Customer Service: Your Customer's Expectations

You really have just about fifteen minutes to establish rapport if you approach a Customer in his office, and about less than that in seconds, after eye-contact to establish rapport with a walk-in Customer.

In spite of this observation almost all sales people lose a Customer by consistently doing the initial contact wrong.

It's even worse in succeeding contacts.

If you have just anticipated what is the "conversation" going in the Customer's head before you saw him or before he walks into your store, you would have handled the initial contact right the first time.

You must understand at least the "raw" form of the Customer's expectations.

Read This!

A REAL LIFE EXAMPLE.

One day in my past life , a director of our company started going around distributing a list of needs and emailing computer retailers of our requirements for a computer system which was suppose to be paid for by a grant from the Netherlands.

Everyone without exception did the initial contact wrong.

The first one called could not refer the director to the right person. The director got passed on to three more persons until the last person just told him the simple fact that the owner was not around to attend to her request.

Our director asked if the email address in their website is current. Nobody could even answer exactly what email address the director was talking about.

They don't even browse their own website.

Unbelievable.

One retailer that recently opened, did not do better.

With all the glitzy look of the facade and the showroom, the whole visual effect turned into a charade when three ladies in a booth in the middle of the showroom waited (for more than five minutes) for the director to ask them who was in charge.

One looked up and just went on reading something while the other two pretended she wasn't around.

By the way, this is one indicator of incompetence. Pretending the customer is not there.

The director was forced to ask the lady who looked up first, who can helped her out.

She was probably irked that the director picked her among the three of them.

The director was beginning to guess they do this all the time to customers and are becoming highly adept at feeling "invisible customers" walking around the showroom.

The director picked one of the ladies and asked her who is in charge. It was then that the lady "realized" she was alive and actually talking, she pointed the director to a counter.

A technician told the director the person's name and told her to wait. A lady came out and was decent enough to take the list.

She actually called the director the same afternoon.

Another retailer, requested the director to email her shopping list. She did email the long shopping list.

They did responded.

They quoted item one and that's it.

The director wondered if she actually sent anything to them since that was it: One item from a very long list.

No note or indication if they actually read the list or if she was really the intended recipient of the quote because the quote had somebody else's name on it.

At least the person who made the quote knows how to use email.

If this doesn't sound familiar, you either are not observing your people in action or you just missed the opportunity to see how badly your competitors are treating their own customers.

Either way, you lose because you are consistently driving away customer and you don't know why.

The painful thing is you are actually subsidizing this atrocity to customers by employing the people who is turning your customers to life-long enemies.

END OF REAL LIFE EXAMPLE.

The Universal Application of Simple Courtesy

When our director walked into these retailers, the least she expected was courtesy followed by responsiveness.

All these retailers failed miserably in these most elementary criteria.

If you look at the advertisement of these retailers you will probably see these key words in their flyers and brochures:

"Satisfaction Guaranteed",

"Customer First",

"You Are Number One!",

"The First in Customer Satisfaction"


All that hollow slogans.

The most ignorant of your Customers will no longer fall for that crap in your advertisement.

They probably pass through dozens of billboards screaming the same hollow slogans before they got to your store to pick up any impressions from your advertising materials.

What will make a lasting impression is what you or your people will do when he walks in.

Customer Expectations

Responsiveness. The least that your Customer will expect from you is responsiveness.

Do you or your people respond to Customers in a timely manner?

Excuse me but a grunt and a blank stare do not exactly fall under the category of response in Customer Service.

Confidence. If you or your people respond, Customers expect you to conduct yourselves confidently.

Customers "want" to find somebody he can lay his trust on.

Your confidence, specially your demonstrated confidence, will immediately build that trust.

Of course your people must actually show they are competent and have knowledge in the specific or limited specialty the Customer is seeking.

Caring Attitude. Your organization must show that it cares by having people who actually exhibit a caring attitude towards Customers, serve Customers on a regular basis.

Your people can demonstrate they care if they implement support processes with empathy and respect for Customers.

Reliability. When you can respond and conduct yourself confidently with a caring attitude for Customers with consistency and effectiveness, Customers will naturally rely on you.

This reliance can easily translate to loyalty.

Isn't this the ultimate goal of Customer Service? Customer loyalty.

Physical Impressions. People generally have a perception that the way your surrounding looks reflect the organization's character.

They observe your office design and layout, your uniforms, your employees' demeanor, and the general look of the workplace.

It is also important to remember that your physical appearance as a person or as an organization will also, in a way, condition the Customer's conduct in your presence or his general attitude to your offering or organization.

Once you understand the "conversation" in your Customer's mind, you have made a significant step in approaching his comfort zone.

If you have an honest to goodness mechanism to appreciate the Customer's expectation, you now have to proceed to developing the habit of offering good Customer Service.


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