I am starting to hear more and more from our cover honorees is that “You have to love the ground that you customers walk on!” Regardless of the business that you are in, it is always the same, the customer is king!
For some businesses (large, medium and small), they seem shackled by their “Policy and Procedures” from delivering any service that would be beyond what they are required to deliver.
John and I find it convenient to meet each other and clients at Panera Bread Company restaurants. Panera offers WI-fi, good food, great coffee and baked goods and mostly pleasant service.
To illustrate the point made in the second paragraph above, there is one of the Panera locations (on FM 1960) where the young manager would rather argue with me about buttering my freshly toasted bagel (vs. giving me 2 pats of “hard as rock” butter to spread myself) than actually delivering that very simple customer service. That location can spread mayonnaise on a bagel sandwich, but refuses to butter my bagel while it is still hot from the toaster.
This manager (and other business owners and managers like him) really need a healthy dose of P.O.S.. “Positively Outrageous Service: How to Delight and Astound Your Customers and Win Them for Life” (by T. Scott Gross) just may be (in my humble opinion) the definitive book on customer service. I have become a huge fan of Scott’s and his work. Here how Scott defines Positively Outrageous Service:
Positively Outrageous Service is:
- An unexpected service delivered at random.
- A service that is out of the ordinary and out of proportion for the circumstance.
- A service that is so out of the ordinary and out of proportion for the circumstance that it compels the customer to tell others about it and therefore creating positive “word of mouth”
Have you ever had a wonderful customer service experience that you just had to share with others? That was probably a P.O.S. Experience. Of course the negative experience that I had at that Panera location warranted my sharing it with all of you. So, be careful about how you treat a customer…it might cost you future business.
The thing about the small business owner is that this is YOUR business and you should “set the bar” high for the level of customer service that you deliver and be ready to deliver some P.O.S. as often as possible. Empower those you work with to do the same and reward those who do. I do believe that your success will be in direct proportion to your efforts.
This month’s cover honoree, Mr. Jerry Brougher of Forge USA believes in this level of customer service! “You have to love the ground that your customers walk on” he shared with John and me when we interviewed him for this month’s cover story.
Jerry and his son Wade also believe in rewarding and empowering their people. They have a very powerful organization of dedicated personnel and with it, a very profitable business. It has truly been a pleasure getting to know Jerry and working with him on this issue.
Well, it is time to let you “meet” Jerry and Wade and let you get started with this very special issue of SMALL BUSINESS TODAY!
Good Reading, Good Sales and Success to You Always,