There’s an old song made popular by Elvis and more recently by Willie Nelson titled “You Were Always On My Mind” – the lyrics go “Maybe I didn’t love you quite as good as I should have, Maybe I didn’t hold you quite as often as I could have, Little things I should have said and done, I just never took the time.
You were always on my mind…”
Which is certainly a cute little sentiment if you’re Elvis, Willie or a rock star coming in off the road to the wife and kids who’ve been holding down the fort. However, tell me how that goes for you as a husband or boyfriend when you forget valentines day, birthdays or anniversaries… Just sing the little ditty ‘you were always on my mind’ and everything will be all better? NOT.
We show those around us that we care by spending time together, by listening and truly hearing what they say, by trying to understand their needs and wants and by doing what we can to meet those needs and wants. All the empty words in the world can’t overcome the non-caring actions that reveal our true nature.
And so it is with our businesses – everyone says that they care about the customer and that customer service is one of their core values. Very few businesses really take the time to ask for and then really listen to their client’s feedback. I know this is true because it is such an outstanding and memorable experience when you run into a company that actually does listen and shows by their actions (not just their words) that they care.
- A customer service rep that stays late to make sure all the voice messages left on the support line have been returned.
- The auto service company that not only puts mats down to protect your carpet – but clean the car inside and out as an added value.
- Any company that answers an email request immediately instead of the autoresponder that thanks you and says someone will respond within 24-48 hours.
- The companies that take the time to put procedures into place to have a backup employee answer phone and email requests when one of their people are out of the office.
- The electrician, plumber or HVAC company that makes sure their employees wear spotless uniforms, name badges, put white booties on over their shoes and leave their work area cleaner than when they started.
Spend less time talking about yourself and running fancy branding ad campaigns and more time developing a corporate culture that encourages the kind of actions that prove you actually care about your customers.
Interacting with you, your business and employees will be such a unique and memorable experience the word will spread quickly. Viral marketing and referral programs are all the rage today but you don’t need a fancy program to teach you how to do this stuff – it really is as simple as old fashioned caring for the customer.