In Part Two of our series on building a high performance service culture, the most innovative, influential and successful business leaders share their tips for developing truly exceptional customer service.
Guy Kawasaki, Marketing specialist: Enchantment is key
Guy Kawasaki was one of the first key Apple employees for marketing the Macintosh, and he’s also worked with Google, Motorola and Wikimedia. He say, “Enchantment is the purest form of sales. Enchantment is all abot changing people’s hearts, minds and actions because you provide them a vision or a way to do things better. The difference between enchantment and simple sales is that with enchantment you have the other person’s best interests at heart, too.”
Alice Default, Growth and Marketing Expert: Listen…and ask great questions
Alice Default is a leading global Growth and Marketing specialist, and her secret to delivering outstanding customer service is by listening and asking questions. She says, “One of the biggest mistakes that you can make in customer support is to talk only about you and your product and not really listen to your customer’s needs. You’ll end up listing tons of different features or settings when all they need is one clear solution on how to fix his problem or one clear answer to his question. To avoid this, it’s really important to ask the right questions and always keep your messages as simple as possible.”
Bryan Kreuzberger, Founder of Breakthrough Email: Have an actionable plan
Named by Forbes as one of the Top 40 Sales Experts, Bryan Kreuzberger founded Breakthrough Email, and works closely with clients like McDonald’s, Mastercard and Western Union. He offers this excellent advice: “Have you ever played the follow-up game? Before you leave a meeting, make sure you and the prospect have a clear next step. This step must be actionable and measurable. Here is an example: You will talk to them next Tuesday at 2 p.m. Here is an unclear example: I will follow up with you. To put this in action, in your next meeting ask, "What makes sense as a next step?" If they say, "Let's talk," then say, "Since we are here, how about we put something on the calendar right now?" Boom, you have your next meeting. If they ask you to send them something, then schedule a time to review it together. "As you requested, I will email you the proposal by this Friday. When does it make sense to review it together?"
Richard Branson, Global entrepreneur: Reward excellence
Richard Branson is one of the most innovative and successful entrepreneurs of our age. He highlights how giving customers personalised experiences can transform a company’s service culture: “I was told recently about David Liebenberg, a general manager at another of our South African clubs, who noticed as a regular member drove away that the brake light was out on his car. The next time that gym member arrived for his workout, a replacement brake light was waiting for him. Now that’s customer service!
To build this kind of corporate culture, managers must reward customer service heroes and heroines by celebrating their achievements. Soon afterward, David and his wife were given a free weekend stay at a vacation lodge, and the Virgin Active management team then highlighted David’s feat as an example in internal education programmes.”
Shep Hyken, author of ‘The Cult of The Customer’: Treat your employees well
Shep Hyken is a leading customer service expert, and the New York Times bestselling author of “The Cult of the Customer”. His advice is short but sweet: “Treat employees the way you want your customers treated, if not even better. What’s happening inside an organisation is felt on the outside by the customer.”
Even when our businesses are running well, there’s always room for improvement and we should never stop learning from our leaders. What they’ve demonstrated so well is that it’s crucial to be pro-active and have actionable plans, to listen to your customers intently, to reward customer service heroes and to understand that service excellence can only be fostered in a supportive, positive and open environment. How’s your customer service environment?
If you’d like to tap into the power of exceptional customer service, why don’t you contact us. We’d love to talk you through our award-winning approach and our experiential solutions that could transform your customer service approach today.
Richard Branson, 2010
‘Why customer service matters’
Shannon Byrne, 2014
‘A Field Guide to Customer Support: Tips from the Pros – Part One’
‘From the Experts: 10 Customer Service Tips to Deliver Great Customer Experience’
Ken Krogue, 2013
‘62 Sales Tips and Sales Quotes from Top Sales Experts’