In the words of General Norman Schwarzkopf:
"I think that there is one really fundamental military truth:
And that’s that you can add up the correlation of forces, you can look at the number of tanks, you can look at the number of airplanes, you can look at these factors of military might and put them together. But, unless the soldier on the ground or the airman in the air has the will to win, has the strength of character to go into battle…All the rest is irrelevant."
It is each of our employees or associates in the company who, together, make our business continue to grow. Our website can be the most up to date, google SEO awesome, our brochures filled with colorful graphics and our ads so inspiring and purposeful that you want to tear them out and tape them to a wall but our individual colleagues must be customer friendly to the point of making our customers feel like they are well received in an environment that is appreciative of their business. All the beautiful bells and whistles we have invested in time and resources mean nothing if the "soldier greeting the customer as they enter or call on our business has a negative attitude or demonstrates negative body language.
Training a new hire has to be centered on the actual tasks necessary for their individual key responsibilities but the overriding evaluation during training is attitude. Attitude can make or break a customer relationship and eventually close the operations of a company.
Here are some attitudes that are universally considered undesirable:
- Talking over the person who is trying to talk
- Not listening to the customer but instead the employee is thinking of their next statement back to the dissatisfied customer
- Not making eye contact with the customer
- Demonstrating body language that says, "I’m in a hurry and you are taking up my time"
- Not greeting the customer when they arrive
- Greeting the customer in an unfriendly or disinterested type of greeting
- When the customer asks a question, the associate or employee, shrugs their shoulders and/or grunts a reply
- When the customer is talking to the employee, the employee simply walks away without stating what they are doing or where they are going
At our business we have grown to become the largest real estate school in the nation and has a quality, first rate reputation and here are the daily practices within our company that are universally considered desirable and complimentary.
These compliments are consistent to the point of bringing in new business, daily:
- Every customer receives a friendly greeting when they call, or walk in the door
- E-mails are reviewed so they demonstrate a happy and helpful employee
- When the customer is speaking to us, we acknowledge the customer with eye contact, and a helpful and positive look on our face
- We don’t interrupt the customer when they are talking or asking a question
- If we need to walk away to access the computer, materials, product, we tell the customer what we are doing
- We always stay calm and have a positive attitude
- We end every contact and conversation with "is there anything else I can do for you?" and "thank you for your business".
Many of our customers consistently state that "when they arrive in our place of business, they feel like they are home". That is the utmost compliment to any business. It is completely up to management and ownership to take regular feedback from customers seriously, and if there is an issue, take care of it, immediately. By the same token, when employees get compliments and kudos, they are to be acknowledged and praised.
"Each individual person is the true key to success!"