by Skip Cohen
There’s nobody on the planet who at one time or another hasn’t had a fight with one of the major corporations in our lives. The most common are the phone and cable companies, but here’s a different way to look at the challenges. Each bad experience is a lesson in helping you understand how to work with your own customers.
I’ve often wondered if customer service is simply dead in America. Then, I have something amazing happen that restores my faith in humanity. Okay “humanity” is maybe going a little too far, but how about “retail”?
I had a problem with a Delta shower head a while back and even wrote a post about it. I called to complain about paint peeling off a supposedly anodized antique finish removable shower head and hose. I didn't have my receipt, but knew it was installed less than a year ago. Plus, it was one of those defects that just shouldn't happen.
I called and within minutes the customer service rep had all my information. She never questioned the defect or the date of my purchase. Less than a week later the replacement piece arrived, exactly as promised.
Between the outstanding response to my phone call and the prompt delivery to resolve the problem, I’m completely hooked on Delta plumbing products. Well, the experience, got me thinking about the ingredients for great customer service and it ties in with the bad experience I wrote about last weekend.
· Exceed expectations!
· Be cheerful! I know it sounds basic, but you can tell when somebody is smiling, even on a phone call.
· Give people the answers to the questions they’re asking.
· Solve problems quickly. The faster the better.
· Make your customers feel like their order, no matter how small it might be, is important. They need to feel you value their business.
· Always give customers more information than what they ask for. Disney is the best at this. I know I’ve written before about it. If you ask any Disney staff member “When is the electric light parade?” They’ll not only answer you, but they’ll give you a great suggestion on where to watch it. Be engaging!
We all have things that make us feel good about our shopping experiences. For example, you can buy the same Polo shirt at Macy’s or Nordstrom’s, but think about what makes people enjoy shopping at one store versus the other.
Now, take those same ingredients and apply them to your photography business! Obviously the quality of your images has to be outstanding, but don’t underestimate the power of providing a great experience for your clients! It’s the greatest tool you have to separate your business from the competition.
“Your customers won’t love you if you give bad service, your competitors will.” Kate Zabiskie
Illustration Credit: © Raja Rc | Dreamstime.com