What Do Your Customers Want From You?
Your definition of service shapes every interaction you have with your customers. If you hold the common idea that service is only giving customers what they want, you may well paint yourself into a corner every time a customer asks for something that is impossible for you to provide. If, on the other hand, you expand your definition of service to include fulfilling the multitude of less obvious customer needs, you will never encounter a time when you cannot provide your customers with some level of service.
By addressing less obvious customer needs such as listening with empathy to customers when they have a problem or providing options and alternatives when you cannot give customers exactly what they want, you widen the gap between you and your competitors.
Six basic needs
Every time customers do business with you, they are subconsciously assessing the way in which you are running your business, scoring you on how well you are doing, not only at giving them what they want, but at fulfilling six basic customer needs. These are as follows;
- Friendliness:The most basic of all customer needs, friendliness is usually associated with being greeted politely and courteously.
- Understanding and empathy:Customers need to feel that the person providing the service understands and appreciates their circumstances and feelings and is not making any judgements on what they are seeing.
- Fairness:The need to be treated fairly will always feature on this important list.
- Control: Customers must always feel that they have some degree of control and that they have an impact upon the way the sale ends.
- Options and alternatives:Customers need to feel that other avenues are available to getting what they want accomplished.
- Information:Customers need to be educated and informed about the products, policies, and procedures they can access. They will always prefer a consultative and consensual relationship and will shy away from the hard sell.
Good Luck with your customers!
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