They say the customer is always right, but that’s only the beginning. Consumer service is more than just delivering what the customer wants. It’s all about providing such a positive experience for your clients that your competitors are left in the dust. This method only works when your customer service is legendary, rather than just good.
Ken Blanchard’s book Legendary Service: The Key is to Care follows Kelsey as she swings between her academic classes and her profession. You’ll learn exactly what amazing customer service is and how to replicate it in your own company from her experiences.
We all appreciate excellent customer service. However, telling your employees to “be friendly” to consumers isn’t enough. To keep your consumers coming back, you need to actually care about their requirements, which requires a solid service approach. In other words, you require legendary service, which is based on the development of commercial connections.
In legendary service, there are two sorts of relationships. The first is your internal customer relationship with your staff. It’s critical! Your employees will love coming to work if they feel valued, and they will pass on their great mood to their clients. As a result, supervisors must establish a motivating environment.
Your external customers are the second relationship. Legendary service is critical in this situation. You want to provide a level of service that is so constant and seamless that clients will come back to you rather than go to a competitor. Neglecting legendary service and allowing poor service to become the norm may be disastrous for a company.
Kelsey, a university student who works at a cheap retailer, has firsthand experience with this. A customer asked to return a malfunctioning coffeemaker one day at work. Unfortunately, the customer was unable to locate the original receipt, and while Kelsey wanted to assist the customer by accepting the broken item, her manager refused to accept a return on a used item without a receipt.
The consumer objected and stormed out, never to return. Kelsey was unhappy that she couldn’t assist the customer, and her work satisfaction suffered as a result of the event. She had to drag herself to her next shift, the unpleasantness of the previous day still fresh in her thoughts.
Managers and business owners should use the ICARE approach to avoid situations like these. But first, how would you grade your most recent customer experience, whether it was grocery shopping, getting your hair done, or having your car tuned up at the garage?
Unfortunately, the vast majority of consumer interactions are average at best. However, when was the last time you received exceptional customer service? It’s been a long time, if not ever. This is because, while most businesses desire to be exceptional in the eyes of their customers, few know how to do it.
That takes us to the ICARE model’s first step: “I” stands for ideal service. Begin by describing your company’s ideal service – that is, what you need to accomplish every day to properly meet each customer’s needs.
It takes a lot of effort to get close to excellent service. Your customers must believe that they have been treated differently. To put it another way, you must make others feel as if you genuinely care about their needs and worries.
This might have an instant impact. Our student-worker Kelsey discovered this when she received outstanding service at work. Kelsey came over to assist a customer who was standing in front of a back-to-school exhibit.
The mom claimed that her son was leaving for college and would want “everything.” Despite the fact that it appeared to be an emotional occasion, the client was relieved to have someone assist her with her son’s lengthy shopping list.
Kelsey introduced herself by name, had a little conversation with the woman, and then began systematically working her way through the woman’s shopping list, providing her with bedding, school supplies, and a microwave. Kelsey even recommended a book to the woman’s kid about how to succeed in college.
Kelsey’s boss delivered a note from a satisfied customer at the next department meeting, outlining how Kelsey helped turn a difficult shopping trip into a pleasurable experience. And the woman pledged to tell her friends about the store.
This tale exemplifies excellent customer service. The ideal service experience is around making the customer’s experience unique and memorable, to the point where they eagerly anticipate returning. It’s vital to remember that if only one of your employees provides excellent service, it won’t benefit your company much. You must communicate excellent service to everyone in your organization.
Create a service-oriented culture to do this. This is where ICARE gets its “C”! To put it another way, create an environment that prioritizes your consumers’ demands. And, because every service culture is different, yours should have its own vision and values that are tailored to your business.
“We constantly wish to address the demands of our clients,” for example, is a generic vision. Values, on the other hand, should be more explicit, such as trust, quality, or constant improvement.
Your vision and values, when combined, will provide the foundation for your service culture. Your service will be better if your vision and values are clear. That is why you should define what service means to you and ensure that everyone in your firm is aware of it.
Of course, you’ll need to train your personnel on how to deliver excellent service in order for the message to stick. To maintain a high level of service, you’ll also need to develop a sustainability plan that includes follow-up actions. Setting concrete service goals, such as a target satisfaction rate, and tracking progress are examples.
Kelsey reached out to one of her professor’s previous students, a lady who now operates a clinic, while she was thinking about how to develop a culture of service at her own company. Kelsey came to this clinic with her grandmother and immediately noted how welcoming and nice it was. Even though they had only met Kelsey’s grandmother, everyone appeared to care for her!
“To treat our patients like family and nurture them back to health,” the owner remarked, she communicated her service goal with her team from the minute she arrived at the clinic. Kelsey even noticed the service vision phrase written on a poster in the clinic hallway.
Check out my related post: How do you start selling with noble purpose?