The Real Deal

The Real Deal

Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world.  For, indeed that’s all who ever did.    Margaret Mead

In much of the information I gather in coaching my clients to enhance their business and bring it to a higher level, the phrase “exceptional customer experience” comes up over and over again.  Now, being a veteran entrepreneur of more than 25 years, it is not new news that the experience we provide for our customers is directly linked to the profitability of our business.  We used to say that 100 good comments about the business do not affect your bottom line as much as 1 bad comment.  AKA bad news travels fast.  In more times than not, the employees of the business are more interested is being right than the experience of the customer.  They learn this from the people in leadership roles in the business.     This really doesn’t make any sense.  Even though there is an old saying “the customer is always right” so many times, the experience the customer has to endure going through the process of resolving an issue, is daunting at best.

So, what can a business do to change this?  The answer is really quite simple.  It begins at the top.  Yes, the business owner, manager, leaders of the company.  You must be the change that you want to see, to quote a great man.  You see, human behavior dictates that we learn most easily, when we experience.     Therefore, the environment you have created for your employees, changes the experience they have when they are working.  How you treat your employees, will determine how they will treat your customers, and more importantly, how they see you treat your customers is how they will learn to treat your customers.   This is known as the trickling down effect.   You can’t create an exceptional experience for your customers, if you are miserable, all knowing or would rather be right.

Now think, what are some of the characteristics that make us all feel special?   Hum, let’s list some.  How does it feel when you are treated like you are special?  Appreciated? Cared for? Liked? Doted on? Listened to?  My answers are elated, joyful, and wanting to go back for more….

Let me tell you why I decided to write this.   I was considering shopping for a new car.   I drive a Mini, love them.   My car was out of warranty and there were some new features I was interested in, so I thought I would look.  From the moment I entered the dealership, the salesman, I will call him “SS” super salesman, made me feel like a friend.    Now, understand that not only can I sell wings to a bird as my salesmanship skills are far superior to mortal man, but I am probably the worst consumer for that reason.  There are so many salesmanship qualities that I abhor, so when approached by one, it is like an automatic reaction to repel them.   Well, “SS” got past my shield.  Do you know how?  He was the most helpful, happy, informative, knowledgeable, salesman I have met in a long time, and I work with sales people.   Because of him, I had the “exceptional customer experience” as I felt appreciated, cared for, liked, doted on, and listened to.  Simply, with the experience I had with “SS”, I not only bought a new car (not a small ticket item) but sent the dealership 3 more customers, I believe 2 of which ended in closed business.

The “marvel” of the story:  I am so aware of “exceptional customer experience” I read about it, teach it and train it, write about it, work with sales people preaching about it, but it was a confirming moment when I actually got to experience it!   What I know that I know is how you make your customers feel when they are doing business with you is exactly what will or will not bring them back. And the icing on the cake,  the new customers  will continue to send you more new customers,  which will grow your business to infinity!

Stay tuned for my next topic, Mistakes, Good or Bad for Business? Coach Rose.