When you make a commitment, especially one to yourself, you begin to energize your mind in a way that opens new doors of possibility.
A commitment starts the engine of the subconscious mind. It takes a dream or an idea, and begins the process of turning it into reality. Mixed with discipline, commitment shapes the future.
Steve Jobs is known for a lot of his attributes, but one of them was his commitment. He was committed to excellence. There’s one story about him opening up an Apple computer, looking inside and making the team start over. You can hear the conversation:
Steve: That’s ugly.
Engineer: Who cares what the PC board looks like? The only thing that’s important is how well that it works. Nobody is going to see the PC board.
Steve: I’m gonna see it! I want it to be as beautiful as possible, even if it’s inside the box. A great carpenter isn’t going to use lousy wood for the back of the cabinet, even though nobody’s going to see it.
This is Customer Service Week, a week to celebrate extraordinary customer service. Last night I was especially grateful to a customer service representative who solved a problem for me in minutes over the phone. Giving customers an extraordinary experience is the lifeblood of any successful organization.
Not too long ago, I had the opportunity to talk with one of the world’s authorities on the customer experience. Shep Hyken is an author, speaker, and consultant to some of the world’s largest companies. He is a member of the National Speakers Association’s Speaker Hall of Fame for lifetime achievement and is a member of the distinguished Speaker’s Roundtable. His books include The Loyal Customer, Moments of Magic, and the bestselling books The Cult of the Customer and his latest The Amazement Revolution.
In The Amazement Revolution, Shep outlines seven powerful strategies to increase customer and employee loyalty. As Shep says, the Amazement Revolution is, “The strategic decision to remake your organization or your team based on the principle of amazement.”
It seems simple, but it’s profound. What if you and your organization really remade everything in your company around creating an AMAZING customer experience? What would happen?
These statistics from Harris Interactive emphasize with numbers what we all know: customer service matters. We are more likely to stay with a company, to recommend a product, or to buy more services from companies who do it well. And, when we have a negative experience, social media can become an outlet for frustration.
I’m a believer that everyone in a company is in customer service. Decades ago, Peter Drucker said, “There is only one valid definition of business purpose: to create a customer.” Servicing the customer is central to success.
One of the questions I always ask a customer is why.
Why did you choose us? I love to call new customers and ask. I’ve done this hundreds of times throughout my career. In all of those conversations, I’ve never had a new customer not want to tell me the “why.” And I learn valuable information with each phone call or visit.
It’s such an easy thing to ask. I’m not sure why everyone doesn’t make it a habit. Like most things, it may be easy to do but it’s also easy not to do. I know when I fall out of the habit, I lose a valuable opportunity.
Almost always mentioned is the professionalism of the company’s representative. It may also be the service, the product, or the price. It could also be driven by a negative experience with the competition.
It’s important to listen and understand why customers are buying from you. It can inform your corporate strategy. You may spot a trend. You may learn that you have strengths you didn’t even realize. You may even develop new services because of the feedback.
Almost invariably on these calls I find other benefits:
Developing new relationships
Hearing about issues I wouldn’t have known about
Learning about employees who have gone above and beyond
If you’re running a business or in a leadership position, take the time out to make a few calls. Ask the question. Then, just listen and take notes. I’m willing to bet you will learn more than you thought possible.