In business, the most important investment you will make is not equipment or a designer space. It is with your customers. You may think you are in charge, however, your customers are the boss and they have a way of letting you know.
A devotion to top quality service results in the low risk, high reward investment people search day and night for.
Unless you have something so precious that everyone needs no matter what, service is the difference maker between building a name for yourself long term or maybe just surviving.
In a report called Nielsen’s Global Trust in Advertising, “Recommendations from people I know” has once again trounced every other medium as a measure of trust. It scored 92%.
In all of my years in business, where not much else holds true, one thing does. It pays to have happy customers.
People want to be treated well and have a positive experience with you. In return, they are happy to reward you with trust by recommending you to others. It reflects well on them when they make a rockstar recommendation.
While the world may be experiencing change at breakneck speeds, one thing won’t change. You can quantify the value of referrals. It is right there as savings to your marketing and advertising budget, plus the positive comments on social media. Never underestimate the value of trust in the marketplace.
You need not take my word for it. Just think about your daily experience whether it be online, or in traditional retail stores like clothing or home improvement. Do you come away fuming and ready to fire off a letter to a suit at corporate because of the lousy way they do business, or, are you telling a friend about the great treatment you just received and how they ought to try it?
Great companies like Marriott, Disney, Nordstrom, and many others are known for world class service all have a common trait-intense customer service. Internet giants like Amazon and Google to name a couple, saw the value and are committed to uncompromising customer focus. In fact, if you talk to anyone who has worked for these companies, they will tell you that their training is more about making customers happy and using good judgment at all times than anything else. They may do sophisticated research on what to do and how to do it, but it boils down to the human touch where nothing is forced.
Make it a core value to insist on your customers being treated well and to invest your energy to that end. It can become more important in some ways than whatever you are selling. A good experience is a big reason why customers patronize you because it is a great value to them. After all, they are getting it for free.
What is great service anyway? In a Nordstrom, for example, if you ask someone behind the counter where to find what you are looking for, they will never point you to it-they will walk you there. When I worked for them, we would on occasion deliver an item to a customer’s home after hours if need be. The point is, indifference is not part of a Nordstrom experience. Quite the opposite.
Service is not falling down at someone’s feet and giving them whatever they want. It is going the extra step, treating people with respect, and using good judgment to have them happy in any situation.
My business is about making dreams come true for little girls. It is their birthday. The one day all year that special attention is all for them. Their parents want to see them happy and have paid well for a unique experience. Can you imagine where my business would be if we compromised on service just once?
If your goal is to have a stable base of customers and to expand your business over time, the great service blueprint is one to embrace. There is no risk, and it doesn’t cost you much if anything.
It is not something you advertise, just the experience customers remember when they leave.
The Princess Tea Party business is fun, flexible, and lucrative. Now, with nearly 20 years of experience, I am helping other women achieve the same joy and satisfaction I have experienced in my two definitive Guides, Become a Princess Tea Party Business Owner, and Become a Children’s Etiquette Teacher. These are the exact road maps I followed to start and operate successful businesses made easy. No prior business experience is necessary, and no franchise fees.
Lisa Zakar is a wife and mother of 3. She is the owner of Lisa Rose, a popular Princess Tea Party venue. She has a 17-year track record in the Princess Tea Party business. Lisa had a 10-year history in higher end retail with Nordstrom before launching her business. Lisa Rose is an award winning party venue with Best of Honolulu/children’s parties/Honolulu Magazine, and, Winner of Best Children’s Parties/Island Parent Magazine. Lisa has locations in Honolulu.
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