“Quality in a service or product is not what you put into it. It is what the client or customer gets out of it.” Peter Drucker
The new year is just around the corner. 2012 was the year customers began to feel more comfortable by willing to travel more and book their business gatherings at hotels across the world. Hotel managers began to see a positive trend with business travel picking up, creating a new demand that was hard to come by for several years due to economic rollercoaster.
As service leaders, we have to turn up the heat in 2013 and really add more value to our customers. The days of customer satisfaction are gone. The new year will bring opportunities to enrich customer service in a world that’s hungry for beautiful experiences. The next level of customer service will challenge us to create a memorable delightful moments to each and every customer we come into contact with. If those moments will be valuable and meaningful, we will achieve loyalty for years to come.
So how do we begin to L.E.A.D the customer loyalty experience in 2013? Here are some ideas I thought can be valuable to every customer wherever they choose to have their experiences.
Listen to the customer
The gift of our attention and understanding cannot be underestimated. More and more customers are complaining because no one really took the time to listen and understand their needs. Our ability as leaders to listen and listen well, creates goodwill that brings customer back to our business. We have to be interested in their lives and pay attention to what they are asking of us from the very beginning. To build the bond of understanding, we need a listening ear. Our customers want to feel understood and appreciated for the money they spend. They are spending their hard earned money on our ability to really create an environment for them to be valued and understood. By listening deeply, we make their experience less challenging.
Empathize with the customer
The power of empathy is the essence of all good relationships. Empathy strengthens our connection with one another on another level. Empathy allows us to understand the customer better and act on their requests in much more meaningful way. When we are empathetic, we have the ability to understand the customer on a deeper level. It’s an opportunity to make an emotional connection for understanding them as a people and not just another transaction. When we empathize with the customer, we connect better by helping and reaching out to someone in time of urgent need.
Attention to the customer
Attending to the customer goes beyond being there and showing up to work. It requires of us to disengage from our own personal agendas to give more of our attention to the customer. More and more businesses have invested in their technologies resources and it’s really easy to get distracted and leave the customer behind. As I read and listen to customer’s feedback, I am learning that attention is something we cannot ignore. We all do more with less and have an extra project to implement but we must not forget to focus on our customers as they keep our doors open and bills paid every month. By giving our immediate attention to customer’s problems and challenges we communicate that they are just as important to our business as any project we are working on.
Delight the customer
Creating a customer for life requires companies to take their customers to the Delight Moments. There is a significant difference between satisfied and delighted customers. Delighted customers will be more loyal and a business can create e customers for life. The key for businesses is determined by the right customer experience for the right return. When customers are delighted they share their positive experiences with others. They are raved about the level of service you gave them for their money’s worth. That’s the real value added boost for taking a satisfied customer to a delighted customer. It starts with random of acts of kindness and surprising the customer with something more than they expected . It’s the cherry on top customer experience.