Following are comments from a company president given during an interview as the reason they shut down their business.
"Doing business based on relationships, service, and trust, is just not as highly valued as it used to be."
"The passion for service is gone."
"Willing to do what-ever-it-takes to serve the customer doesn't have the value it used to have."
I have some concerns about this. I think these reasons are pretty thin. Let's look at this from the customer's point of view.
Relationship: If you think relationships are not highly valued, try doing business without one. Just the opposite is true!
I am not going to pay a higher price because of our relationship, but you will get to keep my business if we have a good relationship and you don't take advantage of it.
From a customer's point of view the relationship has to be stronger than ever before. It has to be sincere. It has to be beneficial for both of us.
Trust: Integrity is way to gain trust. Do these examples below make me trust you? You can fool some of the people some of the time, but trust is more important than ever. You have to earn it by telling the truth.
~Do these examples build trust?
~A pound cake is not really a pound.
~A foot long hot dog is only 10 inches.
~Many number 10 cans are not number 10’s.
~Shrimp baskets don’t have all the shrimp.
~Retailers put incorrect prices in their scanners.
~Product manipulation, product substitution and short weight are considered "strategies".
~Intentional invoice over charges and mistakes are built into the system of many banks, credit card companies and mortgage companies.
~Water is injected in lobster tails to increase their weight.
~Products are in the market that are over breaded, over glazed and over pumped.
~Scallops are soaked in sodium-Tripoli-phosphate to increase weight.
- 7 billion bottles of water are sold every year with much of it being simply tap water!
HONESTY ALWAYS WORKS BEST! The best business or sales person is always the one who tells the truth. It is not only impressive but it leaves a trail of trust behind. Not the best talker wins, it’s the most honest talker. The best approach to building customer trust is to deserve confidence.
Service: "What-ever-it-takes to serve the customer doesn't have the value it used to have!"
Immediate, enthusiastic and energetic response to a customer request is more valued than ever.
The problem is people have become so dependent on technology that good customer service has disappeared! What does your voice mail sound like? If you are a president or vice president, call your own company and see what impression your customers are getting. Passion for service is more appreciated than it has ever been, because it is so rare!
"Dial 1 for shipping, dial 2 for warehouse, dial 3 for directions, dial 4 for credit, dial 5 for accounts payable!" Is that "what-ever-it-takes service?”
Here's the bottom line.
Things are changing. FAST. Before you make the change be sure it is not replacing the things that made you successful in the first place: Serving customers.