A Guide to Customer Service and Relationships of Sorts
Our economy has become so self-service, we’ve all gotten good at knowing what we need and how to get things done for ourselves. Yet, the social business culture has also taught us that the most powerful question in business is “How can I help you?” Imagine if we took that “help you” view to every person we know.
In his book, B-A-M!: Delivering Customer Service in a Self-Service World, business author and entrepreneur Barry J Moltz replaces customer service myths with a tactical approach that shows companies how to make more money through attitudes and actions that will help their customers feel satisfied in good times or bad. Creating satisfied customers is the only enduring competitive advantage left in a world market where virtually everything is a commodity. His advice applies to every blog, every business and every life.
He’s talking about treating customers — people — as if they count.
I’ve read Barry’s book twice now. Once as a manual on customer service and again as a guide for relationships of every kind. The validity of his guidance is that the advice works both ways. I don’t think he’ll mind if apply his customer service ideas to business relationships and replace the word customers with the word people when I restate of few of his ideas.
- Define your relationships deliberately, conversationally, and indirectly by observing and listening to what people say to and about you.
- Be personable and gracious toward every person at all times.
- Treat people with dignity and respect.
- Consider the other person’s needs, deadlines, goals, and point of view first.
- Encourage them to talk and listen carefully to what they say.
- Understand their expectations before we go beyond them.
- Anticipate in good ways with friendliness, openness, and patience.
- Talk to people one at a time and treat every person as an individual.
- Build trust by letting them be part of a balanced give and take.
- Remove negative talk and negative views from all of your interactions.
- Put quality in everything you do.
- Find some quality to admire in the actions of everyone in your life.
- Offer training or guidance and leave room for people who color outside the lines.
- Celebrate your advocates and fans. Get to know your critics, they understand you better than you might suspect.
- At the end of each day, measure your success by looking in the mirror.
Not every person’s opinion is of equal value, of course. Not every one will see you as you truly are. But every person is a human, at the very least find room to respect the lifeform.
People don’t care how good we are, until they know that we care. It’s the care that drives the service. A problem handled with respect and care brings us closer. It’s the care that keeps them with us even when things go a little wrong.
We’re learning about that “how I can help you”? question. Have you found it has power in your life too?