If you know me (or perhaps, even if you don’t), you know that I love my customers. They make me so happy, and really make it a joy to come into work at Kashoo every day. Since I get to work with such awesome people (there are very few exceptions, and for that I’m very lucky), there’s nothing better than what I get to do to make our customers even happier!
A few months back at IC Opportunities in Chicago, this topic came up amongst this amazing group of thought leaders. The discussion moved to the fact that we all loved our customers, but how do we get our team members to share the love as much as firm owners do?
I have put a ton of thought into this, even creating the start of an overly elaborate PowerPoint after this talk on how to help your staff love your clients as much as you do (stay tuned, I still love where this is going, and it’ll be a fun presentation one day – soon :) ). While this is in the works, I wanted to share with you my top three takeaways:
1) Budget – a lot of employees struggle with spending company money. Or rather, spending company money in a non-typical way. Give each of your team members a $500 budget to surprise customers and make them happy. Whether they spend more or less isn’t really relevant, but it helps give some context (no car gifts, although, one day, who knows :), but a $50 gift card is a-okay. It makes the team more comfortable with random gifts, and gives them guidelines to work in (without actual “procedures” that spoil the whole idea).
2) Support – I know most of you do this (and for sure this wasn’t an issue with the Chicago group), but it’s so important that it deserves a mention. This is the fun leadership stuff: where you encourage and publicly thank your team for doing awesome stuff for your customers! There’s nothing sadder than doing something super awesome for a customer but not really having anyone to share it with (or worse, feeling that you’ll get in “trouble” for spending that $75 on them). These are the best stories, and really fun to share. And I know you’ll never forget, but making sure even the top folks are sharing the customer love is important to show that it’s a whole company value, and the way we do things.
3) I always look at it this way: what is the best possible thing that a company could do for me if I were the customer in this situation? And then, try and do that (or as close to that as possible). The plus to this is that it’s so easy to send a Get Well Soon card, or a pizza lunch to a customer working weekends, and who doesn’t love making people happy? The bad part is that you then imagine these things for yourself, and not every company is as awesome as yours and mine :)
Seriously, it is just more fun when you are friends with your customers. I think that is the best (and makes my job so much more fun) (also, it’s true!). Building relationships is more than a customer-vendor/client-firm situation, it’s about being in a relationship that helps both sides grow and be better!
And there you go! Kasey’s tips on how to help your team love your customers as much as you do. If you have any tips or fun stories, feel free to add them in the comments below.