We’ve all heard it a thousand times.
“Follow the Golden Rule. Treat People Like You Would Like to be Treated.”
This sentiment has been around since the dawn of time and is considered the cornerstone of many religions and businesses world-wide. In theory, this statement sounds wonderful. In reality though, it’s not.
“So, what’s the problem with treating people like “you” want to be treated after all?”
Fundamentally, we’re all different. What you believe is “good” may not be “good” for me, and vice versa. We all come from different backgrounds, have different work experiences, and as a result most of us look at the world from different points of view. When we treat people like “we” would like to be treated, we fail to consider the diversity that makes them unique. That line of thinking is fraught with peril and could lead serious customer service issues down the road which could ultimately hurt your business in the long run.
“Ok, so how do I treat my customers as “they” want to be treated?”
Well, it’s quite simple – Ask the customer what they want. On the surface this sounds easy, but it’s a step that is missed in most initial customer interactions and one that can have serious consequences down the road.
At Bear Ice, we ask the following questions to all new customers during our intake call or initial in-person meeting to ensure we are all on the same page from the start:
- What do “you” consider amazing customer service?
- Tell me about the customer experience “you” expect in your store?
- Help us understand how “you” want your ice delivered when we arrive?
- Is there anything special we need to know in order to better serve “you” and “your” customers?
These questions are simple, straightforward, and allow us to better understand what our clients want and how they want it – on their terms. If we don’t ask, we make huge assumptions that we somehow know what “they” want and that always leads to problems – ALWAYS.
That said, if you take a few extra moments at the beginning and ask your customers how they want to be treated (vs. assuming you know best), you’ll be in a much stronger position to maximize the customer experience you offer and that will ultimately lead to improved sales and increased profitability.