This week I was reading over some things I had written some time ago and came across this story I had written down, though have not used it in my blog. It is as pertinent now as it was then.
Sometimes what we say gives the wrong impression instead of the right one. While we all say the wrong thing occasionally, it is important to think about how what we say presents the company. For example, I had been in line at my bank for quite a long time; most of that time there were only two tellers on duty. After about seven minutes, one more teller opened her window. When I came up to the counter, the teller, without any prompting from me, said:
Teller: Well you can tell it’s four o’clock.
Me: Why is that?
Teller: It’s very busy, it’s always busy at four o’clock.
Teller: Yes, regular as clockwork.
Me: Why don’t you have more tellers available if you know it’s going to be busy?
Teller: We don’t have any more teller windows.
Me: The window next to me is not in use.
Teller: Oh, that teller is at lunch.
Me: Perhaps you shouldn’t schedule lunch breaks at this time.
Teller: Well it just happened, there was nothing we could do.
This exchange did not make me feel particularly comfortable about having my life savings in their bank. I do not want to come in one day to find all my money gone and the teller saying, “Well it just happened there was nothing we could do.”
Experiences like these erode customer loyalty, satisfaction and confidence in the company. Think about how your sales employees might be explaining a problem. No employee should ever say, “Well, it just happened, there is nothing we could do.” Even if your employee says, “Well, it just happened” it should be followed up with, “but we’ll make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
Customer service is the one thing that will set you apart from the competition. Start thinking of ways you can provide more service to your customers before and after the sale. Think of your staff not only as employees but also as customers. Let them know how important they are to you. Keep them loyal because all your customers, including your staff are your most important assets.