On the day before I was to leave, I visited a local haberdashery that one of my friends recommended (note the power of referral). The salesman greeted me warmly and asked if he could help me. I described the suit I was looking for and he escorted me to the rack. He carefully studied the suits and gave me the once over.
“Sir, the type of suit you’re looking for is an excellent choice,” he said as he pulled a navy blue pinstripe suit from the rack. “But I think this one will accentuate your features better.”
I tentatively took the suit and headed to the dressing room to try it on. The look on my wife’s face when she saw me wearing it told me that the salesman was right. However, there was one problem – I no longer had my school boy figure, so the pants needed some tailoring.
“It’ll take about three days to complete the adjustments,” the salesman told me. My eyes opened wide as panic set in.
“I can’t wait three days,” I said. “My plane leaves tomorrow and my reunion is on Saturday.”
After considering the seriousness of my situation, the salesman took the suit and told me that he would personally complete the tailoring and FedEx the pants to me. Relieved, I thanked him and paid for the suit.
On Saturday morning, a FedEx delivery driver knocked on my hotel door and presented me with a box from the salesman’s store. To this day, I remember how that salesman went beyond the call of duty to meet and exceed my expectations. And every time I needed dressy attire, I visited his store.
This is the level of service that we must offer to our customers. In today’s harsh business environment, excellent service is a differentiator. You have to go above and beyond the typical way of doing business if you want your company to stand out. Analyze your quality, productivity, and communications and see where you can make improvements. All of these things play a vital role in improving customer service.
But the key to superior customer service is relationship building. How are your relationships with your clients? How can you improve them? How can you build more relationships inside and outside of your current circle of influence? When was the last time you made a customer feel special?
Customer service is not a department – it is a way vital part of an organization’s culture. Each day, we must make a conscious decision to serve our customers to the best of our abilities. Our level of service should amaze our customers and make them say, “Wow!” Anything less is unacceptable.