Customer service has some similarities to a marriage. If neglected, the relationship will break down, and communication is critically important.
Neither marriages nor customer relations are ever easy or perfect. But here is a message I sent to my staff today, pointing out how our customer service relationships should be similar to a healthy marriage:
- We are not always going to be in honeymoon mode.
- We should strive to set clear expectations before we enter into the relationship.
- Over time, we will make mistakes, so will our customers, and at times people will get mad or get hurt. But we need to commit to do the work to keep re-investing in the relationships… taking care of our half of the relationship… never giving up.
- We don’t want to sweep problems under the rug. It’s more painful in the short-term to shed light on problems, but it’s what makes the relationships last.
- We want to treat our customers like we’re in this for life with them. We’d like to be.
- Like a good marriage, we need to put aside what’s best for us, and make our decisions based on what’s best for them.
Zig Ziglar says – “you can have anything you want in life if you’ll help enough other people get what they want.” If we focus on doing the work, investing in the relationships, doing what’s best for the long term benefit of our customers, then it will be a relationship that lasts — and it will be rewarding for both parties.
Our company still doesn’t do this nearly as well as I’d like. But we’re committed to doing the work to build relationships with our customers that last for the long haul.