Ever notice how some businesses seem to invite you in with their warmth,while others feel so chilly you cannot wait to leave? Warm the temperature of your business by improving three degrees—Décor, Decorum, and Dedication—and keep your customers coming back using a customer friendly approach.
You may wonder why you should worry about the temperature of your business when you already provide a great product or service. The answer is simple: your customers judge you by more than your product or service. Your customers judge your business in its entirety. This includes how your business looks and feels—physical aesthetics, customer service, and how well you exceed their expectations. Customers will come into your business because of the product or service you offer but they are going to leave your business with a feeling of warmth or coolness. The difference between the two can either bring them back or keep them from coming back.
First, start by taking a good look around. The first things your customers are going to notice are cleanliness and organization. You may have a beautifully decorated interior but your customers will never notice it if they first see clutter or dirt. Walk through your business as though you are seeing it for the first time.
How easy is it to move about?
If you have display areas, how accessible are they?
Is everything clean and orderly, including bathrooms?
Pay close attention to all details as your customers will see them. Even if your business is conducted by phone or Internet, your employees are going to notice the décor and will mirror the look and feel of the business. If you don’t care about the appearance, they may not care how they interact and use customer friendly tools.
Next, focus on your business decorum, which is the personality of your business. It is the image you and your employees present to your customers. It is the essence of customer service. Most likely your customers will not comment unless you greatly exceeded or fell far short of their expectations, so the best way for you to understand what your customers think of your customer service is to walk through each step of a business transaction from a customer’s perspective, then analyze all aspects of customer service:
Verbal and nonverbal communication
Problem solving skills
Set high service standards and train your employees on your customer service expectations. Then monitor and observe your employees to ensure your expectations are being met.
Finally, focus on dedication, which is the most important of the three degrees. Being dedicated to providing customer friendly service will set you apart from your competition.
Build a strong, committed team that cares about your customers.
Make it your top priority to find the best solution for each customer.
Go out of your way to solve a customer’s problem.
Make things right when you make a mistake.
Going the extra mile for your customers in every interaction will keep your customers loyal to your business.
Remember that product or service alone is not going to make your business successful. Add the three degrees—décor, decorum, and dedication—and you will be able to maintain the right temperature. You aren’t just selling a product or service. You are in business to improve your customers’ lives. It’s about listening to what your customers want and giving them that and more. It’s about making people want to come back to do business with you again. Making people want to come back to do business with you—in any business—is the real measure of success.
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Renée Evenson is a business training consultant and writer specializing in organizational psychology in the workplace—the roles and relationships between customers, employees, and management. Her latest books published by AMACOM Books are Powerful Phrases for Dealing with Difficult People and Powerful Phrases for Effective Customer Service. Please visit Renée’s website www.reneeevenson.com, where you may read excerpts of her books and contact her directly.