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Customer Service

Last week I talked about making quality personal, and that got me thinking about customer service and this quote. Sorry, I can’t remember where I saw it.

“Your customers are only satisfied because they're expectations are so low and nobody else is doing it better.”

This immediately made me think about creating raving fans.

As our company vision plainly states: “To create raving fans out of everyone we touch.” We talk about how we have to create them if we want our business to be world-class. And, I’d like us to be so good and go so far beyond customer expectations that they actually feel shocked, impressed, and wanting more after every interaction they have with us.

In the book, Raving Fans: A Revolutionary Approach to Customer Service, by Kenneth Blanchard, there are three rules.

The first step is: Decide what you want. This book refers to this as “Your Service Vision.”

So, think about your Service Vision. What does perfect customer service look like to you? Think of these things. How do you answer the phone? What’s your tone? What feelings do the words you use exude? Think about what is perfect as far as how quickly you return emails, how you greet someone when they come into the office, and how you use salutations in your emails.

Also, you’ll want to define your ideal client. Is their primary focus residential, commercial, bulk, or refis? What region do they work in?

It’s really deciding on what a perfect customer service experience means to you! And, remember, you can’t be everything to everybody, so choose.

Next up is discovering what your customer wants.

How do they want to be spoken to? Do they want to communicate via text, email, or phone call? Do they expect you to return calls in 10 minutes or to never get your voicemail?

You may even need to call a few clients and ask what excellent escrow service means to them. I love doing this, especially to the otherside agent, when you call to introduce yourself. I’ve said something like this, “Thank you for allowing us to work together. I would like to customize my escrow service to you. Can I ask you what great service is to you?” The typical response is the agent is initially shocked (because nobody ever asks this!) and then overjoyed because they know immediately that I actually care about them as a person, not just as an escrow.

So, once you know what you want and what the client wants, you have to look at both side-by-side, and you need to make sure they match. If you want to have excellent service at a great price and the customer wants the cheapest price, that’s not a match. And, no matter what you do, you will never create a raving fan out of them. No matter what.

So, what do you do if it’s not a match? You’ll have to let them know they'll be better served working with another team member (or even company) who can exceed their expectations. If you get to this point, reach out to me, and we’ll figure out a plan together!

And, lastly, plus one!

The key to creating raving fans at this point is giving them what they want plus 1% more. And do this consistently! How? Have systems and processes. The purpose of systems and processes is to ensure consistency not to create robots. Once you have the consistency down, make sure that it doesn’t stop there.

You have to continually improve. That’s where the plus one comes into play. If you could just give 1% more every week, that’s over a 50% increase in a year, which is huge!

If you only remember one thing, remember this: a satisfied customer isn’t good enough. Good is the enemy of great!

Next week, I’ll chat a bit more about this quote, “Be so good, they can’t ignore you.” So, stay tuned! Until then, if you want to chat, you know where to find me.

And, once again, life is still good. -- Jeff


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