Over the past few decades people and organizations have (generally) gotten better at treating people well. I believe more people understand the value in treating everyone well, not just customers. But, there are always people who don't get it. There are still far too many people who don't make an effort to treat everyone well all the time.
They fall into a couple groups:
1. Evil Scientists - They're mad at the whole world so they treat everyone badly.
2. Weather Vanes - you never know how these people will treat you because it changes with their mood, their personal situation, how others treat them or the weather.
3. Opportunists - They treat people well if they think they have something to gain or lose. Everyone else gets lousy treatment. These are the most common. They roll out the red carpet for a big customer and then roll it back in before an employee or vendor steps on it. They focus all their “nice energy" only on those people who can put money in their pocket (like customers) or who have power over them (customers, bosses, management, media, etc. )
The whole basis of this website (and my customer service philosophy) is that to attract and keep customers you need to offer them the type of experience that they want. Of course, this varies by person so we need to work at understanding what our customers want from us. One way to know when you are giving customers the experience they want is when they tell others good things about you. Like Seth Godin says, “they remark about you. "
A basic tenet of Remarkable Service is that you try to offer this remarkable experience to everyone you work with. You don't limit it to just people who give you money. And you don't turn it on only when you feel like it.
To develop the kind of organization people want to do business with (and tell others about) you need to commit to delivering a great experience to customers, vendors, employees and anyone else involved with your organization.
An easy way to see why this is true is to put yourself in your customer's shoes. As a customer, would you rather do business with one of the three types of people listed above? Or would you choose to spend your time and money with someone who treats you well, someone who treats you like you want to be treated?
The same is true whether you're a customer, an employee or a vendor. Because, no matter what your role is, you're always a person. And, every person deserves to be treated well. There is never an excuse for not treating everyone well.
I've been a customer of many businesses. There are several I would never go back to even though, as a customer they treated me fine. I'd never go back because, when I was a vendor, they treated me differently. Or, in some cases, I witnessed them treating employees poorly while they went overboard for customers. It amazes me at how short-sighted people can be. Do they not realize a vendor or an employee could easily be a customer? And they could easily spread bad word of mouth just like a customer could?
When I see an organization that treats employees and vendors worse than their customers, I know it's not a healthy, well-performing organization. Because every organization needs vendors and employees to deliver their product or service.
And, over the long-term, vendors and employees tend to treat their customers like they are treated by their employer. It might not be a conscious decision to do so. But it does happen. If we are treated badly by our employers, we tend to not treat our customers as well.
Pretend everyone in your organization was an “Evil Scientist" (see above) and they treated all your customers badly all the time. It doesn't take much imagination to see how that might affect your organization. It's not a pretty picture! Of course, this is an extreme example but that's why it's useful. It helps us see the potential damage people can do to a business by treating others badly. As a manager or owner, why would you want even ONE employee treating customers poorly?
A person might say the “Weather Vanes" are not as bad because they sometimes treat people well. I would disagree.
I'd say they're worse because they deliver an inconsistent experience to customers. It's bad to be mean (like the “Evil Scientist") but at least people know what to expect. They can make an informed decision based on how they are consistently treated.
Sometimes we choose to do business with an organization whose employees are surly or grouchy all the time. In fact, there are a few businesses that make that their brand. They celebrate how badly they treat customers!
This leaves the worst group, the “Opportunists. "
I call them the worst because they purposely treat people differently based on what a person can do for them (or to them). Their actions are based on greed or fear. To them, other people are merely a means to and end. Their focus is all about themselves and they see others as there only to serve their needs.
Whenever a person's focus is to serve their needs, they will never be able to deliver Remarkable Service on a regular basis. Because eventually, their needs will conflict with their customer's needs. At that point, the customer loses and Remarkable Service stops dead in its tracks.
This leads us to the third rule of Remarkable Service.
"To deliver Remarkable Service consistently, you need to focus on serving others, not yourself. "
Note, this rule does not say you should empty your wallet or bank account or run yourself out of business to do anything and everything your customers want. Not at all!
Inherent is this rule is the concept that you serve your customers they way they want to be served within the context of your abilities and your mission. In other words, what you do for your customers has to work for you and your organization too. The mutual benefit has to exist at some point or the relationship does not work.
We started this with the question, “Do I really need to provide Remarkable Service to everyone?"
The answer is “No". You do not need to provide Remarkable Service to everyone. Unless you want to have an organization that is healthy, well-performing, profitable, sustainable and in all ways remarkable.
In that case, the answer is “Yes".
To create an organization that fulfills its mission to the best of its ability and is sustainable, you need to treat everyone well. You must strive to deliver to people the kind of experience they want so they choose to continue working with you, whether they are customers, employees or vendors.
You need them all. They're all people. You need to treat th
Kevin Stirtz helps companies increase customer loyalty by improving customer service. Get a free copy of his book at http://www.StirtzGroup.com - You can call Kevin directly at 952-212-4681.