Senior Vice President, Business Development
I was in Jewel recently, and I needed to get a new iPass transponder. Apparently, mine was out of date and would stop working soon, so I needed to upgrade to a new one. I have to admit, heading to Jewel I expected the worst. After all, this was a combination of the State of Illinois and Jewel, so can you blame me for anticipating anything but a terrible customer service experience?
To my pleasant surprise, the switch was easy and pain free. I spent all of 2 minutes in the store and was on my merry way. I figured I’d have to wait in a line for several minutes, and once I did get my turn I was surely going to have to do extra work to activate this new transponder. Well, it was nothing like that. The woman politely took my transponder and my letter from the State of Illinois and promptly scanned the barcode on the letter and the barcode on the new transponder. She handed me my portion of the letter and my transponder and said told me to have a great day and that I was all set. I said, “So when I get home I’m going to have to log into my account and enter my new transponder info to fully activate this, right?” What she said next made my day. She looked at me with a smile and said “Nope, we do all the work for you.”
There you have it. We do all the work for you. Seven simple words that put a smile on my face and gave me some more hope that customer service is still alive and well. I’ve had my share of horrible customer service experiences with Jewel before, but this was so different. However, why do I encounter fewer and fewer experiences like this? What happened to doing everything to make the customer happy? Don’t get me wrong, there are still lots of companies doing it right—Zappos, Apple and Whole Foods to name a few. But too often, I encounter lazy sales associates who don’t understand the fundamental principles of customer service.
My job with my clients is to always add value and to make their jobs easier. If I can’t make those 2 things happen then I’m not doing my job. This is printed on the back of my business cards. That’s how committed I am to giving my clients an incomparable experience every time they engage with me and my team at Rider Dickerson on a new project or campaign. I want my clients to compare every experience they have with another printer to their experiences with me and my team. And when they do, I want them to say “Boy, it’s just not as easy and good as it is when we work with Dean and Rider.”
I want loyal clients, not satisfied clients. A satisfied client will leave the second they get a better deal. A loyal client will stay with me as long as I continue to add value and find ways to exceed their expectations while always having their best interest at heart.
What shocks me is so many people miss the boat on this. Why folks in customer facing positions—whether it’s a cashier at a retail outlet or an inside sales associate on a phone—can’t grasp the simple concept that the customer is all that matters is beyond me. It’s not a hard concept when you stop and think about it. Do whatever it takes to take care of the customer. There’s only one reason folks don’t do it as much as they should today—laziness. Shame on those who are too lazy to go above and beyond for the customer and shame on the companies allowing this type of behavior.
How about you? Do you do what the customer asks, or do you do more than they ask? Do you surprise them and deliver more in value than you take in payment (the 1st Law of Stratospheric Success in my favorite book “The Go Giver”). Trust me, going that little bit extra is worth the effort. It just might make the difference between a loyal customer and one who leaves you the 1st time they get a better deal.
Think about it!