Make 'Service' Extraordinary –Farquharson/Tedesco
The lesson: Communicate.
There is a fantastic Website called airbnb that allows you to find rental properties anywhere in the world at prices well below that of hotels. Everything from a home to an apartment, right down to a bed within a house, are available. A request was made for the West Palm Beach, FL, area for a couple of weeks in January. Plugging in a few variables, a number of options came up and e-mails went out to four owners with questions regarding their amenities and whether four people would be accommodated. The e-mails went out on a Saturday afternoon. Here's a timeline for their response time:
#1: 45 minutes
#2: 3 hours
#3: 2 days
#4: Still waiting
The interesting thing here is that the first respondent didn't actually address the question posed, much less answer it. He simply reached out to say he had received the message but was unavailable until later that day, at which time he would (and did) respond and answer the questions completely. The "vendor" who responded in three hours was prompt, but returned a generic e-mail that had nothing to do with the initial query. Simply put: She didn't read the question. No surprise that the prompt response is the one that got the reservation. The others? Not so much.
The lesson: Don't hesitate!
Common sense is no longer common. Good service is a rarity and what was once "entry level" is now extraordinary, but only because it is no longer done. What can you do to anticipate the needs of your clients? Think. Put yourself in their shoes. It's not difficult. Communicate. Overcommunicate if need be. Respond promptly to requests and calls, even if it is to say that you can't talk right now. It will be noticed every bit as much as when you don't.
Bill Farquharson is a sales trainer for the graphic arts. Email him at Bill@AspireFor.com or call (781) 934-7036. Bill’s two books, The 25 Best Print Sales Tips Ever and Who’s Making Money at Digital/Inkjet Printing…and How? as well as information on his new subscription-based website, The Sales Vault are available at BillFarquharson.com.