There are a number of chores around the house that I loath to do. One of them is changing burnt out light bulbs – especially the special kinds. The one that I had to take care of recently was from my bathroom heater lamp. The ones that beam down extreme bright warm light (kind of like a space ship trying to beam me up!). Not only I had to take it down, clear out the spider web, but also make a trip to buy the replacement. I doubt anyone will stock any of them at home.
I went to the nearby Rona store with the burnt out bulb in my hand. As I seldom visit that particular store, I was unsure which aisle to go. Quickly glanced around the signs, I found one that says “Lightings”. I ventured toward that aisle. When I saw all kinds of bulbs there, I knew I was in the right area. However, I did not see one for a heating lamp. At the corner of my eyes, I saw one of the Rona worker coming down the aisle from the other end. He was looking for something, probably for another customer. I continued to hunt for my bulb.
As the worker got closer, suddenly mentioned, “the one that you are looking for is right over there”, pointing towards the bottom rack. I was a little startled, not expecting any help from him. Sure enough, I saw the larger bulbs, partly blocked by other items. I asked, “Are those the right size?” Confidently, he replied, “Yes!” As he walked away, he even offered to take the burnt bulb and drop it into the recycling bin for me!
I found the entire experience extremely pleasant. Seldom I met anyone who was that proactive in helping others. That particular Rona worker was able to react quickly and appropriately according to my action and behavior. What he had done for me is a great illustration of excellent customer service.
It is no different for project managers, you need to focus on providing the best services for your customers. Here are the key points I got out of my experience at Rona.
Be proactive: Excellent customer service starts with a proactive mindset. As you interact with your customers, keep a sharp mind to pick out the clues that can help you to anticipate what your customers needs might be. Then, take proactive steps to help satisfy them.
Be knowledgeable: In order to provide the best service possible, you must first have all relevant information and knowledgeable. Therefore, if you feel that there are areas which you are weak in, spend the effort to gain that knowledge. Project managers must be able to learn continuously.
Be confident: Having the proper knowledge, it enables you to be confident when interacting with your customers. At the same time, they will feel “safe” and trust you to take care of their needs. Building a trusting relationship is an important step in successful projects.
Go the extra mile: Whenever possible, do more for your customer. A simple gesture can add tremendous value towards building a trusting relationship and gaining a satisfied customer.
Companies have spend lots of money trying to provide the best customer service possible. They understand that it is the most important aspect for a business to be successful. Even with the best products, without a great experience, they can loose customers very quickly. However, sometimes providing excellent customer service does not have to be complicated. In many cases, just by doing small things right is all you need.