The Future of Customer Service By Dell. The Think Tank Board.
“A customer is the most important visitor on our premises; he is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him. He is not an interruption in our work. He is the purpose of it. He is not an outsider in our business. He is part of it. We are not doing him a favour by serving him. He is doing us a favour by giving us an opportunity to do so.”
A Man of The People
Wise and insightful words that I wish more companies would adopt and follow through on. If they did take these powerful words from the wise Mahatma Gandhi, what happy customers we would be. We are all consumers at the end of the day, whether we like it or not. This quote would serve as an excellent mission statement for a multitude of businesses today. Customer Service is a term bandied about as if it is something applicable to an elite group of Industries, for example retail and not something required by others, so very wrong in my opinion. Every business has an obligation to its customers.
I have worked in many different roles throughout my career. These have included Freelance Make-Up Artist, Beauty Therapist, Retail Trainer, Business Owner and Retail Store Manager. All in all an accumulation of near 30 years experience predominantly within the retail sector. Not because it was “something to do” but because I am passionate about retail. Customer Service has forever and will continue to be, the most important element in a successful business
As the great man says -
“A customer is the most important visitor on our premises”
It is not the CEO visiting or the Regional Manager that should take centre stage, your customer should take priority, no question. Be it on the phone, in a shop, or in a garage, the principal is the same. Your bosses will expect you to look after your customers ahead of them if they have any sense.
“He is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him”
Customers have phoned you, called into your shop or arrived at your place of work for a reason. They are interested to hear what you have to say. Something made them choose you in relation to countless other competitors, the question is why? Businesses, in my view have forgotten that they depend on customers on a daily basis. Customers are not interested that you are having a bad day and are not your normal, cheery helpful self. Their comment, if asked would be “Suck it up”. They are here now and deserve your very best. Staff who do not give their very best are forgetting that their business depends on them providing it. It is a requirement and in your job description, check it out!
“He is not an interruption in our work. He is the purpose of it”
It is amazing how often I have gone into a shop and had a look around, decided that I want to ask for some information on a product and gone looking for a sales assistant, only to find them huddled together having a chin wag about their night out or some other personal topic. You are actually made to feel like you are disturbing them. Are they for real? I am not there to interrupt them, but I am there to be helped just as they are there to help and advise. It is one of my major pet hates and I have no time for rudeness, lack of respect and sheer bad manners.
Dundrum Shopping Centre - Dublin
“He is not an outsider in our business. He is part of it”
Some companies are glowing examples of this principle. Recently my partner and I rescued an abandoned dog. Needing to buy a few essentials for Coco, we found ourselves at a pet store in Dublin. So in we went, leaving Coco, our Black Labrador in the car outside. At the store we were greeted by friendly, smiling staff who insisted we bring Coco into the store. They were genuinely interested in Coco and brought her doggie nibbles for a treat and showed us there was drinking bowls available for all pets so they could have a drink in the store.
We were totally “blown away” by the level of service we received in Maxi Zoo. A few weeks later we found by accident another two branches of Maxi Zoo and were highly impressed to see we received the same high level of customer care in each of these stores. Their website encourages customers to bring along their pets to not just the stores but inside the stores. The atmosphere was vibrant, fun and the staff were ultra friendly and knowledgeable. We were made to feel very much part of the business and it was a great feeling I can tell you. The only other store in Dublin where I have experienced excellence in Customer Service is at the Disney Store. Children have so many activities to try out it is amazing!
“We are not doing him a favour by serving him. He is doing us a favour by giving us an opportunity to do so”
With such competition today, businesses need to ensure their staff are at the top of their game. It is much easier for consumers to shop online and online business is booming. The one crucial element missing for customers however is the personal touch. That is where the retailer on the high street will have the edge.
The reason is customers like to go into a store, ask questions, feel fabric, try garments on, smell fragrances or just have some banter with staff. Relationship building is fundamental to Customer service and by offering consistently good or exceptional service; customers will return the favour with repeat business
Disney Store - Orlando Florida
Excellent Customer Service Quotes –
“It is not the employer that pays the wages. Employers only handle the money. It is the customer who pays the wages”
Henry Ford, Founder of Ford Motors
“The goal as a company is to have good customer service that is not just the best but is legendary”
Sam Walton, Founder of Wal-Mart
“Do what you do so well that they will want to see it again and bring their friends”
Walt Disney, Founder of the Walt Disney Company
“Nothing is so contagious than enthusiasm”
Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Poet