Thursday, December 11, 2008

What can you do to surpass customer expectation and give them what they really want?

Dear Friends,

Last week I gave you an exercise to challenge your ability to think from the Other Person's Point of View.

This little, seemingly childish, exercise is critical in developing the "empathic muscles" you need to provide the customer with what they really want, how they want to feel they're being treated.
There are two separate and distinct areas you may have found.

CORE business: Your skill, ability and expertise to do what you do. It's the core of your business. It's what you do.

CUSTOMER SERVICE: It's the manner, style, process in which you deliver your core business. It's how people feel about what you do.

Referrals cannot exist in the absence of either one.

With that said, I will share what I consider to be the 5 basic areas you can focus on delivering what consumers really want in this market.

Adding value is a matter of merging your CORE and CUSTOMER SERVICE to create a synergy between the two. They are not separate. They are one.

1. INFORMATION: The consumer today wants you to sort through all the information available, and there's a ton of it, and skillfully select what pertinent information will apply to them and best meet their need on an individual basis. One size does not fit all.

Tailoring all the information is a process that can be done ONLY after you've skillfully and emphatically assessed your consumers needs and they are aware of your inquisitive attention to really understand their situation. Using the "let me make sure I understand you correctly" and repeat back to the consumer in summary what they said about their situation, is the technique.

2. INTERPRETING AND INTEGRATING: In other words your ability to turn information into usable knowledge. How does the information you have selected interpret for the customer?
Are you able to integrate it into their world, both of understanding how it applies and how it effects their world.

You've heard me say this before..."what this means to you is" is the verbal technique.

3. WISDOM: Add wisdom to your knowledge. Wisdom occurs when you show significant insight beyond the information. It is the ability to read the supply and demand ratios in the housing market and your ability to forecast the direction of a specific market. It is assessing trends and patterns in the marketplace and matching specific strategies that suit the consumer. It's your ability to think beyond what readily exists.

When we were children we played "connect the dots" in our coloring books. As adults it's your ability to connect the dots and see the picture before someone else. That's our creative wisdom. Think ahead.

4. TRUE QUALITY SERVICE: This means the consumer wants you to keep in contact. Keeping the consumer "emotionally attached" is best done by constant contact.

In other words, we used to say "who ever calls first wins."
If you called the client first, you won. If the client had to call you, they won. Your true Quality Service was to anticipate the needs of a client and be there before they called you.

By example, in the real estate industry "open houses" are often provided on weekends. The seller is asked to leave their home for a few hours while the house is held open for any potential buyer who would like to see it. If a house is held open from 1 PM - 4 PM where do you think the sellers are at 3:45 PM?

My guess is that they are driving around their neighborhood waiting to come home, or at the very least, curious about the success of the open house.

True quality service, keeping in contact, is calling the sellers at 3:50 PM and letting them know the results, before they expect them, and telling them to come on home.

5. LET THE CONSUMER CHOOSE THEIR INTERESTS: The consumer today wants to shop your services. They want to select from your list of services what they want. Let the consumers
choose their interest. It's like providing a menu and letting the diner select what interests them. This involves the consumer at a different level. It may be subtle but it is very important.

Whether you're providing legal advice, financial advice, real estate or lending services, break down a few of your services and ask the client "what do you thing would best suit your interests?"

Their involvement means their commitment.

What can you do to surpass expectations and satisfy your clients expressed and unexpressed wants and needs?

1. Sort skillfully through the information.
2. Interpret and integrate the information to match the needs of the consumer.
3. Use your wisdom to go beyond the apparent.
4. Provide true Quality Service. Keep in contact, anticipate, and pay attention.
5. Let the consumer choose their interests.

Thanks for spending 3 minutes with me.....
The best is yet to be!

On Your Team
Jeffrey Stanton
Your Trusted Advisor For Life

One of the fastest ways to build a successful referral based business is by training. Now, with me, I like to invest significant time immersing myself in training, while some people prefer to take it in bite-size chunks. Whatever your preference is, now is the best time to contact me.

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