Ernie knows a lot about sitting in comfortable seats. His company makes the best, custom-built, ergonomically correct office chairs you'll ever take for a spin. You just haven't heard of him. Yet.
Ernie knows that his product is amazing. He wants his customer service to be amazing, too. So he spent two days with Tim Miles and me at Wizard Academy. He jumped at the chance to sit in the Hot Seat.
Ernie and I broke down all of the touch points, all of the interactions his company has with his customers. We identified seven steps...
- Sales Rep Calls Customer
- Sales Rep Makes Appointment for Demonstration
- Sales Rep Does Demonstration
- Sales Rep Asks for Sale
- Company Confirms Sale
- Company Delivers Product
- Sales Rep Follows Up
We then went through each of those steps and scrutinized what his company was doing and where they could improve. We looked at it from different perspectives.
- What are you currently doing?
- What would the customer prefer you to be doing?
- What would be above and beyond the customer's expectations?
That middle question is the key. The biggest breakdown that gets in the way of offering amazing, shareworthy (Tim's really cool word) customer service is when your sales staff does what they want instead of what the customer wants.
First you have to figure out what the customer expects. Then you have to meet it. Then you have to exceed it. Ernie squirmed a little when we found a few areas needing attention. But now he knows how to exceed customer expectations on a consistent basis.
I have no doubt Ernie's company is gonna catch his competitors. No, check that. He's gonna blow right by them. You'll probably be sitting in one of Ernie's chairs long before you claim your gold watch.
Are you willing to sit in the Hot Seat first to see where you need to improve?
PS Ernie, if you're reading this, I had another thought about Step #3. When your rep shows up, have him or her bring food. If it's a morning demonstration, bring doughnuts from the LOCAL bakery that everyone loves. If it's an afternoon demo, bring pizza from the hottest pizza spot in town. Don't tell them you're bringing it, just do it. Covers that Over-the-Top Generosity thing we discussed. Also covers the "above-and-beyond". Just make sure you have the right brand of doughnuts or pizza. It says a lot about you when you get that right.
PPS Most of you reading this just imagined what it would be like if your sales rep showed up with your favorite food, didn't you? Bet you would be thinking... Yeah, this rep gets me. He knows my business. I bet you end up doing more business with him, too.