It seems like an odd concept, but as we move towards better efficiency with technology and the web, some seem to forget how to run their businesses. It seems as though they are looking for a quick solution to this new age of technology or- even more defeating- that they feel they have to stop how they did business in the past.
The shame of it is, what businesses did in terms of sales or customer service in the past is exactly what they still need to do today. In the past, you had to focus on great service because you realized you had a finite customer pool in your area. You could not afford to deliver poor service or else you would get a bad name.
With the Internet breaking down walls and broadening the reach of some companies, there is a feeling that there now is an endless pool of consumers who will want your product, so service has taken a backseat because of the high volume of customers.
Long-term solutions or long-term slow growth is not in style anymore. Some of this is due to our quick thinking, our greed at taking market share and, in some cases, impatient shareholders or board members.
So how does a business bridge this gap between the new digital world and the past? How do they bring that sense of great service back to a place of importance along with attracting more customers?
As consumers, knowing as much as we can about people, places and businesses fascinates us; we always want to make sure we are prepared. The Internet has allowed customers to do this research where they are comfortable and on their terms- not where businesses are comfortable.
If we can embrace this new, wiser customer and turn the focus to being more consultative versus sales focused, we in turn end up selling more. If we know our value, if we believe that our product is better than another’s, then we should have a sense of calm, not panic, when a customer asks us a question.
This confidence comes from training. Not from watching a video and checking it off the list, but by having a process where training is brought out of the classroom, onto the floor, and trained and trained and trained until the team feels there is no question that a customer would ask that they did not feel comfortable answering.
People are looking for confidence, humility, honesty and expertise in this overwhelming information age. That coupled with a caring execution of service gives you the proper mixture needed to excel in this new arena of business.
Digital is not an answer but a tool. Yes, there is a new arena to play in, but those businesses who understand that the customer is still king will win in the long run.