Are You Obsessed with Your Customers?

Every time I return to Dubai, I am inspired. Not that long ago, this small town on the edge of a very big desert was transformed by the vision of its leaders. Because I’ve been to the Middle East well over 50 times, a recent return to work with a client felt like going to my second home. It was a great chance to catch up with some amazing people to see how they continue to grow and thrive.

In dozens of interesting and impactful conversations with people in the company I was working with, I heard how they were obsessed with doing spectacular work for their customers. Yes, obsessed.

Everyone in the company worked incredibly hard to make sure their customers were happy and the proof was in their customer satisfaction ratings. They were so high for the scale and type of business, I didn’t believe them. But after pressure testing by digging into the data, I found them to be absolutely true. That explains the amount of business that comes from customers referrals. When customers are thrilled with their experience, they want to keep doing business with you, and they want others to join in.

Customer obsession and high expectations of customer service do take more proactive energy and discipline – and often more than pays for itself because people on the team get more positive feedback from clients and feel good about what they are doing.

What Customers Want

In college, I did a research project on what customers wanted after a service failure. The findings weren’t surprising: they want people to take responsibility, to acknowledge the mistake and show empathy, to sincerely apologize and possibly, to offer restitution. An apology was considered the most valuable.

In fact, how you respond to a customer when things go wrong can be a real test of your values.

One of our team, who regularly bought a natural hair conditioning product was shocked when a recent treatment resulted in bright red hair (she’s a brunette). When she called the store where she purchased it, the retailer was more upset than she was, apologized profusely and promised to investigate. Within an hour, they called to say that a mistake was made in production when, instead of conditioner, henna was put in the jar. When asked what they could do to make this better, my colleague said she’d appreciate a free jar of the right product and nothing more because they took responsibility for their mistake and tried to do everything they could to make it right.

I loved this story because it shows investing in your culture and values helps you to take care of your customers even when things go wrong.

And things will always go wrong. Each time is a moment of truth and an opportunity to enhance, rather than hurt, the relationship with your customer.

The Challenge

  • From 0 to 10, how would you rate your company when it comes to customer obsession?
  • What has to happen to be a 10 or notably closer to a 10?

Additional Podcasts

Episode 111:  What is NPS 3.0 and how can you bring it to life in your company?

Episode 78: 4 questions leadership teams need to ask their customers

Additional Blogs

Why you need to upgrade to NPS 3.0

Never forget who’s the boss: the customer

How to keep customers happy by anticipating their needs

Your customer experience depends on the little things

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