By Nancy Friedman, The Telephone Doctor
In interviewing our customers, I found that there were several things they value. Things they want before the product or the service. They boiled down to three basic wants comprising of what we now call the R-T-C factor: Relationship, Trust and Consistency. Let’s go over them:
1. R – – Relationship
Building rapport is an overlooked art. Call many companies and the first word shouted at you is: “Name?” No “nice to meet you by phone” or even a “good morning.” There’s very little rapport building found in today’s customer service. Relationship starts within the first 4 to 6 seconds of a phone call or within 30 seconds for an in-person visit. That sets the stage for the rest of the transaction. Plus, it lays the groundwork for possible future business. Rapport building and relationships are vital to every communication exchange. It’s a simple basic process.
2. T – – Trust
If the customer is unable to trust what you say, the relationship will melt to zero. Gaining the trust of your customer is the KEY to relationship. From following through when you promise to call or fulfilling the company’s guarantee statement, creating trust is vital. If those trusts are broken, it’s a big fence to mend. Keep your word to gain the trust of your customer. They need to know they can count on you. Before any sale, a customer must buy “you.”
3. C – – Consistency
The McDonald’s hamburger in Cancun, Mexico tastes the same as the one in Des Moines, Iowa. Why? Consistency. The taste will be the same in each of the stores. A business should run with the same consistency. It shouldn’t matter who the customer talks with. Personally, I’m skeptical when someone tells me to, “Be sure to talk to Joe. He’s the best there is.” I’d rather hear, “You can talk to anyone in our office.” In summary, the R – T- C Factor is what customers look for and deserve in any of their transactions.
So, I ask you? Do you provide enough R-T-C to keep your customers satisfied? As we like to say, this is not rocket science, it’s not major surgery. . . it’s plain old common sense.
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Nancy Friedman is a KEYNOTE speaker at franchise, association and corporate meetings. She is president of Telephone Doctor Customer Service and the author of eight best-selling books. You can reach Nancy at www.nancyfriedman.com, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 314-291-1012.