When you run a business, you know that the most important service is making the customer happy. That’s true whether it’s a large experiential marketing firm like ours, or you’re a guy with a lawnmower who cuts grass. But how do you keep customers happy? Well, at JKS we don’t have a “Philosophy of Customer Service” carved in stone, but we do have a few things that we focus on to make sure our customers keep coming back.
First, do what you say you’re going to do. Be reliable. Make sure the work is delivered on time and it’s exactly what you said it would be, or even better than promised. Go the extra mile and do everything possible to get it done, and customers will appreciate it. At JKS we say, “we make it happen,” and that came about because so many of our projects have tight deadlines that require a lot of work to complete on time. So that became our mantra – we make it happen, no matter what it takes. That’s a good rule to follow regardless of what business you conduct.
Second, nurture confidence. Let customers know they can depend on you. No matter what’s going on behind the scenes with a project, we want the customer to be confident that their project will be executed on time and properly. If a customer calls us and needs a truck taken from North Carolina to California in three days, we know that’s difficult to do – but we figure out a way to accomplish it. That’s where our experience comes in – we strategize ways to accomplish things that don’t seem doable. We want to say to our customers, “Don’t worry, we’ve got this covered,” and have them believe it, because a customer that trusts you is a customer that comes back.
Third, show customers the results, not the process. As my husband Will likes to say, “You can show someone a trick as many times as you want, just don’t show them how you do it.” Your customers don’t need to know – or, honestly, care to know – how difficult it is to get the job done. Like a good magician, just amaze them by doing it, and they’ll come back again and again.
Fourth, always remember that every job matters. At JKS, we want customers to think of us for all their needs. Even if the first project we do for a customer is a simple banner, if we do it well and on time, then the customer is happy, which can lead to a much bigger project next time. Make sure your customer is happy with the one thing you do if you want them to come back to you with ten other things.
Fifth, communicate with your customers. We have an open line of communication with all our customers because we want to hear from them. And not just hear from them – meet with them. It’s important that your customer have one person they can call, someone who meets with them regularly to make sure they’re happy at every stage of the process, especially after the work is done. Have a point of contact your customers can always get hold of – that’s key to success.
Finally, make sure everyone in the organization is on the same page. Good customer service requires commitment, and everyone in your organization needs to know what’s expected of them to keep the customers happy. Customer service must be an integral part of your culture, not just something people pay lip service to.
So, there you are – those are my “rules” for good customer service, and they apply if you run a store selling tires or a bakery making cupcakes. Never forget that it’s your customers that keep you in business. If they’re happy, you will be, too.