Going (waaaay) Beyond Customer Satisfaction

Customer Service is Key

Customer Service is Key

Customer satisfaction.  Now there’s a nice phrase.  It’s so, you know…nice.  Everybody likes to be satisfied.

Heck, everybody likes to be fed, too.  But when’s the last time you picked a restaurant just because they would feed you?  EVERY two-bit restaurant will feed you.  Whoop de doo.

Thing is, just about every business will “satisfy” you, too.  They’ll get your dry cleaning done, your package delivered, your hair cut.  So if just about everybody can step over the low bar of customer “satisfaction,” why do we keep talking about customer satisfaction as if it’s a meaningful goal?

Even more to the point—If customers are “satisfied” with your products and services but can get a better price somewhere else, why on Earth would they stay with you?

Then there’s your own perspective.  How soul-fulfilling is it for you to have yet another “satisfied” customer?  What you really want to do for your customers goes way beyond satisfaction. Customer SUCCESS is what matters: making a lasting difference, transforming your interactions from simple business transactions to a profound exchange between two human beings that creates more success for the customer. This is the essence of true service.  And it’s a reason for customers to stick with you.

In addition, making a positive impact on others also feeds your spirit. When you focus on something greater than yourself and concentrate on making a difference, the rewards are priceless.

I once knew a bank teller named Mary.  Like everyone, she had a job description.  Balance the drawer every day.  Help customers with transactions.  Put the blah in the blah blah at the end of the blah.

Mary did her job as described—and then some.  She chose to read things into each element of her job that others didn’t.

For example, she took the charge to “Help customers with transactions” to mean “Connect with customers, show them you care about their success, and help them to be successful.”  She decided to call 25 customers each week to ask how they were doing.  Nobody asked her to do this.  It fulfilled her own sense of purpose to spend her days living on a larger stage.

She began sending notes to clients each month with information about how best to manage their finances.  She kept notes with the names of her customers’ kids and their interests, then asked about them when Mom or Dad came in.

Imagine the impact if YOUR bank teller asked how your son’s soccer team was doing!  Goes a tad beyond “satisfaction,” doesn’t it?

When she went to a garage sale, Mary would buy a few umbrellas to give to customers when a sudden rainstorm would come up, asking them to “Just bring it back the next time you come in.”

Mary received 53 gifts from customers that year.  Not cards.  GIFTS.  Life gives to the givers and takes from the takers, and the world has a perfect accounting system.

How much more fun do you think Mary has on a daily basis than she would if she had just stuck to the letter of her job description?  How much more fulfilling is her life and work because she left behind the meaningless goal of “customer satisfaction” in favor of being of profound service?

Now what can YOU do to transform YOUR work and YOUR life into something more meaningful, more fulfilling, and of more profound service?

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