Comfort Does It!

When it comes to sales, so many factors go into the trickiest of all equations: customer satisfaction.

For many, customer satisfaction is simply making the sale without incident. For others, it’s delivering what the customer/client wanted and having the entire experience be good (or at least, not bad). I like what Harry Beckwith, best selling customer service guru said, “A customer’s satisfaction is the gap between what the customer expects and what they get.”

That great quote from Selling the Invisible tells me two things: First, customer satisfaction is SUBjective. It’s up to the customer to decide whether it’s satisfactory; and Second, It could be good OR bad. If I expect X, and you give me X+, that’s good. But if I expect X, and you give me X-, not so good.

There’s also another way to look at this as was pointed out by an agent in a class not too long ago. If this gap exists, then my job, according to the agent, is to under promise. “I don’t think so,” I said. “I think we’re supposed to over deliver.”

So, what is it that people want? How can we give it to them? The answer I suspect is, again, SUBjective. It may be different for two different customers. In fact, it may be different for each person in your buying or selling couple! I would think the answer to what they want and how we give it to them comes from an unlikely source: Jazz great Fats Waller. Waller’s great line from the musical “Ain’t Misbehavin” goes like this: “Find out what they like and how they like it, and let them have it just that way.”

Fats knew what he was talking about as the only way we can deliver great service is to find out what people want in the beginning. What expectations do they have? How has it gone for them in other experiences? AND…. not only WHAT do they like, also HOW do they like it. The key is to ASK!!!!! THEN, deliver.

What kinds of things do customers think is important? To answer that one I will go back to the original source today, Harry Beckwith. In his other great book, What Clients Love, he talks about the following things that people love in your dealings with them:

Services, Expertise, Openness, Wisdom, Humility, Generosity, Integrity, Clarity, Passion…… among others.

Mostly, they want to be comfortable, according to Beckwith. He says, “You love comfort, we love comfort, clients love comfort – comfort above all else. We admire excellence, envy superiority, but it is simple comfort that captures us and keeps us. Comfort clients and you will keep them.