I had a recent buying experience where I realised that the sales person hadn’t checked in with me to really ensure that my needs were fully met. Then I thought, could it be that it isn’t something that comes naturally for customer service representatives? If it isn’t it should certainly be. My customer experience would have been a lot better if the salesperson had made the effort to check in with my needs.
What do I mean by ‘checking in with your customer’?
If I’m buying a service from you or if I have asked you for a quote to undertake some work for me what I want is for you to listen and understand my needs. I want you to get to the bottom of what I really want, I want you to be willing to make the effort to uncover all the hidden details behind the request “I want you to paint my bedroom”.
If you have done what usual potential service providers do you will have questioned me about my room, even come and had a look at it to see the state that it currently is in. In doing that, you might have found that something else needed doing – some additional electrical work, for instance – and you might have mentioned you will contact an electrician to arrange a quote.
By doing this you have already given me an expectation of what you are going to deliver. Not only will I receive a quote from you, but I will be contacted by your recommended trades person. Based on our discussion my expectation is that all these services will be provided within the next 24 hours.
This is where the trap occurs.
As the salesman you deliver your piece of the service. You send through your quote within the expected time-frame. You then tick that item off your to-do list and move onto other jobs. The problem is that the electrician you promised would get in touch with me has not followed through. You might very well think that your involvement stopped with your recommendation and that he is no longer your problem. In reality, though, you have made him your problem by having recommended him to me as your client. You provided the lead and gave me, the customer, the expectation that this service would be provided quickly and efficiently. Otherwise you should not have recommended the electrician.
What if you had rung your customer after you sent your quote in to check in and ensure they had everything they needed?
(a) You would have found out that the electrician that you provided the lead for hadn’t followed through. This then would have allowed you to either suggest someone else or given the responsibility back to the customer by leaving the task of finding someone back with them.
(b) You would have found out that the customer may have a question or other items that they wanted to check with you about.
Most importantly, you would have showed them that they are important to you by making contact and showing concern and interest.
So, make the extra effort to check in with your customer to see if you are fully meeting their needs, after all, isn’t that what you are ultimately aiming for?… to fully meet your customers needs!?
In today’s market, you definitely should.