Simply telling people that "We have GREAT Customer Service" falls on deaf ears these days- why? Because the easiest thing in the world is to promise a GREAT Customer Service experience!!
Do any of these situations sound familiar?
- Thank you for calling ABC Company, your business is VERY important to us- please HOLD.
TRANSLATION: Thank you for calling ABC Company, your business is so important, that we are inadequately staffed to handle your call.
- You enter a business and wait to be greeted- several minutes later you are STILL waiting.
TRANSLATION: We'll get to you when we get to you- we don't really care that you decided to spend your money with us today.
- You enter a store and ask the clerk for assistance- you get 'that' look.
TRANSLATION: You are an idiot for asking that question, don't you have anything better to do than to bother me while I am trying to make it to the end of my day?
Satisfaction vs. Loyalty
A satisfied customer is OK with you and your company. Their needs were met, the product(s) and service were OK. They were satisfied with the experience and their overall feeling is somewhere between neutral and positive and they don’t have a negative thought about the company.
A loyal customer leaves an interaction with you feeling great!! Their needs were exceeded as the service experience was great. They are ecstatic with their purchase and they proactively talk about you and your company. They will brag about their experience with you and their feelings about the experience are wonderful!!
To me, the differences between the satisfied and loyal customer is about the same as the difference between a good company and a great company!! The good company grows slowly and might face difficulties in a tough economic climate. There is a feeling of satisfaction by the employees but there could also be turn-over and a feeling that “this is just a job”. A great company attracts the best employees and encourages empowerment and creative thinking. The company explodes with enthusiasm and employees feel that working there is a joy!!
As you consider the service level at your company, ask yourself if you are doing what is necessary to create LOYAL customers versus ones that are simply satisfied with the work you have completed for them! The subtle differences will certainly add to your bottom line!
(Now we are going to go back to 'work on it' ourselves!!)