Lessons from Kindergarten to Increase Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty
A friend of mine recently sent her first son off to Kindergarten. It got me thinking about how simple life once was. We send children off into this big world, and while reading, writing, and arithmetic are still the fundamental building blocks of our children’s education, Kindergarten teachers will tell you another story. They know that to really succeed, children need to learn some simple lessons even simpler than the ABC’s. Here, we take a stab at translating some of these simple kindergarten lessons into real world advice for today’s workplaces.
Many times people just want to be heard (Gentlemen, go home and ask your wives!). But sales people are notoriously poor listeners. They are quick to fill the silences with questions or ‘pitches’. Ask questions and actually listen to what they say. Often times we assume we know the answers because we hear similar situations and stories from all of our customers.
Tell the Truth
Your job is to help your customers, and many times, to help them be more successful (depending on what you are selling). Many times you can see the blind spots in their business that they just simply cannot. Share your observations, but be kind (see rule 5)… remember they may think everything is great!
Friends do not, we repeat, do not expect their other friends to be at their beck and call. Yep, we said it. Friendships are built on trust, respect and a mutual understanding of value. Your friends (or partners as they may be called in business) understand this, and one bad service call or order is not going to kill the friendship. It is a relationship…and people are usually in relationships for the long term.
Share your toys (products/services) with your customers, but in due time. Don’t overwhelm them before you have established your mutual value, with toys they neither need nor want; this may ultimately diminish your value in their opinion. Once your relationship has evolved, share sparingly based on what you know they might need and might like.
Observe the Golden Rule
Treat your customers the way you want to be treated. Speak to your customers the way you want to be spoken to. Give them the courtesy, respect and service that you yourself want from your vendors, service providers and partners. Our clients don’t always remember this rule, but that doesn’t give you license to ignore it too! Never imagine that you know where someone else’s shoes have been, it doesn’t matter if you always apply the Golden Rule!
We surely don’t mean to oversimplify issues in your business. But sometimes, we think that we have a tendency to over complicate. Let’s all agree to every once in awhile, come in after recess, sit criss-cross applesauce on the carpet, and put our listening ears on for story time.