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Profiles Incorporated

A Strategic Business Partner of Profiles International

Posted by Nancy Ness on October 16, 2017.

The answer to this question is simple: what customers want is a product or
service. It’s inherent in the very nature of the definition of “customer”—“one
that purchases a commodity or service.” So it’s a perfect set-up, right? You
have a product, so you must have customers. No? You say you don’t have
customers? Well, maybe what customers want is more than just a product or
service. In addition to these, what customers want is effective customer
service skills.

Customers want to know they’re valued. When it comes to customer service,
show genuine appreciation toward the people who pay your salary. Go the
extra mile to learn their name and listen to them. Take their concerns to
heart. Treat customers like a friend, or at least a very good acquaintance.

Customers want to know they’re cared about. Always be looking out for their
best interests. Your job is more than supplying a product or service; your
job is making people’s lives better, in some way or another. Try to go above
and beyond with your customer service skills. If someone accidentally calls
your place of business trying to order a pizza, why not take a couple of
seconds to provide the correct number by Googling it for them? Maybe they’ll
remember, maybe they won’t, but you’ll have demonstrated a genuine care
using your customer service skills.

Customers want to be able to trust you. Salespeople in particular have got a
bad rep over the years because of “snake-oil salesmen” shouting false
promises from the back of a caravan. If a customer emails you, respond as
soon as possible and certainly within 24 hours. Pick up customers’ phone
calls on the second ring with a pleasant, caring greeting, and respond to
voicemails in a timely fashion. What customers want is follow-up and
follow-through; without that, trust and reliability are lost.

Customers want you to know what you’re talking about. Learn your product and
stay up to date. In the technology age, customers already have a pretty good
understanding of what you have to offer. You should, too. If you’re going to
try to sell ice to an Eskimo, you’d better know more than that it’s cold.
You should at least understand the Wegener–Bergeron–Findeisen process, and
know that falling ice is formed when droplets of two-part hydrogen and
one-part oxygen are vaporized and frozen in mixed phase clouds.

Above all, what customers want is to interact with someone who is genuine,
professional, real, informed, and not only looking out for their best
interests. Customers really do matter to the success of your company, so
treat them right. Don’t gloss over their requests or insult their
intelligence—after all, you should be more knowledgeable than them when it
comes to your product or service. Choose the words you use wisely: customers
in a hotel or restaurant, for example, are “guests,” whereas customers in a
retail store are “business partners” and should be treated as such. What
customers want is a product, not a pitch. They understand that you’re human,
too, and if you treat them with respect, they’ll understand occasional
imperfections. Just be real with them. Be humble and gracious with them, and
you’ll ultimately provide customers with what they want.

Author: Nancy Ness

As President of Profiles Incorporated, Nancy Ness has worked as a business consultant specializing in employee assessments since 1991. She works with various companies of every size, in every industry, to strategize the use of assessments in the selection/retention and job performance areas. During her years with Profiles Incorporated, she has earned many honors, including the Strategic Business Partner of the Year several times. Also, she is recognized as an original member of the Profiles International, Inc. Founder’s Club.

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