Hey. You know why your sales are suffering? I’ll tell you why. Because you’re focusing too much on the sell and not enough on your customer service. You’re too focused on making money & growing your numbers and not focused enough on serving your customers.
Do you think people care about your restaurant? Your products? Your services? Your rates? Your deal of the week? Your logo? Or that you read the Wall Street Journal during your lunch break? They don’t care. They really don’t.
You know why? Because they care about themselves. They’re only asking one question in their minds: what’s in it for me? It’s the same question you and I have floating in our heads too.
This means you have to take command over your customer service and the overall customer experience. So here you go! 5 ways to raise your game today.
- Address Your Customer With a Surname: this means calling your customer Sir or Madam; Mr. or Mrs. You may smirk and think this is antiquated, but in a world where people call each other all kinds of unprofessional names and nicknames, addressing them with a surname establishes a dynamic that says you are here to serve. That’s what your customer wants.
- Stop Talking So Much: if you’re dominating a conversation with a customer then that means you’re making that conversation more about yourself and less about your customer. You should be asking customer-centric questions and listening to what your customer says. In some cases, even if you have exactly what your customer is looking for, he/she will be put off by your yakkety yacking and you will talk yourself out of a deal.
- Treat Your Employees (Very) Well: if you think, thank god I don’t have to deal with customers, my employees do all that for me, then you’re already in trouble. You know how Richard Branson turned Virgin into a juggernaut? Customer service. But he added an interesting twist. Branson suggests the best way to provide customer service is by treating your employees well. If your employees are happy, they will treat your customers happy. If your employees are unhappy, how can you expect them to treat others well? As Branson puts it, “if the person who works at your company is not appreciated, they are not going to do things with a smile.”
- Say Thank You: even if you have to say it 200 times, just say it. Even if they buy nothing, thank them for stopping by and asking questions. It takes you 1 second. That’s it. You have to understand something: customers have a problem that needs solving. They have a million options, and even if they come to you and don’t buy, they still trusted you enough to seek you out and give you some of their time. Thanking them for this shows you value them and their time.
- Be Present: when I would practice carpentry with my Zen teacher, he would always smack me in the shoulder whenever he would catch me daydreaming, or ‘drowning in thoughts.’ When you’re with a customer, be fully present. Don’t be crunching numbers. Don’t be thinking about your upcoming meeting. Don’t be wondering if you got a new text. Don’t try to sell them. Just be present to your customer. This practice alone will win you so many new customers because if you are present to their needs and questions you will instantly gain their trust. And when your customer trusts you, he/she will do business with you. Period.