The old adage in the service industry is “The customer is always right.” Throughout my 15 years working in the industry, I have found that while such a blanket statement can clearly never be true all of the time, there are certain takeaways and attitudes that can be derived from it and be applied to any industry. I realized a long time ago that while good food might bring customers into a restaurant, customer service that goes beyond what is expected will keep them coming back, time and time again. Excellent customer service is more than going through the motions of each task seamlessly. It involves getting to know the customers and what their needs and wants are. It means caring enough to engage them in a personal relationship, no matter how brief your encounter, making the memory of you “stick” in their mind. Getting “sticky” with customers means they will remember not only you or your company, but the way you made them feel. This feeling is what draws in, retains, and supports your customers in a way that your competitors cannot.
When I started at gap intelligence, I joined the team behind the World Wide Dealer Cost Report (WWDCR). For those who do not know, the WWDCR report aggregates copier dealer pricing data for select countries and regions around the world to give clients an in-depth analysis into the print market. gap intelligence provides this data on a quarterly basis and works closely with clients to listen to their needs. Listening and collaborating with our clients ensures that we remain “sticky”.
My interaction with clients comes in the form of working directly with the copier dealers from around the world. These dealers help us to understand the trends of the print industry on a global scale. Regardless of language, cultural and geographic barriers, these dealers all respond to excellent customer service. With each interaction, I strive to apply all of my knowledge and customer service. One of the biggest strengths I gained from working in the service industry is the ability to communicate like hell. The kitchen could be crashing and burning and food is taking forever to come out, but you cannot run away. You have to face the customer and communicate the situation in a direct yet diplomatic way. I apply this same methodology to my interactions with the dealers I work with; sometimes there is a difficult message to deliver, but active communication ensures that I not only have their trust, but that we are also on the same page.
Communicating like hell is one of the cornerstones of gap intelligence and we work hard to embody that message everyday with our clients and ourselves. We work hard to cultivate personal relationships with each individual dealer, and we even include them on our holiday card list. Guided by our core values of transparency, willingness, ownership, passion, and professionalism, our company understands the importance of making everyone that we interact with feel recognized and valued.
As my professor of Organizational Strategy once said after I wrote numerous deliverables on gap intelligence and its company culture, “Nice to see a company do it right.”
For more than 16 years, gap intelligence has served manufacturers and sellers by providing world-class services monitoring, reporting, and analyzing the 4Ps: prices, promotions, placements, and products. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 619-574-1100 to learn more.