What separates your business from the competition? What’s your differentiator? At Ruby® Receptionists, we strive to set ourselves apart by delivering legendary service. To ensure we’re always working toward that goal, we rely on Ruby Service Pyramid—our roadmap for success.
The peak of our pyramid is Make Meaningful Connections. In order to reach that peak, we need a solid infrastructure, and we need to reliably hit the second level of our pyramid: Do What We Say We’ll Do. If you missed our discussion of the first level of the pyramid, Be Prepared With the Right Infrastructure, you can find it here.
We’ve found that before we can really WOW our customers, we must establish trust by delivering on our promises. Sending a thoughtful gift to a customer can be a great way to make a meaningful connection—but if we’re failing to provide consistent service, that customer is likely to be taken aback by a gift, and may even wonder, “What am I really paying for?”
Whatever your company’s ultimate goal, making and keeping commitments is essential to building positive customer relationships. Evan H., a Problem Solver & Happiness Maker at Ruby, puts it well:
In the virtual world, communication truly defines our relationships. When we rarely meet face-to-face, how we interact voice-to-voice (or more often email-to-email) determines how we move forward, together. In this regard, consistently setting the right expectation, and then following through on that promise, allows for the development of a deep and long-term trust. A trust that in turn, serves as the foundation for lasting partnerships.
With some careful planning, you and your team can build customer trust by consistently doing what you say you’ll do. Here are some ways to get there:
Make reasonable commitments. Before you do what you say you’ll do, you have to, well, say you’ll do something. To set yourself apart from the competition, that something has to be big, right? Not necessarily. It can be tempting to make flashy promises, but without results to back them up, they’re meaningless—and possibly detrimental to your reputation. Make commitments, but choose them wisely, especially in the beginning. What do you know you can provide to customers? Tell them about it, show them why it’s important, and then—most importantly—do it. Whatever the scope of your promises, it’s your follow-through that counts.
Set yourself up for success with systems. Do you know anyone who has all the birthdates of their friends and family members memorized? Neither do I, but I know a few impressive individuals who send birthday cards to their loved ones without fail. Their system? The good, old-fashioned calendar. Don’t rely on your memory and good intentions. Put systems in place to remind you to make that call, send that bill, or place that package in the mail.
Leave space to think big. Today’s commitments may be small, but that doesn’t mean you can’t work toward bigger, flashier ones. While you’re acting in the now, think about the future, and work to turn stretch goals into standard practices. Dedication, trial and error, and time all play a role in expanding your core offerings, so carve out room to experiment and brainstorm. When you master that next offering, add it to your list of what we say we’ll dos—but only then.
Correct big for slip-ups. If one of your commitments does fall through the cracks, do whatever you need to do to show that your mistake isn’t “business as usual.” Longtime customers may be forgiving of the occasional flub, but don’t assume so—and be sure to go all out when apologizing to newer customers. Reverse charges, offer credits, send flowers if you need to. Prove your dedication, and then, do whatever it takes to ensure the same mistake doesn’t happen again.
Doing what we say we’ll do is fundamental to the Ruby, and to any successful business. Ruby Office Experience Manager Glynn D. captures it simply and beautifully:
When I do what I say I’ll do, I’m being responsible and accountable for someone else’s experience—something that I don’t ever want to personally disappoint.
Click here for the next post in our Ruby Service Pyramid® series.