Professionalism is vital to properly relating to and interacting with customers. When our employee and a potential customer are first interacting with one and other, the first impression given is vital. The potential customer is thinking of entering into a new relationship with our business. They are taking a risk in doing this, and their first interaction with us will be a big predictor of whether or not they become our customer.
Whomever they first meet will be, at that moment, the face of the company. We should strive to train our customer service representatives to interact with customers with kindness and helpfulness yet not to appear passive. We want the prospect to feel that they can trust us, and that we are attentive to them and their needs. They should feel at ease in the presence of our employees. Our customer service representatives are our companies olive branch extenders. Our key relationship generators. They should be highly knowledgeable yet not come off as “know it alls.”
We should seek a balance between our prospect feeling as though we are smothering them, and them feeling as though we are neglecting their wants and needs. It will be individual for each potential customer. Some will want to be left alone more often than not and have minimal interaction with us. Some will want us at their side telling them every detail of our company and products. It just depends. This is an important skill for our customer service people to learn and develop.
Think about it as if you are going mountain biking. Nobody who knows what they are doing would go mountain biking with tires that were meant for urban riding. You are supposed to use tires specific to your environment. Every banked turn is a bit different, and you can’t take them all on in the same way. You have to adapt to your customers in much the same way. Changing the way that we relate to them based on what signs they are exhibiting. Just as you would speed up, slow down, and steer differently when on a the trail versus when your biking in the urban jungle.
Furthermore, you need to show up with the right equipment for the job: the right tires for mountain biking and professionalism and a conscious approach for customers. Our professionalism is how we show our customers that we are prepared and serious about what we do. Like someone kicking at the tires of a potential new car or taking a helicopter for a spin, no pun. Your business is the vehicle, and your professionalism is its driver interface and its suspension.
Properly adapting to the subtleties and variance of our customers’ wants and needs will be vital for our customer service team. Now, in no way should we tolerate simply whatever prospects throw at us. If they are being verbally abusive, our customer service people do not have to simply “take it”. Refer to your companies policies on deescalation and customer disturbances. People treat you the way that you let them treat you, so teaching customer service representatives how to set and hold some healthy boundaries with prospects is very advisable.
Professionalism entails an excellence in everything that our company does. How our uniforms are kept, how the customer is greeted when they arrive, how we apologize for and make up for mistakes. It all matters and is noticed by other customers, at least for in-person interactions.
A correctly done sale can be about how the customer grades the presentation of our product as much as its value. Think about it this way. If you give someone your company’s business card, the recipient will likely perceive your companies worth and service by how professional your card looks.
Two companies worth the same amount of money with different levels of professionalism and quality on display on their business cards will have have different perceived values. When a customer is viewing a business from only one standpoint, we should strive to make sure that we look professional from whatever standpoint we are viewed from.
We should exude professionalism in every aspect of our business. From how we greet our customers to our website to the quality of our services. No matter what angle we are viewed from we should aim to accurately convey our values and standards. Professionalism will also go a long way towards cultivating long-lasting customer relationships.
Remember, you could have a phenomenal product but if you come off in the wrong way, you will be hand-cuffing your company. And falling short of your potential. Our professionalism will have a huge impact on our success. The person to person interactions that our customers experience at our business is a cornerstone of our success.
Your challenge is to preform an engine checkup on your customer relations system. Find out where things need work, and what gaps need filling. Examine how your customer service team are trained from a different angle. Ask some customers to give feedback on their experience with you, and where your team needs work. Look at altering your procedures and protocols accordingly. You can’t please everybody, yet it should be your goal that marked improvements have taken place in customer satisfaction and retention(whether they keep coming back or not) and all within six weeks!