From time to time, you have probably found yourself wondering what it is that a particular customer expects … especially those who are harder to please than most. The fact of the matter is that while a very small percentage of customers cannot be pleased because they don’t really know what it is that they want, nearly all customers can have their expectations met if you follow four basic principles.
Tending To Needs, Catering To Wants
Your customers expect excellent service that takes care of their needs and caters to their wants.
For example, if a customer is holding a black-tie affair, he or she wants someone who can add value to the event, understand his or her vision, and deliver the service or product in such a way that it blends in with all the other parts of the evening. That’s the customer’s need.
What the customer needs is a professional who will provide peace of mind and satisfaction — someone who doesn’t require micromanagement to yield the results required to fulfill the identified and unidentified wants and needs expressed by the customer.
Accentuate The Positive
No matter what happens, the customer needs someone who will focus on what’s going well, juggle what may not be going as well as hoped, and ensure that things are done so that everyone affected is pleased with the final outcome. Let’s say you’re a musician and at the last minute, the event coordinators decide to relocate the band from one corner of the room to another … roll with it. Don’t fuss over the fact that you were expecting to be exactly where you thought you were going to be. Assess the situation, and make the appropriate accommodations to make the new place work for you and your band members. Where you play doesn’t have to affect how well you play (unless they stick you right beside the washrooms or the swinging doors leading in and out of the kitchen).
Instant FAQs v Correct FAQs
Your customer wants accurate answers to his or her questions, not just quick answers. If you don’t have the right answer when asked a question, your customer will appreciate the fact that you’ve been honest with him by stating you don’t have that answer at the moment.
Your customer will love you when you follow it up with a promise to get that answer for him or her within a set period of time. Then follow up your promise by doing exactly what you said you’d do: get the right answer back to him or her within that set period of time.
Problem Solving As A Team Member
Your customer may not necessarily see you as one of his or her team members, but the fact of the matter is … you are. Whether a problem is yours to solve or someone else’s is immaterial if you have a workable solution for your customer.
Over the years you’ve been a professional, you’ve amassed certain skill sets that make your insights invaluable in specific situations. Don’t wait for your customer to become overwhelmed with the task of finding a proper solution if you have an answer that will address the problem right away.
Respectfully make suggestions to your customer, and in doing so, the importance you place on fulfilling your customer’s needs and addressing your customer’s wants will make your service or product stand out in a positive way.
Meet and Exceed Expectations
When you make those four principles the foundation of how you do business, you’ll find your business flourishing in good — as well as in poor — economies.
Customers expect professional behavior from professionals. When you include all those extras, you will definitely exceed your customer’s expectations.