Have you ever stopped and asked yourself, “What is quality customer service?” Many people will tell you about the experiences they have had when customer service is below par. Word of mouth marketing is the most powerful ways to share a product or service. Why not create raving fans? Raving fans are the people who champion your work and your products.
Some people believe you need to have a wheelbarrow load of money to wine and dine people to exceed expectations. While there may be a few of those individuals out there they are fewer than you may expect. Richard Branson said, “The key is to set realistic customer expectations and then not just meet them but to exceed them – preferably in unexpected and helpful ways.”
Know Your Client’s Expectations. First, you must learn what your client’s expectations are. What are their expectations? Are they realistic? Are the achievable? Are they too low? Can your competition provide them with the same results? What can you do to help them stretch or achieve greater results? How will you – WOW them?
Be Intentional. When you learn what someone’s expectations are, you can determine what it will take to meet expectations. In most cases, if you are providing them with a product or service that they have reached out for and you know their expectations, it would be too hard to meet expectations. The difference lies in exceeding expectations. To exceed expectations, you need to intentionally go above and beyond what is expected. Do the unexpected and make is memorable.
Listen to What Your Client is Saying. In coaching, I have learned to use an acronym called W.A.I.T.; it translates to “Why am I Talking?” Not only are you listening to what they are saying, you are also listening to what they are not saying through their body language and tone. Anticipate their wants and needs. Call them for no other reason than to see how they are doing and what is new in their world.
Ask Questions. Discover what their underlying emotional need is. Emotions drive our purchasing decisions and actions. You will be surprised that some of your assumptions may be wrong.
Maintain a Positive Attitude. If you are focused on the positive, you can help others focus on the positive as well. Sometimes all it takes is to hear information from another person to gain a different perspective.
Personalize the Experience. No one wants to feel like they are just a number. Personalize the experience of working with you. Demonstrate that you were listening and pay attention to the smallest of details – learn about what your client’s hopes and dreams are – think about how you can help them achieve it. Be proactive and resourceful. Who are the people that matter to them? Learn the name of their spouse/partner or children. When is their birthday or anniversary?
“Get closer than ever to your customers. So close that you tell them what they need well before they realize it themselves.”
Do the unexpected – that’s what creates the WOW! Send a card on their birthday or anniversary. Send a box of chocolates or cookies. Surprise the office with ice cream or popsicles on a hot day. What will you do to stand out from the crowd and make someone say WOW! Invite them as your guest to a workshop or charity event or ask them to go with you if you cannot afford to pay for them. Sometimes all it takes to win your customer’s heart is that you thought about them other than seeing them as a business transaction. Turn ordinary activities to extraordinary experiences.
Don’t do what everyone else is doing. Be exceptional – exceed expectations. Be worth remembering!
What will you do today to exceed expectations?
DEBRA KASOWSKI, BScN CEC is an award-winning best-selling author, transformational speaker, blogger, and Certified Executive Coach. She has a heart of a teacher and is certified in Appreciative Inquiry and Emotional Intelligence. Her writing has been published in a variety of print and online magazines. Debra Kasowski International helps executives, entrepreneurs, and organizations boost their productivity, performance, and profits. It all starts with people and passion. Sign up the Success Secrets Newsletter and get your free mp3 download today! www.debrakasowski.com