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Live these three service mantras to drive customer loyalty

If you intend to build customer loyalty, practice these three service mantras in your personal customer service delivery:

  1. Great service is great theater.
  2. The customer pays for their experience, not yours.
  3. People buy from people they know, like, trust, and love for their business.

Great service is great theater. In their book, The Experience Economy, Joseph Pine and James Gilmore define that “work is theater and all business a stage.” Do you always feel like working every day, five days a week, 8-10 hours a day, on your birthday, on vacation, or even on scheduled days off? Of course, no. But do you think the customer really cares how you feel? Even stronger now. Of course, no! So you have to “act like you mean it.” Don’t confuse this with “fake it till you get it”. If you were an actor giving a great live theatrical performance, the audience is wrapped up in the experience and as they leave the theater they are telling their friends that it was the best thing they have enjoyed in a long time. Poor performance makes them say, “We want our money back.” It is no different for your client. Why not? About service mantra # 2.

The customer pays for their experience, not yours. The customer doesn’t care that he is understaffed because someone called to inform him that he was ill. The customer doesn’t care that the computers were off when he called. He does not care that the delivery of the product has been delayed. All you know and understand is that you are your customer. He is willing to exchange his hard-earned money as long as you offer him an experience that he deems more valuable to him than his money. You have an expectation of what that experience should be. At the very least, there should be “no surprises, no excuses.” Anything less than he expected is a surprise to him. He did not come to you with the expectation of being dissatisfied. He listens to whatever reason you offer to explain why you failed to deliver what he hoped for as an excuse. So make sure there are no negative surprises. And if the customer is unpleasantly surprised that you didn’t meet their expectations, don’t make excuses. Just apologize. Remember, it’s never about you, it’s always about the customer. About service mantra # 3.

People buy from people they know, like, trust, and love for their business. Make it easy for the customer to know my name. Wear a name tag. If you’ve ever worn a name tag as part of your uniform, some complete strangers have called you by name and have felt more comfortable talking to you just because you were wearing that name tag and they feel like they know you. To show that you are likeable, smile, nod your head, and make eye contact. Remember that it takes seven seconds of eye contact to establish trust. Besides eye contact, how do you show confidence? Simple. As Larry Winget, Pitbull of Personal Development says, “Do what you said you would do, when you said you would do it, the way you said you would do it.” So how do you show them that you love their business? Give them your version of the baker’s dozen. After a purchase, give something of value as a gift. And the free way to show a customer that you love their business? Just say “Thank you”.

So how do you drive customer loyalty? Just three simple service mantras:

  1. Great service is great theater.
  2. The customer pays for their experience, not yours.
  3. People buy from people they know, like, trust, and love for their business.

Make these three mantras stick. Say them to yourself so often that you play your Grand Theater role so well that all your customers tell themselves and others that your service was the best thing that has happened to them in a long time. And when you consistently deliver that kind of performance, you’ll increase customer and business loyalty.

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