For those that know me, it’s pretty clear that Iron Maiden is one of my favorite rock bands of all time. I own every album they have ever put out, and have seen the band countless times all across the country. If you have not seen this band live, you are missing out on one of the most amazing concert experiences bar none. Maiden concerts are like no other – the fans, the band, the music! Energy levels are off the hook from the moment you step into the general admission line until the encore ends and you stagger out of the pit. It’s truly an experience you have to see and feel to believe!
Bruce Dickinson, lead vocalist for Iron Maiden, said once that “Life is too short to do the things you don’t love doing”. Now this may seem cliche, but it’s clear that he personifies this belief every time he steps out on stage. Over the years, I cannot think of one Maiden show I have been to where Bruce Dickinson did not personify this belief. From the first song to the final bow, there is no doubt that he goes the extra mile every show to ensure that his fans get their money’s worth!
Working in the retail industry for over 20 years, I think I have a pretty good understanding of what amazing customer service is. My understanding came from countless years of working directly with customers on the retail front line coupled thousands of hours of competitive shops and countless customer interviews. This understanding also came from my own personal experiences as a customer. My goal as a retail leader was always quite simple – put the hard work in on the front end in to ensure the entire in-store customer experience was amazing. Give the customer what they want, when they want it, and ensure they walk away smiling!
In today’s retail world, there are very few organizations who truly exemplify customer service as their number one priority. Days where the customer is “always right” are long gone. They have been replaced with finger pointing, scapegoating, and a general belief that the customer is always trying to pull a fast one. Coupled with untrained or unmotivated associates, it’s a recipe for disaster that a customer feels the moment they walk into a store. As a wise-man once said, “There are never traffic jams along the extra mile!” Retailers who get this right can win, and win big. All it takes is listening to their customers, asking probing questions to understand specific needs, and providing the solutions they are looking for.
So what has Iron Maiden taught me about Customer Service?
- Love what you do and bring that energy to work with you daily – ensure it’s contagious!
- Go the extra mile and take care of your customers – give them their money’s worth!
- Make the in-store customer experience your number one priority!
These are three simple lessons that can make a significant difference in the level of customer service your organization offers. There are no tricks, no gimmicks – its Retail 101. If you keep your eye on the prize and focus solely on the customer experience, you will have a distinct customer advantage that will translate to sales. However, if you fail on this proposition, your customer will probably be “Running to the Hills” in search something better.
Up the Irons!