Is the myth of “Germany as a service desert” true or are we developing even further in the direction of “service experts”, particularly as a result of the digitalization push? Nowadays, almost all aspects of a product are geared toward the customer, so that they should be the center of attention – exactly where they belong. Companies that do not provide satisfactory service or make too many gaffes can be punished directly with bad reviews. The next potential customer may quickly look around for an alternative provider. This phenomenon can be seen in the Business2Consumer and very extremely in the Direct2Consumer area. But even in the Business2Business segment, high customer satisfaction is the be-all and end-all for healthy growth.
We have now asked ourselves the question: What is important for high customer satisfaction? From our point of view, there are 5+1 values in dealing with customers that increase customer satisfaction and ensure a long-term as well as successful business relationship. This is our calculation:
This is an essential basis of a relationship, whether business or private. In business, we believe it is important to be open and honest with the customer, even if the truth hurts from time to time. The customer will thank you in the long run and appreciate it.
Play with open cards right from the beginning: What can you implement and what can’t? What are the costs for your services and what services are included in your offer? This transparency in communication proactively resolves potential conflicts or protracted negotiations. Everyone knows where they stand and what they have in common. This transparency also lets you use your valuable working time more efficiently, because should you jointly realize that they don’t match in terms of services or pricing, the process can be shortened easily and elegantly.
Remember the time you dropped off your luggage at the airport counter and the friendly airline employee spent what felt like hours typing and saying nothing? I would have loved to have known at that moment what was happening on the other side. And that’s an important point when dealing with customers. Involve him in the processes and workflows, explain to him why it “took a little longer”. Your connection will definitely be strengthened and the customer will feel picked up.
Make sure your word counts and you can deliver on everything you say and write. Do not promise something you can’t deliver. Meet deadlines and timings. Nothing is worse than a “wishy-washy” email with late, half-baked explanations. The customer must be able to rely on you, because otherwise they will be abandoned themselves. Be there when things get sticky, and assist with last-minute questions about your area of expertise. This strengthens your reputation as an expert and gives the customer a good feeling of having “the right person” on hand.
Ask a lot of questions and get to know the situation of your counterpart. What are the decision-making channels in the company? What management level is your counterpart at? What makes the company tick and what is the company culture like? What challenges have there been in the past or do they currently exist? This is a small sample of possible questions you might be interested in asking to get to know your customer better and thus gain an understanding of behaviors, work processes or deadlines. This understanding helps you to better adapt to the customer and protects you from sudden surprises.
All these points lead to the great concept of trust, without which a relationship and also a high level of customer satisfaction would not be possible. You are the expert in your field, accordingly the customer gives you a benefit of the doubt. Use this in a positive sense: If the trust grows into loyalty, you will have a long, successful and above all trustworthy business relationship.
We wish you a lot of fun and success in building trust!
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