The most successful companies and the highest paid salespeople place great value on developing lifetime relationships with their customers. They actively look for opportunities to render service above and beyond their customers’ expectations. In today’s competitive marketplace, your customers are aggressively prospected, and their loyalty cannot be taken for granted. Customer-focused companies and individuals recognize that relationship-building and follow-on service are critical components for promoting both customer retention and long-term revenue growth.
When it comes to rendering superior customer service, a “one size fits all” approach simply doesn’t cut it. Research in the field of human psychology indicates people are born into one of four primary temperament styles: aggressive, expressive, passive and analytical. Each of these four temperament styles tends to define “superior customer service” from a slightly different point of view. Once you learn how to identify each of the four primary temperament styles, you’ll be able to truly customize your service to fit your customers’ expectations. For example, if you’re providing customer service to the impatient, aggressive style, offer them a quick fix and a bottom-line solution. While at the other extreme, the analytical style requires a great deal of information and is interested in every detail.
In addition to understanding temperament styles, you must recognize the importance of nonverbal communication and learn to “listen with your eyes.” It might surprise you to know that 70 percent of our face-to-face interactions with other people are perceived nonverbally. In fact, studies show that body language not only has a much greater communication impact but also is far more reliable than the spoken word. If your customer’s words are inconsistent with his or her body language gestures, you would be wise to go with the body language gestures as a more accurate form of feedback.
First impressions count
What type of first impression do you make when meeting your customers for the first time? Research shows that people typically decide in the first few moments whether or not they like and trust a stranger. (Yes, we also judge a book by its cover, too.) There’s absolutely no substitute for making a positive first impression. You can actually create a favorable first impression and build rapport quickly by using open body language gestures, smiling and making direct eye contact.