I’m often asked, “How can I teach my associates to be more passionate about customer service?”
The answer is simple: train your associates to be more interested in the customer’s state of mind, rather than their method of payment.
When I was a teenager, I worked in my dad’s small retail clothing store. When a customer walked through the door, my dad didn’t care what they wanted to purchase, he was more interested in their state of mind; were they relieved that their son got into the college of his choice, how proud they felt that their daughter won an award at her piano recital, if the vacation they had saved for all year was as terrific as they had hoped, etc.
My father saw his customers as people first, customers second. He wanted to know how they felt and what was on their mind.
My dad would never start off any conversation with, “What do you need today?” or “How can I assist you?”
Customer service is more than helping people find what they need. In this highly global and competitive economy, business needs to be more than the exchange of goods and services for money. The more automated our society becomes, the greatest differentiator for any company will be how well they connect with their customers.
My dad was a natural Welcomer. He made every customer feel special. He made every customer feel important and appreciated. He treated every customer as a friend, even if he had never met them before. My dad was not interested in how much money he would make, he was passionate about learning about people, understanding their emotions and making long lasting relationships along the way. By focusing on the customer’s state of mind, my father never had to worry or develop a strategic plan to get repeat customers, the repeat customers just came naturally.
I feel so fortunate to have gained so much from both of my parents. It has certainly made me a better person, father and friend.
To learn more about my passion for customer service, download a free chapter of my book, The Welcomer Edge: Unlocking the Secrets to Repeat Business.