Long term business success requires a lot of things done right, but one of the most critical things you can do and fully within your control is to live and breathe great customer service.
Why do some companies become an Amazon?
Hopefully the following will cause you to reflect. Maybe it will spark an opportunity for empowerment in your business.
A tale of two businesses….What company is your business modeling?
This past week I placed an order on Amazon and it was supposed to have Free Shipping. Somehow, I selected the wrong box during checkout and the order was processed with 2 day Shipping Charges. The shipping was almost as much as the order!
However, the Amazon solution was painless, simple, and efficient. I simply went to their website, connected to a live chat person and had two short posts explaining the situation. The reply was simple. “Mr. Steinlage your credit card will be credited the charges. Is there anything else we can help you with today?”
I didn’t have to explain my position over and over. The customer service representative didn’t have to check with a supervisor. It was over. Just like that; two simple posts and it was resolved.
Did Amazon gain a raving fan? Am I likely to be a return customer? Would I recommend them to someone else?
Amazon has created a culture of customer service.
Local Restaurant Chain…
One of my brothers was in town recently and our families went out for dinner. One of the teenagers with my brother’s family ordered an item that was supposed to be for “kids only”, simply because that is what looked good on the menu. However, the restaurant employee was adamant that this teenager could not order this because she over the age limit. There was no reasoning, no option to pay extra, no logic, simply a policy that was drilled into this employee. The employee’s stern position even created commotion among other dining customers. It was truly bewildering to witness! In the end, we let it go and did not get the “kids only” food item.
Did this local restaurant gain a raving fan? Am I likely to be a return customer? Will my brother (or anyone else that saw this happen) every return or recommend them to someone?
I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to make sure your team, your employees, your staff, and you keep common sense in your business. You need to trust and empower your employees to make simple decisions when the opportunities present themselves. Create a simple checklist or set of rules for what they’re allowed to manage and when they need to bring in someone else. Hire the right people and give them room to shine.
Trust me, your employees want to make decisions that are in the best interest of your company. They want You to be pleased with their performance and more importantly, they want the customer to be happy. If you honestly don’t think they do, they shouldn’t be part of your team.
Amazon ‘Gets It’. Do you?
We would love to hear how you address this in your business. Feel free to share in the comments below.
Chris Steinlage Kansas City Business Coach