No company reaches its 50th birthday without one thing: loyal customers. In fact, I would argue that loyal customers are the lifeblood of any successful business, no matter how old it is. While technology certainly has its place, it can never replace personal relationships. And as long as we’re talking about relationships, it’s important to remember that it’s always easier to maintain trust than rebuild it once it’s broken.
As managing partner of Morrison Medical, a Columbus-based manufacturer and supplier of emergency medical supplies celebrating five decades in business, I’ve learned that quality customer service boils down to a few simple things.
The answer is yes, now what is the question?
That phrase is a big part of Cameron Mitchell Restaurants, and I have always thought that it says it all. Let’s face it, when you’re making a purchase, you don’t want to argue with someone. That’s no fun for most of us.
When a business truly values its customers, it will demonstrate that value by taking their requests and concerns seriously. It will try to meet their needs as much as possible. If your policies get in the way of delighting your customers, those policies need review.
Everybody solves problems
It’s not enough for just a few people to delight customers; the whole team has to be empowered with the same attitude. When everyone is on the same page, no time is wasted in meeting client needs, and speed has become a coveted point of difference in our digital world.
The famed choreographer George Balanchine used to say to his dancers, “What are you saving for – another time? There are no other times. There is only now.” When you miss opportunities to thank your customers or tell them how much you appreciate them, your silence can become a habit. It’s far better to pour appreciation on those you truly value. You’d be surprised at how often they may not even know how special they are.
Go the extra mile
When the sale is over, most people walk away. But what if you took one more step? It can be sending a handwritten thank you note, making an introduction, following up on a comment the customer made or extending a special offer.
You won’t find a lot of competition if you go the extra mile, which is what makes your customers especially appreciate it when you do.
Kevin Jeffers is the managing partner of Morrison Medical, one of the nation’s oldest manufacturers and suppliers of emergency medical equipment, serving paramedics, first responders, fire and rescue personnel, emergency room personnel and acute care facilities. Established in 1970, the company specializes in a range of products for patient transport, restraint and immobilization.