July 19, 2006

News & Opinion: What they really want

By: Dylan Schleicher @ 6:57 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

I had an interesting customer service experience yesterday. It got me thinking about what we really want as customers. But I think there's more to it than just viewing ourselves (as the customer) as being the center of the [choose noun here: salesperson, designer, waiter, etc.] universe for that split second. There's a certain amount of respect we must demonstrate to the people that are assisting us.

Here are two different perspectives:

Jeffrey Gitomer has a column in Business Journals called the Gitbit. It's kind of like Dear Abby but with Gitomer and more business-focused. One of his readers wrote in about his exposure to salespeople.
What the reader wants from a salesperson:
..a salesperson and a company I can rely on. It makes my job easier if we know we have someone we can call who will make things happen for us.
My time can be spent on more important things when I have a trustworthy, reliable source.
One of my biggest disappointments is knowing that every time I order something, I will have to try a new company and possibly have an unpleasant experience.
We buyers want to come back to you for more services or products. All you have to do is prove yourself.

Gitomer's Analysis (in summary):

Don't waste your prospect's time. Tell them what they need to know. Do it truthfully. Explain how your product/service has helped others and how it could help your prospect. And, finally, understand that pricing isn't everything. People want consistency. If you prove that your product is reliable and worthwhile, price won't matter.
Just as a customer is looking for a good experience, the service provider is equally doing so. Earlier this week, Seth blogged on what designers want you to know. The tips, while focused on design work are applicaple to many sorts of outsourcing (to consultants, designers, engineers, etc.). The most important being #13.

About Dylan Schleicher

Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.