Serving others well

Serving others well

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This is a guest post from Baker Tilly Nova Scotia Inc.
(Member since 1993)

Contributors:

Sara Kuehner
Senior Manager, Assurance and Advisory Services

The number one reason customers switch to a new brand is feeling unappreciated.

It seems like common sense; easy even. It’s a feeling we can all relate to. We all have had experiences where we were left feeling as if we were not enough – not important enough, not smart enough and not significant enough.

It’s a feeling we don’t want our customers to feel. Yet our biggest obstacle in providing that feeling of appreciation for others is often ourselves. We naturally think of ourselves, not others.

But just imagine what could happen if we showed up each day with the purpose of making those around us feel appreciated. Not because of what that individual can do for us, but because of what it means in that individual’s life.

The statistics are staggering. This simple feeling of appreciation not only changes our customer’s experience, but it benefits our businesses.

• Consumers are willing to spend 17 per cent more on a company that has outstanding customer service. (American Express)

• Increasing customer retention rates by just five per cent can increase profits by between 25 per cent and 95 per cent. (Bain and Company)

• Financially, 73 per cent of companies with "above average" customer experiences perform better than their competitors. (Temkin Group)

• On average, companies that invest in their customer experience also observe an improvement in employee engagement by roughly 20 per cent. (McKinsey)

So how can we, as service providers, show our customers that they are appreciated?

1) Treat them as a person, not as a transaction.

It’s all about relationship. No one wants to feel like a number or an inconvenience in someone’s busy schedule.

Consider how you can show each individual that you see them, you understand them, and you are working to serve them well.

2) Value their time.

This will be shown differently depending on your business.

It could be reducing the time the customer is required to wait for the product or service being provided.

It could be replying quickly to a request or question, so the customer doesn’t have to spend unnecessary time thinking about an issue.

It could be by being considerate of when and how you request input from them and avoiding repetition where possible.

3) Value their resources.

Price your product or service fairly. Don’t push products or services on them that don’t add value to their life or business.

If your service is billed based on hours, make sure the hours charged are not inflated with inefficiencies.

4) Don’t assume – ask!

Set up great communication channels with new customers, so you know what they appreciate and expect from the relationship right from the beginning.

Use the customer’s preferred method of communication when possible.

Periodically check in to get your customer’s perspective on the product or service provided.

In short, it requires taking the time to know your customer well enough to be able to think from their perspective; to know what they value and expect; and what will show that you appreciate them and their business.

I leave you with this challenge, something I quote many mornings before I enter the doors of my office to interact with my colleagues and customers.

It is something I will continually fail to live out, but I dare to reach for.

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility, value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others.” (New International Version, Philippians 2:3)

< Back to Articles | Topics: Trends

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