Service excellence and “the date”
In our endeavour to court the customer and deliver the ultimate relationship, it’s now time to realise “the perfect date”
How do you understand the concept of “date” night? This date night refers to the actual experience, which, up to this point in your interactions, has been a promise.
Are you comfortable about delivering on your promise? Looking at key factors that will ensure the date night lives up to expectations, we need to consider the following:
• Packaging and presentation of the experience
This is not the sole domain of marketing – as most people think. We all have a responsibility to ensure each and every engagement is in line with the company’s values and promises to the customer.
It is important to remember that your professional promise goes beyond the actual product and paperwork associated with the sale or negotiation. Care needs to be given to dress sense, for example. Be professional at all times, as you are seen as an extension of the business, day and night, and people notice your behaviour. Follow the company rules for code of conduct.
• Reinforce the company promise
The company promise must be reinforced by every action undertaken during the negotiation process, as we must not assume the customer is totally satisfied with you or the company at this point in the proceedings. Bear in mind that your customer could still be in the process of making a final decision. Consider the company promise or sign-off line. Are you delivering that promise? “Bigger, Better, Faster …”
• Reinforce the company image
Use every opportunity during any engagement with your customer to reinforce the company image through verbal and non-verbal actions. What is the company promise? It could be time to evaluate your promise. If your customer responds positively to your sign-off line do not tamper with it. However, if you get a negative response, you would need to act immediately to rectify the situation.
• Service excellence
Before negotiations are concluded, ensure the customer feels that the level of service delivered at this point is of a superior standard. Never be afraid to ask customers whether they are happy with the transaction, product and service delivered thus far.
Answer any questions customers may have. Should you not know the answer, be sure to tell the customer you will research the question and reply as soon as possible. Be sure to reply quickly in order to maintain the level of trust you have worked very hard to build up. Simple delivery of a product or service does not constitute service excellence.
The next article will focus on the “afterglow” of this courtship.
Jannie Koegelenberg is passionate about promoting positive customer experiences. He runs the EDGE Training Consultancy, a leading provider of world-class training and development programmes that meaningfully change and impact on people’s lives. He has a 38-year track record in the motor industry, having worked at Mercedes-Benz distributor United Cars and Diesel Distributors, Ford Motor Company SA and Toyota SA Marketing.