Your Guests know what they want. They come to you to get it.
But they also know where to go if you can’t deliver it.
Those businesses that want to succeed must deliver upon their Guest’s needs and make sure that they do so consistently. Those who fail to do so will certainly find their Guests leaving them and taking their business elsewhere.
I’ve been working with Customer for over two decades. I’ve also spent a significant amount of time helping businesses understand how to best deliver for their Customers. It’s been my experience that often the disconnect comes when, at a very base level, businesses neglect to deliver on the requests and desires of their Customers.
I was working with a restaurant group who was seeing declining sales and a lack of returning diners. After conversation with Guests and servers, the reason became pretty clear. The diners almost across the board found that the food was not worth the price, was slow in coming, and the kitchen refused to allow special orders. I am a firm believer that principles are awesome, but at the end of the day you have to find a way to pay the bills and keep your team employed. The team refused to make their menu faster to produce, decrease the prices, or allow any type of customization. They thought surely if they stuck to their guns, they would cultivate a following that would support their business. They turned out to be wrong and shuttered their eatery less than a year later.
The real lesson is that while you may not agree with your Guests, so long as you are reliant on their loyalty for your success, you must seek to meet their needs. Basically, if it isn’t against the law or unethical, sometimes you have to bend to the will of your Guests.
So what are the three secrets to giving your Guests what they want?
GIVE THEM EXPERIENCES THAT ARE “JUST FOR THEM” When you make your Customers feel special they won’t forget it. Every Guest comes with a different set of requests or needs that sets them apart as individuals – and which cannot be ignored. They want to feel like true Guests rather than a transaction or a dollar sign, and to do that you must find the joy in serving them. It could be the love of cooking for diners, the desire to bring health and wellness to patients, or a desire to keep folks safe while repairing their cars. Regardless of your business, there is a larger mission that will help you delight your Customers. Think of each Guest as an individual and VIP and you’ll find that driving home great service becomes even more personal for your organization.
MEET THEIR EXPECTATIONS When you serve Guest each day, be sure that you understand exactly what they desire. So often businesses waste time trying to give folks what they think they want, rather than focusing their vision on a need that their Customers have. Apple bet the store that their Customers wanted the next step in the evolution of the cell phone when they launched the iPhone; Walt Disney knew that families were looking for an escape from the everyday world in a clean, safe amusement park; and Starbucks was certain their “third place” environment would meet the need for a separate location from work and home. In all cases they were right. They didn’t guess at this – they asked Guest what they wanted, looked at the market, and then designed services and products that were designed to meet the needs of Customers. Ask yourself what your Guests need from a business like yours and then deliver it in a friendly, clean, consistent, and hassle free environment.
That’s really all folks are looking for when it is all boiled down – to be treated well, to know what to expect, and to get what they want with minimal effort.
DEVELOP TEAMS THAT KNOW WHAT THEY ARE DOING Guests love it when those serving them are experts. Whether it’s the mechanic that finds auto issues like a champ, the barista that makes the best latte, or the dentist who has the magic touch with effortless cleanings. Think about how amazing it is when you walk into the home improvement store and the Associate in hardware knows exactly what tool or bolt you need to complete a project. Feels good doesn’t it – a relief that you’ve found an expert who can help. That is the same way your Customers feel when you deliver for them. That means a well-trained, well-treated, well-led team that puts the Guest at the very center of everything. The biggest obstacle to this pillar is the poorly trained associate – if your team is ill equipped to do their jobs that will translate into experiences that never hit the mark. Make sure your team are experts in their field and that you communicate with them in a robust and honest manner. Great communication and timely training will allow you to hit this important guest need.
Customers are savvy and they know what they want. You can choose to ignore their wishes or you can do your very best to anticipate, meet, and exceed their expectations.
There is no doubt that treating your Guests like cherished friends starts by making sure that they are well treated and well served every time they visit your business.
Tony Johnson Customer Service Expert | Author | Trainer | Speaker
Check out my latest book: RECIPE FOR SERVICE Now Available on Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/Recipe-Service-Inspire-Deliver-Customer/dp/0986391204
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