Whether you’re a Real Estate Agent, a Lawyer, a Financial Planner a Butcher, Baker, Candlestick Maker (do they still have those?) you are providing a service.
If you have a product to sell, experience will tell you that if you don’t provide great customer service, your competition will, and you’ll be left behind.
Providing service is your business and doing it better than the competition should be your primary goal in building that business.
I have a little story for you to illustrate the importance of great customer service. I live in Tsawwassen, just south of Vancouver, BC. In my town there are 2 grocery stores serving about 22,000 people. One is the large chain, Safeway.
Safeway has recently been refurbished. It looks nicer now and the produce is presented in a much more attractive way. They now have organic options and a great bakery. Safeway is also a fairly large store.
The other is part of a small, BC-based chain called Thrifty Foods. Now Thrifty’s is smaller. It’s crowded, especially before a hockey game or near a holiday. The aisles are narrow and there are often lineups at the meat counter or the bakery.
Thrifty’s is always busy.
Why would Thrifty’s always be busy? Safeway is a trusted brand in Canada. What would make people choose to stand in longer lines, pay higher prices (Thrifty’s is considerably more expensive than Safeway) miss out on Airmiles (Safeway offers them, Thrifty’s does not).
If Safeway has all of these other perks like airmiles, shorter lines, a larger selection, why on earth would people prefer to shop at Thrifty’s?
I think you know the answer already but I’m going to go ahead and say it anyway…Customer service.
The people at Thrifty’s are knowledgeable, friendly (often to the point of knowing your name), local (they live in the community), happy (they love their jobs) engaged (if you’re standing in line they make sure you know they see you there), and ton of other up-beat adjectives I can’t think of just now.
The staff and management at Thrifty’s never have to be asked twice to participate in a community event. They allow every group with a cause to park in front of the store and commence their philanthropy. Every off-site event has a Thrifty’s tent and free give-aways. They provide value.
Thrifty’s even gives away free cookies and balloons to the kids. Always, without complaint. (we shop every day, you’d think the bakers would get annoyed with the constant interruptions to ask for cookies but they never do)
Thrifty’s understands the importance of customer service. When up against a behemoth like Safeway, Thrifty Foods wins the heart of the community. It’s as simple as that.
So when you’re looking at your company’s record of customer service take a close look at this model. Thrifty’s provides value to the community for free, without asking for reciprocation. In return, they have the trust and loyalty of the majority of Tsawwassen’s shoppers.
How will your company stack up to this example?
Let us come and show you how you can attract new clients and impress your current ones by providing value your competition hasn’t even thought of yet.