A common challenge when trying to make customer experiences make a worthwhile difference to business performance and results, is getting the key messages to colleagues on the front line in everyday language and in simple terms they can interpret.
Far too often they are expected to decipher management gobbledegook and corporate claptrap into worthwhile behaviours they can use. But that can be difficult and often it is impossible. So, to avoid this, here are two simple ideas which I know can combine to give a powerful and effective overall message about how to treat customers in ways that will encourage lasting loyalty.
One and only customers
There’s a hotel chain that calls itself The One and Only. I’ve always thought that is a great name for a hotel chain but also that it is a great thought to give front line, customer serving people. That is to serve every customer as if they were your ‘one and only’ customer and without them you would have no customers. I doubt there are many organisations, if any, that actually have just one customer.
But I know this very simple thought can inspire people to really think hard about how they treat all customers and consider how they could behave in ways to always give them the best possible service and experiences.
One of Irelands well known business leaders is Feargal Quinn. He was the founder of the Superquinn Supermarket chain and went on to become head of the Irish Post Office and a Senator in the Irish Government. He is also the author of a great book on customer service called ‘Crowning the Customer’. In that book he introduced the idea of what he called boomerang customers. His idea was that just as boomerangs are supposed to always come back, so will customers if they are offered good products at great value with super service.
And this simple idea worked. His workforce understood that ensuring customers always came back would build the business and provide them with ongoing employment with improving income and promotion prospects. It also made Superquinn one of Ireland’s most successful supermarket chains.
Both these ideas are easy for anyone to understand. And as long as customer service people are not hindered by disempowering management or reporting systems, they are simple to turn into loyalty building behaviours. They also work, so why not give them a try in your organisation?
Chris Daffy is one of the UK’s best-known customer service fanatics. He is a Companion of the Institute of Customer Service and founder of The Academy of Service Excellence. His experience and expertise has taken him all over the world as a consultant and conference speaker and enabled him to work with organisations as varied as Airbus, Air...