Why are we discussing donuts? It’s because it’s rare to find someone who likes both brands equally. It’s because when you order donuts from one of their stores, you have decisions to make. Do you want sprinkles? How about chocolate or cinnamon? Good old fashioned glazed? Jelly? Maple? Hot and now?
There are many choices, and where there are so many choices, some customers want varieties and others want the same thing every time. To deliver the right donut, the employee can’t assume what the customer prefers.
In customer service, it’s easy to hear a key word or phrase coming from the customer and assume we know what they want; it’s easy to incorrectly read something into an e-mail or letter from a customer.
So when the customer has many choices in service delivery, how do you make sure you deliver the right experience in the right manner? Consider these 3 points in your dealings with customers.
#1 – Educate – Let them know the options. This gives the customer the best possibility of getting what they want the way they want it, because they know what service they can receive, when, and how. This also enables you to proactively set expectations with the customer about the experience.
#2 – Ask – Identify their true issues, needs, goals, and preferences in the service experience by asking specific questions – the what, why, when, and how of the need itself, as well as how they’d prefer it addressed.
#3 – Confirm – Before moving forward, restate your understanding of what they just conveyed. Remember, you want them to have a great experience, so convey you listened and you care by confirming (and then doing) the right thing.
To provide a great experience, truly know the customer’s choices prior to delivering the service.
Educate, Ask, and Confirm.