We hear the expressions “Authentic You” and “Be Authentic” used a lot lately. Personally, I don’t get bothered by its use or as some feel, over use. It’s a philosophy I subscribe to the best I can in my personal life.
You can just tell when someone has it and when they don’t especially in the field of Customer Service. We choose our friends based on their being authenticity and a bond based on a foundation, a feeling of trust and joy. The same can be said about the customer service representatives we deal with on a constant bases.
I constantly tell CSR’s at speaking engagements that people can go anywhere to get a product like the ones they sell, be it down the block or on the internet. But what keeps the consumer coming back are them. The individual. The CSR’s the “get it”. The guests are there daily or frequent to see their “friends “where they know it’s safe and the customer service is great! Make that exceptional!
I deal with retail businesses where their CSR’s interact daily face to face with guests and yes, they have an easier time of it because they can learn guests names etc. But the philosophy applies to CSR’s online and via phone activity as well. It’s what I call the BECAUSE factor.
By following the BECAUSE factor it simply benefits the CSR, the guest and the company as a whole. All it takes is a person who “gets it” as far as how to deal with humans on a genuine level to make a difference all around. That CSR may not have all the answers, but if they stay focused on the customer, if they stay concerned and engaging with the guest, problems will dissipate in their severity at a much faster pace than an with an “auto response”.
Let me give you an example. We have a Starbucks near our house (go figure) that we go to as it’s the only one near us (go figure that one too). Even if there was a Tim Hortons or Café De Spend Tu Dinero Here within reach, I would still choose to go to Starbucks. The CSR’s there are friendly, polite, accommodating and more importantly they know me. There is one CSR, Jasmine, who I saw once when my 2 year old daughter and I went there for coffee and juice after a grueling music class. When I saw her again 2 weeks while on a solo visit she asked me, “So where is that adorable little one today?”
WOW! One meeting. One time serving me and she remembered! Guess who I look for when I’m there? Jasmine! She gets BECAUSE. But it’s not just her. It’s Tanim who always knows I have a Half Decaf-Half Regular Black so I don’t leap out of my skin and send my ADD into overdrive with regular high octane coffee! It’s also the dude whose name I don’t know with the goatee (looked for him for a pic with him but not working) who knows what my wife drinks and makes it a point to play with my 2 year old when we are on line. These are the people I like to reward with my business and my time BECAUSE…!
Customers who feel they have been treated well and in an authentic manner have a 70% chance of returning to a business they have developed a relationship with even after just one positive visit.
BIGresearch, an Ohio-based market intelligence firm, asked thousands of shoppers what kind of customer service they expected. Customers said they sought friendly, authentically polite service and wanted to feel that a company valued them more than the sale. They look for value, but define it as more than the price of a product; it also includes the service they receive. According to the survey, 71 percent said they stopped doing business with a company due to bad customer service.
So, before you have to go chasing down unhappy guests asking why they left and they just tell you, BECAUSE, train your staff in the Beatle version of BECAUSE. It will HELP you in THE END during the Customer Service REVOLUTION.
Oh, and yeah…that is me with the Beatles (thank you Photo Shop) and yes that was me with longhair and face fuzz. Be kind in your comments.
Peace and Imagine great customer Service (That’s what Lennon meant…right?)!