In implementing an awesome service strategy my coaching is to do 2-3 little things really, really well. It doesn’t need to be a “big splash”. It is more impactful to embed little things into a strict system that is followed consistently over time.
There are two areas that (in my opinion) can be elevated by most companies because mostly they are sooooo bad.
Those two I have written about before – the “tone” in which emails are written, and the lack of systems in phone answering.
Here is a simple 3-part strategy to wow your customers:
- Create an uncompromising email policy that exudes awesome service
- Do the same for the phone
- Implement an awesome service ritual that done well and consistently will blow your clients away.
Awesome Service Emails
As I have written about in a past blog on how to write great emails – follow this main rule – write your emails so that people experience you really care for the person on the other end of the email and you show that with softeners generously sprinkled throughout your email. (The way most people write emails in the USA/Canada is as if there is NO person at the other end – just a machine receiving commands in computer code 😊).
Here is a link to that Blog as a reminder:
A Phone Answering System
The other way to embed awesome service is how you answer the phone. The phone is often the first point of contact that people have with your business and can either be a terrific experience or a dreadful one.
Here are some quick standards to use as a guideline:
- Answer the phone on the second ring (one is too quick; three rings and people are getting impatient!)
- Start with “good morning/afternoon/company name/this is “Your First and Last Name”
- Listen attentively and ask questions
- End on a high and wait for the client to hang up first
Here is a re-visit of a blog I wrote referencing awesome service on the phone:
Awesome Service Ritual
The third way to create an awesome service system in your business is to integrate a simple ritual that sets you apart from anyone in your industry.
Before we transformed our business into a 100% virtual company with everyone working from home, we had a nice office in Victoria in Bastion Square. We had a small conference room at the front next to the reception desk where we ushered in clients and prospects for a one-on-one meeting.
We did something almost no professional service firms do – we offered a leather bound menu with drink and snack offerings.
But that wasn’t all. We had a very detailed system to perform each step so it became a kind of rhythmic ritual (anyone following the system would be able to duplicate it step-by-step).
As a result of this service ritual we became known as the “cappuccino accounting firm”. Clients would drop by to request a latte and would sit and work in our conference room.
To demonstrate how granular our systems were in just this one area, here is an exact re-print of our system:
Procedures for Greeting A Client
- Greet client at the door immediately and thank them for coming.
- Ask them if they would like to have a seat in the client room.
- Hand them the menu:
- For new clients: Ask them if they have ever been offered to choose from a menu before in an accounting office.
- For return clients: Can I offer you a (Look up the clients’ favorite drink from the index card file (“Preferred Clients’ Preferences – PCP”) in the second to left, top kitchen cupboard.) If the client says no, then ask them to have a look at the menu to see if anything else interests them today.
- Tell the clients the specialty juices for the day – Check the fridge and the top, second to left kitchen cupboard first to find out which juices are in stock (including Spritzer cans).
4. Give them about two minutes to decide. Leave the door only slightly ajar behind you
5. When you return knock on the door and wait for “Come in”, then ask them what they have decided on. Make sure you don’t forget to ask if they would like cream or sugar in their tea/coffee. Lay the menu on top of the shelf for now
6. Tell them that Mark will be with them in just a minute and you will be back shortly with their treat.
7. When you leave to make their ‘order’ leave the door only slightly ajar again. This is so that Mark can knock before he enters.
8. Tell Mark that the client is ready to see him now.
9. If it’s a new client enter their name and requested treat into the ‘PCP’ index file under their company’s name. For larger companies list the names of the frequent visitors on the index card.
10. Clean up the client room afterwards. Please put the chairs back into their original format with the menu in the middle of the table.
My challenge to you is – what can you do (and systematize) as a permanent ritual in your business that will elevate your service to a level that exceeds anyone in your industry.
And, sorry coffee served in Styrofoam cups with stir sticks doesn’t make the grade. 😊
One More Thing
One last thing to keep in mind in the area of awesome service is this – the first, and most important, customers in your business are your Team members. How you treat them will be what you can expect them to pass on to your customers. Treat them poorly and they will likely pass that treatment on. Like in a dysfunctional family where the last one to get kicked is the dog…
Thanks for reading…