Warren Buffett on success and customer service and the customer experience. About 16 minutes and worth your time. Buffet is one of the most successful investors and wealthiest people in the world. He is 91 years old and has no plans to retire. His net worth is over $107 billion.
In January 1980 I released Feelings the world’s first customer service training program. Customer service is probably worse in 2022 than 42 years ago. Follow firms that care about the customer experience like Amazon, Apple, Home Depot, Costco, Chewy.com, Wilderness Safaris, NE Delta Dental, Food City, and Stew Leonard’s.
I love to listen to successful people like Warren Buffett, Jeff Bezos. the banker Vernon Hill, Tim Cook, Tom Raffio, and the leaders of these successful customer-driven firms.
Almost every firm in the US spends more money on its customer satisfaction surveys than training and developing its workforce. Most people know that no one looks at the survey results and nothing happens with your feedback. It is cool to do a survey so almost everyone wastes your time asking you to take a few minutes of your time answering surveys that often do not reflect your problems or concerns.
My suggestion is to take the money you are using for surveys and spend it training your entire staff on customer service with something new and fresh every 4 months. Most surveys irate the customer, consume to much of your time and everyone knows nothing will happen.
This is the Proven Process I suggest you implement if you want to be a service leader.
- All service leaders understand the Service Strategy. Firms like Walgreens and Aflac have awful service but spend millions on advertising and surveys but deliver poor customer service. Amazon and Apple are the opposite. For the last 42 years, I believe in calling out the names of companies that deliver great service and those who ignore customers.
- Leadership at all levels has to implement the Service Strategy. Every department head, manager, and leader has to walk the talk. They need to develop leaders to coach high-performing employees. One of the major reasons employees quit is because of a lack of recognition. Too many employees do not feel valued, loved, and appreciated. Every day I hear stories of people quitting because they do not feel valued. I wrote the program Coaching for Success to teach people how to develop motivated customer-driven employees.
- Tools Everyone needs to be trained on the art of customer service with something new and fresh every 4 months. Most companies spend far more money on surveys than training their staff to deliver great service.
If firms wanted to develop another Tiger Woods they would spend all their time and money on surveys instead of teaching the person how to golf. Crazy.
- Relentless Strategy: Focus on strategy. You must be Relentless and it has to be a way of life.
- Reduce Friction: Remove stupid rules, policies, and procedures.
- Empowerment: Empowerment is the backbone of great service. Everyone must be empowered.
- Speed: People today expect and want speed. You must drastically reduce the time for everything you do.
- Training: All employees must be trained on customer service with something new and fresh every few months. Ninety-nine percent of customer interaction is with your front-line employees. They are the least trained, least valued, least paid and the face of your organization
- Remember Your Name: The most precious thing to a customer is their name. Remember it and use it.
- Service Recovery: When you screw up you must keep the customer and all employees must practice the 4 skills of service recovery.
- Reduce Costs: Price is critical with all customers. Service leaders are frugal and always looking for ways to reduce costs. All my research shows service leaders are aggressive at eliminating waste and costs.
- Measure Results: You must measure the results of creating a service culture to keep top management passionate about this process, the financial investment and the time required