You’ve provided this service to hundreds of customers. You’ve dealt with this issue 50 times. You sold this product or held this meeting or done this paperwork or worked through this process so many times you can do it in your sleep. For the customer, however, it’s their first time.
It could literally be their first time buying this product or asking this question or having this issue. Maybe they’ve run into it once or twice before in their lives; regardless, it’s a good mindset for all of us service providers to have that we need to treat the situation like it’s their first time. If this was a brand new customer walking in the door, how would you want to handle this situation differently?
- You may want to be more patient, because they may have lots of questions.
- You may need to introduce yourself and tell a little bit about the company, because this may be their first exposure to you or your organization.
- You may want to start from the beginning about how things work, not making assumptions about what they may already know.
- You may want to welcome them and be appreciative for their making the decision to invest their time and money in your organization, so they feel like their business is valued.
- You may be more likely to want to give them handouts or show them specific pages on a website, because they are probably receiving so much information they can’t remember everything only given to them verbally.
- You may want to confirm they understand what you’re saying, what expectations you’re setting, what it is that you are to do versus they are to do.
- You might explain what’s going to happen next in the process, because they’ve never experienced your process before today.
When you view your encounters through the lens of a new customer – one who is there for the first time – many ideas can pop to mind about how you might handle that situation differently to make sure they are as comfortable and confident as possible with you and your organization.
Do this exercise on your own or include co-workers. Ask “What would we do differently if we knew this was the customer’s first time?” Then start to build your standards for engaging customers, the information you provide and how you provide it, and the time you allocate to customer engagement around what would create the best experience possible for everyone.
View your customer encounters like it’s their first time.