When the players are all in place and the cameras are rolling, movie stars must follow the director's lead and interpret the deeper meaning to each line they read. Interpret the tone wrong and they will fall flat, but utter the words properly and they may find themselves immortalized for eternity.
In business, especially when working to provide exemplary service, those in a position to make or break the customer experience, need to closely guard each and every word out of their mouths. Take a look at the scripted lines below and see why they have no place in customer service today.
One of the biggest problems I find when speaking to organizations everywhere I go is that there is usually a small percentage of people that simply don't care about the customer's point of view. The white paper (5 Biggest Mistakes Made in Business) linked here, outlines as the "grand daddy of all mistakes," failure to care. Customers can sense when you do not care about them. It hurts your business when you do not care what the customer thinks, since they have the option of spending their money somewhere else and if you do not care, they will run from you.
Mistakes are bound to happen, it's what happens next that really counts. If you make another mistake you will possibly lose your customer due to errors made. Make many errors and you stand a good chance of going out of business. Although no one is perfect, work hard to learn from your mistakes, take corrective action and stay in the game. If you make an error with your customer, come clean, take responsibility and make it clear to your customer you are sorry.
Don't be so sure that you have the exact offer that will make your customer happy. Remember, unless you are totally seeing it from your customer's perspective, there is a chance your customer may not agree with your terms. Be open-minded and prepared to work out another solution or present another proposal if the offer you make does not resolve the concerns your customer has.
Don't ever back your customer into a corner. Presenting ultimatums or giving your customer no "out" may have them running for the doors at the first opportunity to leave you. Present plenty of options to your customer and if those don't fit the bill, be ready to present more. If you feel as though you only have one option for your customer and it doesn't seem to fit very well, be prepared to take your company out of the running. Not everyone is the perfect customer for you.
Using sarcasm with a customer is not a good idea, especially when your relationship is fresh. When writing emails, text messages or using social channels watch your tone and reread each exchange before hitting the SEND button. Also, getting in an argument with a customer is never a good idea, even when you win, you lose. Not all people are going to get along. If you are not a good match for your customer, maybe there is someone else in your company that is; watch what you say, how you say it and know to whom you are saying it.
When you are wrong, say you're sorry, even if you do not think it is important to say it. Those words, "I'm sorry," if said in a genuine and caring way will prove to your customer that you really care about their business. Follow through with action and correct your error as best you can, as quickly as possible. Don't forget to follow up with the customer to confirm you fixed the problem and corrected yourself and that your customer is satisfied.
I do love a great movie quote and I am constantly looking for inspiration to help get me to the next level in business. We've taken movie quotes to a whole different place in this blog, and we do the same with our podcast (The Nice Guys on Business). At the beginning and end of each of our 120+ episodes we have our voiceover guy Steve O'Brien read a famous quote. Can you figure out what movie they came from?