|There are really few things that any customer cares about. I think it is only three things that really matter. Do you know what these things are? Let me take a stand on this one – it is time, expertise, and “human touch“. Last year few|
customers I worked for were surveyed and ranked me as a top performer. This is the answers to the most important question they were asked:
What influenced your rating the most?
- On time delivery.
- “Human touch”.
- Rapid response.
- Caring and creative.
- Quality of service.
Customers Want Time
Time-Is-Money, Time-To-Market. Heard of these? Sure you have. These become more and more common terms even within the non-profit organizations. Time was always of value and it gets more and more valued each and every day.
- Manage your own time.
- Be sensitive to the customer’s time.
- Offer incremental value over time, do not wait for the dead line.
- Reflect on time conflicts early.
- Say “No” to unrealistic schedule.
- Call off all these unnecessary meetings! Seriously!
Customers Want Expertise
It might sound like a “wisdom of obvious”. It is not. Here is why. Imagine a product, say a car. There are expensive cars and there are cheap. Same category can have both. Why? May be one brand is the best of breed? May be the brand vendor posses the expertise to build it that way? On other hand the customer might chose a cheaper car over the expensive brand hoping to save. In the short run this technique saves indeed. I witnessed many times that for the long run it always much more expensive way. I heard people saying “we are not that rich to buy cheap stuff”…
- Invest in building your expertise, your brand.
- Remember, customers like brands that are narrow.
- Experience Is The Most Valuable Product
In his book Secrets of Consulting: A Guide to Giving and Getting Advice Successfully, Gerald M. Weinberg writes:
The wider you spread it, the thinner it gets.
Customers Want “Human Touch”
It is simple. Customer service is all about direct relationships with customers (I am a consultant with customer services organization). You deliver on time, you are super pro. That is not enough. You must offer a “human touch”. You must show you care. Honestly show you care (not pretend). During my best consulting gigs I made great friendships that I cherish until now.
See ya, off to have few beers with bunch of friends (you guessed right, my previous and current customers).
- Do you have a clear time management strategy and techniques?
- Are you focused on building your brand? Are you building your deep expertise?
- Are you making friends during your gigs?