Do you provide a good product or service to your customers? Do you ship orders on time? Are your employees well trained and professional with each other and with your customers? Do you address customer problems as soon as they arise?
If you answer yes, I say, “Good.” Hope you’re not expecting kudos or a gold star, because as the leader that is YOUR job. That is what you are supposed to do.
Your customers come to you and pay for your products with the expectation that they'll receive a good product at a fair price, delivered on time, and that they will be treated with respect. They don't anticipate being overcharged for an inadequate product that is shipped late by a rude employee. And if they do experience this latter scenario, is it any wonder they get upset? When you review your customer complaints and satisfaction histories, really examine that data from the customers’ perspective. Put yourself in their place.
Dining at an upscale restaurant, we expect to pay a bit more for the food, atmosphere, and for the professionalism of the staff. If all of those expectations are met, we’re typically satisfied with our experience. However, if the food was not prepared to our liking and the waiter was rude, we’re rightly disappointed. Now, what happens if your entrée is delicious, the atmosphere relaxing, and the waiter—a true professional—offers you a complimentary dessert because, in his opinion, your food took a bit too long to prepare? You're pleasantly surprised that he is offering you something more than what you expected. Now you are not only a satisfied patron, you are pleased and impressed. You might be inclined to share your experience with friends and colleagues sending more patrons to that restaurant. Why? You received an additional value.
Just doing your job is not enough. Just providing products and services in a professional manner is not enough. Your customers expect all that; so you can't expect kudos from them if you simply do what is expected. However, you will deserve and receive compliments from your customers when you start doing more than just your job. Begin by looking at your services from your customer’s perspective and identify: “What little thing(s) can we do, or offer them, that will add value to their experience with us?” (Thoughtful, unpredicted acts of professionalism that are neither expensive nor time consuming would be my suggestion.) And once you start doing those little things, you’ll start earning (and receiving) the kudos you actually deserve.
If you're in need of a few kudos, you won't get those by just doing your job!
Copyright MMII - Liz Weber, CMC, CSP - Weber Business Services, LLC – www.WBSLLC.com +1.717.597.8890
Liz supports clients with strategic and succession planning, as well as leadership training and executive coaching.