August 23, 2012
Liz published this at 2:04 pm
Success in Life, Business, and Golf
Perception is Reality
â€œOur policy is clearly written on the website.â€
â€œDid he read the product manual?â€
â€œThatâ€™s in paragraph 3c of the contract.â€
And yet he is still disgruntled. Disappointed. Upset. Irate.
When it comes to customer service, perception is reality.
You can be right all day long and lose a customer for life. Or you can let the customer be right and gain an evangelist.
This is a key differentiating factor for the human-centered organization. In the traditional business, the representative simply points to the sign that says â€œno refundsâ€ and closes the window. They shield themselves in the armor of policy.
In the humanized, socialized business, the representative is empowered to acknowledge the customerâ€™s pain, and do something to alleviate it. There is a level of recognition and trust that the interaction between customer and business is a human to human relationship. There is a level of vulnerability that is often uncomfortable for a business.
If the customer feels that she has been wronged, then she has been wronged. And the 10 friends that she tells will share in her perception. In the end, thatâ€™s all there is.
Does that mean you have to cave to every customer demand? Itâ€™s worked out pretty well for Nordstrom over the years, but you have to do your own calculus. If you choose to â€œarmor up,â€ do it with the knowledge that you are making a choice about your business. In that moment, you are deciding whether that person fits your customer profile or not.
You are building the perception and the reality.
Are your organizationâ€™s representatives empowered to build an awesome reality?
Thank you, Rosemary!
ME “Liz” Strauss