How to turn a Customer into a Fan

How to turn a Customer into a Fan

No it’s not a magic trick with smoke and mirrors, though come to think of it many will probably consider it so.

On the occasions when I have experienced the transition from simply being a customer to being a fan I have concluded that it is essentially down to the 3 P’s – Professional, Personal and Personable and more often than not it’s nothing especially major.  It’s just little things that, as a customer, I have been pleasantly surprised at, delivered with the 3 P’s.

Take the time that I was buying my father a pair of slippers for Christmas from a leading partnership department store chain in the UK.  I took them to the check out point and the member of staff took them from me and then disappeared.  It turned out that she had noticed a small crease in the material and had gone to the section manager to confirm that she could offer me a small discount.  The amount of the discount was modest but I was impressed and I’ve been a fan ever since.

In the whole of my career I have always had a passion for customer service excellence.  The feeling you get when it’s clear that a customer has genuinely appreciated their dealings with you is as good a reward (for me) as the salary I was paid.

So, it’s not magic and the funny thing is it’s just so simple to achieve you’d think everyone would be doing it.  So why is there still so much customer dissatisfaction around.  It’s certainly not got anything to do with the effort or focus companies place on customer service.

In my view (and I have seen a lot of it when attending, or delivering, customer service training prepared by others) the missing elements from what appears to be a well constructed training programme that covers all of the accepted key elements and may even include videos of famous comics demonstrating (in highly amusing fashion) poor customer service that is obvious to even the most unreceptive individual is that;

  1. individual motivations are not catered to
  2. the personal pleasure to be gained from providing an excellent customer experience is not factored in
  3. insufficient coverage of the ‘little things’

Even more simply ‘treat others as you would wish to be treated yourself’.

I believe we have it all well covered at PayX through our Business Advisory Services.

1 Comment

  • By Chris Fisher

    Some good points Ian, but I would have been much more impressed if the the member of staff had been empowered to make the discount themsleves without leaving the customer to seek permission from higher authority. Within the banking industry, which we support, I have seen the continued evolution of the disempowerment of staff, the growing culture of no one being willing to take decisions and actual training that discourages decision taking. \’Tick box\’ mentality and a blame culture is highly prevalent. Until it is accepted that we need to educate rather than train, empower rather than constrain, and that making mistakes is part of the learning process I am afraid good customer service will continue to be a rare event.

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