December 28, 2012
The question I always ask when doing this part of my workshop is simple. What is your perceived value? And do you know what value added service means? And all I ever get is silence.
It is amazing how many companies purport to train their employees in customer/quality service and yet their employees have no clue what these 2 very common or should be items actually are. When I ask these and then wait, I am told by Eileen that I get dumbfounded looks.
And even after I explain it, they’ll look at me quizzically. They don’t think that these 2 things should be included because that part of customer/quality service is just too complicated and hard to implement. That’s what I get from some of their questions and the looks I get.
So what is Perceived value and value added service? Let me tell you in a few short paragraphs. It’s really not that hard to either understand or implement. And if you just listen and follow my words, in the workshops, then you’ll see that. AND it can help your company in every single transaction you conduct with customers.
I use that one word a lot and it’s intentional. Perception or perceived is a word that you have to realize is even more important in this economy than at any other time since the dawn of science.
To state it succinctly, you are only as valuable to the customer as they perceive you to be. If the customer/client/supervisor doesn’t perceive you to be worth what they are paying you and their perception is that you’re lazy and that you’re incompetent, then you are exactly that. It doesn’t matter what you do on the job or how much you do. If they don’t see it and perceive that you are a bum, then you might be on your way out the door!
As unfair as that may be its true. Go to a restaurant and evaluate the wait staff. Does your server treat you like a child and sounds mad or upset with you? Your perception of them is that they are just an a**h*** and won’t have that job long. And on top of that, the restaurant isn’t worth going back to if they hire people like that to serve customers. Am I correct?
The only issue is that the server may be having a bad day for some reason. Should they have come to work that day in that mood? Probably not. Personal problems need to be left at the employee entrance and carried into work. But it doesn’t work like that and your perception is that it’s a worthless place to eat – no matter how the food tastes.
Value Added Service
Every person reading this has heard the line ‘Going above and beyond the call off duty’. That’s what this line means. In order to curry the favor of your customers you need to add value to the service you give to them. That means, basically, go the extra mile.
If you’re a nurse and a patient asks you for a piece of paper and a pencil to write a letter, what do would you do? You would probably give it to them. But when would you give to them? Would you go the extra mile and trudge back to the nurse’s station and search for them and then trudge all the way back to their room just for a pencil and paper?
As long as you’re involved in an emergency or covering for someone who is, why not? Is it taking that much time out of your day? Is it that hard to grab a few pieces of paper and a pencil from the station to take to them? Will it make them smile and thank you for your effort? Will it make the hospital look better on the evaluation form at the end? Assuredly yes!
And it doesn’t matter whether or not in a service industry or not. In retail you could take an extra few minutes to look up where an item may be found, if you don’t have it in stock. And then you could offer to have it shipped to your store if the location where there is one is too far.
In a service business, do you have to charge the client every time you answer a question? While many doctors will make you come to the office before answering any questions, which is not exactly right either (no matter why they do it), the answer would be no. If they are constantly calling and picking your brain, then yes, but for only a couple of questions then no. And the same goes for every single business out there.
We’ve all heard of the police officers who go out and either fix a home for an elderly person or the Good Samaritan who buys toys and food for the family who lost everything to a burglar. Or maybe the nurse who allowed an elderly man to get into bed with his dying wife on last night on earth.
These are examples of going the ‘extra mile’ and providing value added service to your customers/clients. Wouldn’t this be a good thing if everyone started doing this again? The world would be such a wonderful, safer, and better place to live if all of us decided to add value and make that perception turn good.