Just a few days ago, I contacted a relatively new local restaurant to confirm their current business hours prior to setting up an appointment with someone coming in from out of town. I completed the form on their website, hit submit, and received a message saying that I would receive feedback at the email address I provided shortly. More than 72 hour have passed and still no response…
I know it was a simple question with the answer likely already posted on their website, but I’ve seen several other places operating on different schedules than they had listed simply due to Covid. I also wanted to double check this since the person I’m meeting is coming from an hour away and the time we were looking at is right as the place shows it will open.
While whether they’re open or not isn’t a big deal, the point I’m calling attention to here is that their messaging said I’d receive a reply soon and that hasn’t happened…
So what does that have to do with creating an amazing customer experience?
Quite a bit!!!
How and when we respond to anyone sends them a message about how much (or how little) value we place on them. I often hear people apologize for taking weeks to respond to something because they were so busy. I get it, we’re all busy… But what the person they’re responding to often hears is you weren’t a priority… As I’ve challenged a few clients with that idea, nearly all of them have been very emphatic about not intending to send that message. I get that too, but this is truly a case where perception is reality!
Whether it’s replying to a casual text from a friend, providing feedback on a question or request from a customer or client, or addressing a concern a team member brings to us, the time that passes before we get back with them sends them a message about how much value we place on them. And that ties right back to those three questions I shared in the last blog post that Jeff Henderson challenged us with in a call a few weeks ago. (I won’t hash those out again here but you’re welcome to circle back if you missed them…)
I closed that last post with a promise to discuss how creating a great customer experience can impact an entire culture, so let’s get to that now...
In Jeff’s book, Know What You’re FOR, he also makes a strong point in saying the way we treat our team members is how they’ll treat the customers they interact with and the team members they lead. (Kinda the same way our kids emulate what they see us do, but that’s a topic for another time...) This ties back to what I’ve heard John Maxwell say for at least 20 years, “EVERYTHING rises and falls on leadership!” When we, as leaders in our respective organizations, set an example of being responsive, we also set an expectation for everyone on our team to be responsive.
As we develop a high level of responsiveness throughout our organization, it brings what I just shared from Henderson to life - and it helps us get answers we’re proud of when asking those other three questions he shared!
One last thing on responsiveness before moving on; there are always scenarios where we don’t have an answer right away. Some replies take more time than others. In those limited cases, it’s really as simple as a quick reply saying I don’t have an answer for you now but I’ll get back with you as quickly as possible - or something of the sort so we can let that person know they’re important to us and we did indeed received their message.
In the next post, we’ll take a look at how much building this kind of culture can impact an organization’s profitability. Until then, I’ll share a quick reminder that Cindy and I will be hosting the final public LIVE2LEAD:Harrisonburg virtual experience in less than a week! All the details about that session, and all the bonuses you get as a participant, are at www.L2L-Harrisonburg.com
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