By Dave Hamilton, senior vice president for Signature Worldwide
There has been an accelerated increase in consumer expectations the last few years. Yes, today’s economic climate has been a driving factor, but certainly not the only reason our customers now are focused on perceived value. The waste-not, want-not mentality, so visible and practiced by the traditionalist generation that was discarded by following generations, now seems to be the new status quo. It’s been said all things run in cycles.
This consumer shift or change of perspectives is visible in almost all businesses where the customer has the opportunity to say on the phone or face to face, “Do you have?” Or, “How much?” The only thing that has remained constant and will remain constant is our “human capitol quotient”; we still are at the mercy of our people. As the adage goes: “Our business will only be as good as our people; if we don’t move our people forward, we can’t move our business forward.” Amid all the restructuring and “corporate leaning” that has occurred during the last few years, it is obvious that management’s focus has shifted from the motivation and reinforcing of core service beliefs to a compliance mentality focused on the multitude of reporting platforms that monitor every aspect of productivity. The customer can quickly become a statistic.
The truth is that the phone is ringing, and there is still demand. Business owners and managers just can’t be lucky anymore, they actually have to be better than their competition and have a contemporary plan that touches everyone on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. Face it, the world has become a yard sale.
My message is simple: Before you struggle to change technologies and processes, thinking this is a survival must-do in these challenging, opportunistic, economic times, first look at your human capital. Retooling your sales and service processes ensures your people a comprehensive selection of “how should I react in this situation” tools so they can focus on the customer, not on the product. Next, combine this new culture with an ongoing reinforcement and coaching plan that continues to give your staff additional tools they will need to be successful from the “Hello” at the beginning of a relationship to the ending, “Thank you, is there anything else I can do for you?” Without a doubt, this is the most important business decision you can make, ensuring a solid service platform that is focused on loyalty.
The following five relationship building suggestions will help your staff focus on increasing sales and building customer loyalty:
There is no magical pill or grandiose idea that will solve all your human issues, but with the right focus on the little things, I’m convinced the strong will survive—and even flourish in the years to come.
Dave Hamilton is senior vice president for Signature Worldwide, a provider of training solutions for a wide range of service-based industries. He can be reached at 601.992.0172 or . For more information on Signature Worldwide, visit www.signatureworldwide.comor connect with us on Facebookor Twitter.