Don’t work to satisfy customers. Work knowing that it is your signature. It defines you and tells the world who you are.
Your image is not built by your ad agency but by how your customer’s experience your service and tell others, not you. A complaining customer wants to deal with you. He’s not a problem. He’s an asset. Despite what you did he’s still interested. Others walk. Your service is not defined by the best but by your customer’s worst experience. And even more by what you did thereafter. And that was? Want to serve? Take the HEAT: Hear, Empathize, Accept, Take action. Customer’s perception is his reality. Your spiel is fluff. Forget it. Let your customer’s say that you’re the best. Show that you care about excellence by demonstrating it in every Moment of Truth, every day. A Moment of Truth is that moment when a customer or a potential customer comes into contact with any part of your business and has the opportunity to form an opinion. ~ Jan Carlson, CEO, Scandinavian Airlines (1980’s)
Successful businesses are those which monitor and control their Moments of Truth. Most don’t even know when they happen. Check yourself.
Moments of Truth are defined by what your least paid, trained and valued employees do. Where do you focus your resources and rewards? Your best, most powerful unpaid ambassador is your customer. So you decide what you want him to say. Amazing how many ignore and abuse him. The worst service is by businesses who actually believe their own self congratulatory ad spiel. The best simply focus on doing the job well. Why doesn’t 3M call itself Most Inventive? Bombay Dabbawallas, Most Efficient? L. L. Bean, Most Courteous? Because their customers do. How do you know what your customers are saying? By listening to them. What’re your process and metrics for that? Reality can be measured. Since only 2% complain, a customer complaint is a fire alarm. Is that how you treat it? There’s a very real danger in ignoring fire alarms. Don’t read success case studies. Read about failures. 10:1 of those. But nobody writes case studies of failures. So they happen over & over. Reputation is not the result of doing something right once but of doing it again and again. That can happen only if you measure and monitor. Success is not an accident. Neither is failure. Both are choices, but not always conscious. Choose wisely because you’ll pay for it, dearly. Leave nothing to chance, least of all, success. Reality is measurable. Self deception is not. Ad spiel is good for the agency, not you. Treat ad spiel as a challenge to live up to. Not as a medal of achievement. Not only have you not arrived, you haven’t even started Opportunity cost is like the hole in the bottom. You can’t see it but that’s what sinks the ship. Is opportunity cost on your balance sheet? Customer is pronounced by many Hindi speakers as Kasht-mar. That’s not English for Kasht-se-mar. But that’s how we treat customers, right?
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