Three Simple Words are a Guiding Light
About 20 years ago, I worked for a gentleman that left an indelible mark on me, despite our short time together. This guy was your quintessential business executive – hard charging, no-nonsense, affable, but serious about getting results.
Frank DiPasquale was a former GE executive and a salesman’s salesman. In addition to having a passion for closing deals and keeping score, Frankie D, as we called him, was as straight an arrow as there was. We would have long conversations about my people, my customers and our plan for success.
For Frank, it always came back to three little words: “thought, word, deed.” Frank died too young, but his spirit and those three words guide me every day. I reflect often on those words and connect them to the work that I do, which brings me back to the reason I’m writing this. You see, it takes the “trifecta” to deliver Authentic Concern and a great parking experience to your parking customers.
Recall that Authentic Concern is defined simply as a company that genuinely demonstrates concern, as opposed to a fake or half-hearted interaction that leaves you feeling less than appreciated or valued.
If your company is delivering Authentic Concern, you leave your customer feeling like they are more than just a number or a means to an end, and that your company’s intention (thought), declaration (word) of wanting to deliver excellent customer service is much more than just words (deed).
It is simply not enough to think that something’s important and then not share that with your team. Or worse, say that something is important, but not really think it’s true. At each juncture, there must be alignment with our thoughts, words and deeds. What does that have to do with delivering a great parking experience? Well, it has everything to do with it.
Your customers know when you’re simply giving lip service to the concept of customer service. How? Do you say that delivering excellent customer service is important on your website and/or in your advertising? Do your ambassadors have smiles on their faces when they greet customers? Do they go the extra mile when a customer needs help? Do your parking customers pull into your facility with a good first impression and leave with the same?
Is there clear signage? How long do your customers have to wait when they push the “help” button? Do your people have the training and the tools to deliver a great customer experience? If the answer to any of these questions suggests you’re not putting your best foot forward, there’s a disconnect somewhere between “thought, word, deed.” Delivering a great customer experience is hard, but you’ve got to start somewhere.
If you’re not sure where to start, look around, there are great customer experiences everywhere – you don’t have to reinvent the wheel! You might even lean on customer service legends to guide your path.
But it starts with good thoughts, sharing those thoughts and then doing one thing differently to get yourself on a good path toward delivering Authentic Concern and a great customer experience.
I’ll leave you this month with some inspiration from a legend in the customer service arena – Sir Richard Branson, who believes it all starts with your most important asset…your people. “I have always believed that the way you treat your employees is the way they will treat your customers, and that people flourish when they are praised.”
Go out there and praise your employees for a job well done and watch them take care of your customers the same way.