When does “Customer Service” start? “Customer Service” has for many meant giving someone your time, expertise and care AFTER A SALE IS MADE…I couldn’t disagree more! I believe that “Customer Service” starts from the minute you pick your head off the pillow in the morning–from the first interaction you have with another person! Every single interaction you get to have with another person is CUSTOMER SERVICE and CUSTOMER CENTRIC. Everyone in your life is a “Customer” of some sort, and whether or not they trust you enough to buy YOU or your products may have everything to do with how you made them feel before they bought anything from you…as well as how successful in business and in life you will be.
Recently, I received a sales call from an acquaintance. I was surprised, but happy to hear from her as we only usually see each other at our mutual friend’s get-together’s. I started to ask how her family was and I was abruptly interrupted with the following, “Pam, I’m sorry to cut you off, but the reason for my call is to tell you about my new business. I think the products would be great for you, and of course I know you have been successful in home business opportunities before, and think the extra income could be a great solution to you and your family! Wouldn’t it be nice to drive a Mercedes and move into a larger home?”
Well, I was dumbfounded!
First of all, there was no connection with me, period. Let alone a connection made with me to her product. She definitely didn’t connect her opportunity to anything that matters to me! The pictures of “champagne wishes and caviar dreams” don’t mean fiddly-diddly to me. I have different motivations for being successful. I politely asked what products she was selling and with which company. She proceeded to go into all the details about several products and then said, “Are you ready to get started now?” I let her know that I didn’t think the products would be anything I would be interested in at this time as I had just purchased a similar product that I was happy with. I also explained that I am not pursuing a home business at this time as my coaching of Sales Professionals was my focus. Now you may be wondering why I didn’t offer my services to her in that instant and site just every mistake she had made in the process. I probably would have, but just as I was about to continue the conversation, her other phone started ringing and she said, “I’m sorry you don’t see the value in what I am offering, if you decide you are ready to move forward, let me know. I really need to go take this call on the other line. Take Care, I’ll see you at Sally’s next event”. And off the phone she went.
She should have saved us both some time and just said, “I don’t really care about you…we’ve never really had a relationship before…if it wasn’t for my need to make money I wouldn’t be calling you…I really don’t care about what’s important to you, or how my products may be able to help you…I just want to make money because a Mercedes and a bigger house is what’s important to me!” It left me feeling bad about her, her products and her opportunity. Remember that saying, “People may forget what you said, but they’ll never forget how you made them feel”? Well in sales it’s something that had better be at the front of your mind at all times, especially BEFORE someone does business with you—or if they are never going to do business with you.
It’s funny, she never did try to reach me again, send me a brochure, or any follow up. Since that initial call, I ran out of the product that I was using, and guess what? I didn’t call her to try what she had to offer. I went and bought what I had been using before. She lost a sale. No sale, no opportunity for “Customer Service”.
Always remember, every interaction that you may have with another person, who has feelings, needs, goals, desires and dreams IS your customer. You may not have been paid in dollars yet…but you will be paid in their evaluation of you as a person. They will choose whether to be friends with you, work with you or REFER you in the future based on the way you took care of them. If they feel that you are ONLY nice to them, interact with them or “Like” you when you are feeding them, they will take their loyalty, business and friendship elsewhere eventually.
Be a CUSTOMER SERVICE PRO and have them making deposits into your reputation bank by talking about what a caring, authentic, integrity-filled, thoughtful, loyal, person you are…The person who has time for them…the person who makes them feel that nothing is more important than being present with you. SHOW THEM your genuine interest in building a long term relationship, compassion, understanding, and a true desire to make a positive impact on their life. That’s what “CUSTOMER SERVICE” IS. If you aren’t there for them before they buy YOU, what makes them think you will be there to work through problems or challenges with them? They buy YOU first, and if you want to be as happy and successful as you have dreamed, then put Customer Service in every interaction and make it PRIORITY #1!