Mothers in the small Swiss village of Bulach may have been wary of the man, with a goatee, staring at them as they struggled to navigate an outside ATM – grocery bag in one hand and restless child in the other. But the man didn’t care what their PIN numbers were or how much money they had in their accounts. He wanted to know just one thing:
Why Didn’t They Just Put Their Bag Down?
What he found was that the bags were paper and the sidewalk was usually wet because it rains a lot in Switzerland. If you put the bag down, the bottom gets soggy and the bag fall apart.
So, wanting to make the experience of banking at their ATM’s less of a hassle, the bank installed a shelf to rest the bag. It’s something simple that can make a difference to customers.
Trouble is, many business leaders and owners think they “know” their customers and their needs. But do they?
Do You Really Know Your Customers?
Here’s a simple way to find out.
It’s to go where the action is.
Direct personal contact with customers or clients is probably one of the most valuable and least expensive methods of learning how to serve your customers better. Require all managers, not just front line ones, to interact regularly with customers – observe, ask questions and get live feedback. This “experience immersion” is one way of being customer focused.
Here’s an example:
The automotive service I use for car maintenance offers a chauffeuring service. You leave your car in the morning and someone will take you home or place of work and then pick you up later in the day. And who generally drives the service car? It’s the owner! I asked her why she doesn’t delegate this pickup and delivery to one of her employees. She told me that it’s a way for her to get know the customers personally and also to get on-time feedback about their service. Yes, they also use surveys, but this is the best way to get a quick reality check.
[su_box title=”SMART MOVES TIP” style=”glass” box_color=”#0d8fe5″]Talk to the customer as a person, not just a buyer. Get out from behind your perspective and into theirs. What is the customer’s experience with your products, services or programs? What can make it better or more convenient or more satisfying? Can it be something as simple as an inch-high grille?[/su_box]
My Motto Is:
If you do what you always did, you will get what you always got. Therefore, MOVE outside of your comfort zone; that’s where the MAGIC happens.” To bring that magic to your leadership and business, subscribe to Marcia’s monthly Execubrief: Business Edge- Smart Growth Strategies with insights, inspiration and intelligence on how to build great businesses that matter- those that do well and do good.
Did You Know That a New Kind of SMARTS is needed?
75% of leaders are derailed for reasons related to emotional competencies, including inability to handle people problems, unsatisfactory team leadership during times of difficulty or conflict; or inability to adapt to change or elicit trust. – Center for Creative Leadership. Do you want to boost your emotional and social intelligence and be a more effective leader? Let me help you do it!