I was brought up to strive to be courteous. To be polite and considerate. To be dependable. I strive to be like this on good days, bad days and those mediocre days in between.
However, being brought up in this way can also leave you open to naivety. So, it’s also important to be a realist, and be able to be respond firmly when not offered the same respect.
When I started building businesses I tried to always do the same. Be polite, considerate, dependable.
In business, as in life, this can open the door to a (thankfully) minority of people who will take advantage of that. However, generally, the law of attraction persists and you’ll find your customers are drawn from people that hold, and strive to practice, similar beliefs.
When I read blogs on customer service, they always stress the importance of customer service in building business growth. And, they are not wrong. But -
Customer service, without real belief, is shallow.
Authenticity is everything. You should stop attempting to drive growth with a fake smile and turn of phrase but instead ensure that your staff are absolutely clear in their beliefs. And the clarity of their beliefs must come from you.
These have to be:
1) they believe that the product they are selling/supporting brings fantastic value to their customers.
2) that the product enhances the customers business and therefore the customers personal life and, by doing so, makes the world a better place, bit by bit.
3) they believe that the product is the best product choice that the customer can make.
If you do not, hand-on-heart, believe in each and everyone of these 3 statements, then neither will your team. It is not enough to just demand the team deliver exceptional service, they need to believe in why they are delivering it.
As Adam DeGraide quite rightly said -
Until you trust that the product or service that you are trying to sell is the best decision that the buyer is going to make, you will never be in danger of making a sale.
Once the beliefs are there then you have the foundations for growth. Combine these with the core behaviour values of being courteous, polite, considerate and dependable and you’ll soon get lots of emails like this:
Without a belief in your product/service, your team may as well be selling faulty used-cars at inflated prices or supporting customers in rubber dinghies as they sail the Atlantic.
So, firstly, build a product you believe in, then realise that belief yourself and only then can your team believe it too. Then ensure you select staff that share their value and beliefs with those that you and your company hold. Being polite, courteous, considerate and dependable.
And, when they do, bingo, you’re delivering authentic customer service and there’s nothing quite like it.
Until next time.
About the author: Simon Sewart is the CEO of his 2nd startup EvantoDesk.com (simple help desk software for small and medium sized businesses).