Customer service is one of our Guiding Principles at Crawford. Last week I experienced what I will call "Radical Customer Service." But before I go there, allow me to set the stage with an applicable quote by Kate Zabriskie:
"The customer’s perception is your reality" - Kate Zabriskie
Our customer's perception becomes our reality the most when it comes to a reward or consequence. Generally speaking, we are either "rewarded" or "punished" based on our customer's level of satisfaction - irregardless if they are correct or justified in their level of satisfaction. However, it generally takes time for our customer's perception to effect our reality. In other words, it's not like if you receive a positive review from a client you're automatically given a bonus; or the opposite, you're not immediately fired if you receive a bad review from a client. Bottom line, you're customer's perception of your work doesn't immediately effect your reality. But what if it did?
Last week I purchases a car for my daughter Avery who turns 16 in a few months. I won't bore you with the details, but let me just say, we were treated like royalty by our salesman Kyle. Not only was he personable and not pushy, he was extremely detailed and knowledgeable. My wife and I felt that his number one objective was finding us the right car, even if that meant I didn't purchase from him. That kind of treatment is unheard of in the used car business!
So I asked myself, "self, why was this experience with Kyle so different? What motivated Kyle to demonstrate such radical customer service?" I later realized it was because his bonus depended on it. That's right, the dealership conducts a post acquisition survey, and if Kyle doesn't receive all "excellent" marks, he loses his monthly bonus. That's crazy! But it worked.
Now imagine for a second that kind of immediate feedback effecting your income. For instance, what if your clients completed a monthly evaluation of your customer service, and if you didn't receive all excellent marks, your pay would be cut by 25%? Would your customer service be any different? Would be like Kyle's - RADICAL? Good question to ponder.
In closing, I'm not sharing this with you because I'm sensing our customer service is slipping. I'm sharing this with you because (1) I believe in continuous improvement, and (2) I believe in the power of shifts. Try making a shift in your paradigm this week and service your clients with Kyle's example in mind and see if you notice a difference.