Service Customer-isation

Service Customer-isation

If delivery is the product, whether that be a physical object or a professional skill, then service is the vehicle that provides it. Service defines business. It is how our customers, clients and guests attach real-time value. The key component that sets us apart from our competitors. Typically business will focus on product and blend wholesale price, utilities and labour costs to match competitors. Then they will squeeze everything into stylish branding.

With the substantial investment thrown at public image it is no wonder that clients and customers are easily dissatisfied with their buying experience. Yet for those who customise their vehicle of service into something unique and spectacular, the rewards can be both far reaching and considerable.

The formula of ‘want’ and ‘need’

I remember the phone call like it was yesterday. I was in the restaurant up to my elbows in a prep list big enough to cover the weekend off. It was a Friday morning just after 9am. The guest was in a frantic state. He wanted a table reserved for the evening. He had forgotten his wedding anniversary and was desperate to spoil his wife but also knew how busy we were at week-ends. We are his wife’s favourite restaurant. Could I help him?

I scour the reservations and reassure him that with a bit of juggling I can sort it. He goes from terrified to relieved. I will call him back in two hours to confirm. I put the phone down and focus on arranging flowers and champagne and something special for dessert. I phone him back at the arranged time. In a calm voice he says how grateful he is. He has had time to think and asks if I can arrange flowers and champagne. Question – should a guest or a client have to ask a professional to be considerate?

Anticipation or incarceration?

I had a call from my bank’s fraud division, specialists at electronic surveillance and bank security. My bank card had been hacked and my account suspended. Grateful that the funds are secure the concern I have is that I have weeks of work overseas coming up. I am financially stranded. I ask if the fraud division can offer suggestions or an alternative, they say no! I will have to wait a week for the new card to arrive in the post. I am distraught. Cancelling clients is against everything I stand for. I am now desperately trying to remember the workshop on conflict management.

After hours of searching online I discover android and apple pay. I call the bank back – could they call me with the new card number? I could then pay using my phone as a contactless point. They say it sounds like a good idea as they will have the new number in a day or so.

I’ve also discovered that I can use the Western Union app to transfer cash directly through currency exchange offices – found everywhere. The technological edge of a modern-day fraud division again confirm that it is a great idea. Would you call this ‘helpful banking’? Does your knowledge anticipate your client’s requirements, or does the lack of it incarcerate them?

Just another line.

In every aspect of business, how we present our service is the impact we make on our share of the market place. It is how brands are identified and valued. It is the opportunity that a client presents to us that will be our greatest marketing promotion.

Customer service training londonAnd most people know how to wield the power of social media. Going ‘viral’ has huge possibilities. Embracing it can encourage an unlimited supply of free marketing. An opportunity to use creativity from a sphere of customer loyalty. Whereas businesses throw vast sums at advertising, savvy clients can use their immense networks to neutralise and ridicule these expensive efforts.

Is it truly customers first, understanding needs and wants? Is your business polishing reputation on the badge of branding? Do you sincerely believe that service should exceed expectations? Or is your slogan just another line – to proudly promote or to be used as a punchline?


How Relationship Building creates SALES in ABUNDANCE



Is exceptional service anticipation?

The waiter stands there looking at you hopefully. Pleasantly he suggests an entrée you had not considered. ‘Let me make your evening, this is one our finest dishes.’ You study his face. The ambience of the restaurant is a delight, and with a grateful nod you confirm his suggestion. It is agreed that you will consider the main order at your leisure. It is your first visit and there is no need to think too hard over an untried menu. You want to be spoilt with an abundance of service, to have a wonderful experience. The waiter returns with a complimentary glass of house red, anxious to have your opinion. It is anticipating the guests need for being special and the philosophy of sales in abundance.

What opening question can you use?

You meander through a shopping mall, you have things to do so your pace is brisk. Quite unexpectedly a happy sales rep bounces in your way and suggests a moment to refresh in the latest aftershave. The salespersons introduction launches into a question ‘Can you help me, I can’t figure out where I have experienced this scent before, its exquisite?’ Deliberately you engage in the essence, enjoying the enthusiasm and the idea that you could help figure this out? It is an extravagant scent.

Not quite what you expected is it?’ the sales rep confirms. Perspectives are exchanged, you agree it reminds you of something? Memories are siphoned-off, convinced there is something personal worth remembering. The resistance to purchase may not be considered? Something unique, just for me? The essence does remind me of? What opening questions can you use in your sales dialogue?

This is where soft skill training companies can come in handy with workshops on emotional intelligence, successful selling, and excellent customer service.

Is this sales or is it something else?

The car salesman suggests the car-of-the-week, it is the deal to have beyond all others. This is your lucky day. You agree it is a great price considering the make, model and year. For almost an hour you exchange likes and dislikes on cars in general. References to desired engine size and favourite models. You both relate back to the infamous critics of Top Gear. The salesman, Steve with two kids and happily married has a favourite past time of rebuilding MG’s. He points out how much he loves his job, especially meeting enthusiasts. The deal has to be made, he can’t let you leave without you having the bargain of the century. Steve suggests three years of free labour for all servicing. It clenches the deal. It had to be done, but why? Is this sale’s or something else? Sales Training London

A precursor to a great relationship?

How one person can make the other person feel seems to be the lead in the most successful of sales encounters. Consider the guest at the restaurant who the waiter realised just wanted to be spoilt. To have the experience as if the guest was a visiting VIP or diplomat. This isn’t a waiter who is new at the job, this is someone who understands the idea of ‘special’. Go ahead and impress me is all he is looking for.

Consider the perfume sales rep who engages with what does this remind you of, after a personal interlude of their own remarkable nostalgia. Something my famous uncle used to wear. Something to attract attention? Just for fun – the best Linx adverts are delightful reminders of how to suggestive sell from the clients what’s-in-it-for-them view. The case to build an identity between a scent and a customer, much more specific to the individual. The gift of a spontaneous interaction – and my goodness where on earth did the time go?

Or consider the passionate car salesperson who just loves cars, loves talking about them. He just wants to build relationships, he uses three years of servicing to do it. Every client we have is an opportunity to develop a foundation of loyalty and therefore trust. With the ideal that sales are in abundance with every customer is to build the future. It will after all be the best advertising, mission statement, operating standard and brand identity you will ever invest in.