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As a progressive training and coaching organization, we spend a lot of time, energy and resources focused on studying the traits and behaviors of top performing companies and individuals. As we discuss what contributes to peak performance, there are a few things that must be consistently worked on in order to grow and maintain desired results.
As you might have noticed, the best customer experiences are usually rewarded with the highest sales. However, many managers (and most technicians) don’t connect the fact that a favorable customer experience always gets the highest long-term reward with consistent and predictable sales results. We can’t simply define success as arriving at a customer’s house on time or how many calls can be run in one day.
There is so much focus placed on getting the sale and time efficiency that too often there is not enough time and effort put into the emotional experience created for the customer. We need their emotional experience to be top notch in order to differentiate ourselves from everyone else in the marketplace.
Many calls we receive are from customers who are already in a distressed emotional state because something in their home has broken and is causing them to be inconvenienced. When we can take that negative emotion and turn it into a positive experience, we have built a sense of trust with the customer which leads to a feeling of comfort with our company.
In today’s world we are increasingly taking emotion and human interaction out of the picture. Stores are moving toward self-check out and away from creating an interaction with the cashier. Websites are directing customer service inquiries to an email or virtual chat situation instead of a live phone call.
Companies tend to focus more on the technical innovations surrounding customer service such as the latest app or online booking and the personal aspect of customer service is placed on the back burner. This can be a huge mistake if not properly executed. Yes, customers appreciate convenience and efficiency, but they long for a truly personalized sales experience that is designed around their specific needs and wants.
Customers don’t care about our innovative new software system; they want to feel good about the company and people they are doing business with. Top performers understand this concept and are able to integrate technology into their presentations and sales abilities without losing that personal connection.
Below are three things that can be done in order to reach and maintain Top Performer status. These need to be at the peak of our awareness at all times.
1. Increase confidence. People that consistently play at the top of their game have a certain level of confidence which they are able to translate into successful customer experiences. They take full responsibility of their own results and understand that they must maintain and grow this confidence in order to keep achieving exceptional results. Having an awareness of how important confidence is, they are willing to try new things and take certain risks because they know that they will ultimately accomplish their goals.
What many people don’t realize is that confidence is teachable and can be learned by anybody who truly wants to improve it within themselves. Confidence comes across in many different ways throughout the service call. If someone wants to improve their confidence, start by focusing on one aspect at a time. For instance, stop saying “I think” before recommending a product or service. The customer will appreciate the confidence that comes along with an expert opinion.
Also, work on being more comfortable with silence after you speak. You don’t need to keep rambling on and over-explaining yourself. Top performers project an overall sense of confidence with customers, so work on improving the confidence levels of your team members and you will start to see improved sales.
2. Increase internal gratitude.There are two types of gratitude. The first is internal gratitude, which is when you want what you currently have. High achievers possess the ability to appreciate where they are and what they currently have, regardless of how good or bad that may be perceived. This doesn’t mean they don’t want more good in their lives. In fact, it means they are conscious enough to appreciate how amazing their lives are compared to others.
The second type of gratitude is external gratitude. This is when something happens outside of you that creates a positive change and therefore you become grateful. However, this is passive and leaves you out of control of choosing gratitude on a daily or hourly basis. Top performers view every call as an opportunity to succeed and take control of their own destiny. They are grateful for the chance to provide a useful service to their customers while making a great living for themselves and their families.
3. Increase connection. The best of the best in our industry have the ability to connect with other people. This shows up in every customer interaction they have. They understand that people buy from people and they value the importance of creating a relationship with their customers before asking them to invest in their products or services.
Connection with customers is ever-changing with the way technology continues to impact buying processes and decisions, and it’s the personalized, unique customer experiences that create the best results. For example, look at companies such as Apple, Zappos, Nordstrom and Costco. They all have different business models and employees, but they understand how to connect with their customers better than their competition and that’s why they are more successful. Winners know that in order to keep winning consistently, they must always work on increasing connection.
My advice to you is this: Focus on the human side of customer service in order to experience extraordinary success. Look at the capabilities that top performers possess (confidence, connection and internal gratitude) and begin improving those within yourself and your team members. As these begin to grow and become more evident in your organization, you will start to see great improvements in multiple areas: revenue increases, happier customers and more top performers than you ever thought possible.