finding others in “our tribe”.
Your customers, by this extension, should be the kind who is also in your tribe. Your best customers, and therefore the ones you connect with the best, share your values about business. They understand and value what you deliver, and you understand and respect their needs.
Give Them What They Need
Do you know what your customers need? The best way to find out is to ask them. If you want customers that love what you do for them and want you back, first you have to find out what it takes to please them.
You also have to actually want to do it.
This doesn’t mean that you have to give away the store. Making sure you have a profit is also about making sure you’re there for your customers when they need you. But it costs little to go that extra mile.
Here is an example: After you’ve done a service call, always follow up with a quick e-mail. If you have a smart phone, write it up in the van before you head out after the service call. Summarize what you did, maybe make a suggestion of something that can help in the future, and ask them if there’s anything else they need. You won’t know unless you ask.
Leave Them With A Wow
Nothing impresses better than going beyond what’s needed. While simply getting the job done is all very fine; your customers will remember you if you go beyond what they just basically ask. And how do you do that? It starts by connecting with those customers on a one to one basis. Ask questions and really listen to their answers.
Have you’ve ever been to a party and you met someone new? Chances are if you walked away thinking you really liked that person it was because they asked questions about you and they listened to your answers.
You may think you know the answer to whatever problem you been asked to solve. Still, you need to listen first to what they have to say. Really listen. Learn to be a good listener.
Paying attention to not only what the problem is but how they feel about it. How they are dealing with it gives you clues on how to help them beyond just this problem. If you can leave with not only the problem solved but some suggestions that can help beyond the initial problem, you’ve just made a friend. And you’ve left them with a wow.
Share What You’ve Learned
Remember in grade school when the teacher told you that if you had something really neat you had to share it with the rest of the class? That’s still applies. We are all part of a team. Don’t be afraid to use cloud software or your company’s service software to make notes about clients. This way everyone can see them. Those little things you learned while really listening to your client’s are important. Little things like preferences, big things like billing styles, these all need to be noted.
And don’t forget to check for these notes before you go in to take care of that client. Learn from what others have found out. It will make you not only a better technician but one that your client’s trust.