The reason most clients stop doing business with a company is not because of the product or service or price, or because the client moved away. It is because of the company’s attitude of indifference.
Definition of indifference: Being neither too much nor too little; moderate. Being neither good or bad; mediocre. Not active or involved; neutral.
Neutral, mediocre, moderate does this describe your current level of participation in your business, as well as that of your employees? We have all been there. The difference is do you grab yourself up by your bootstraps, look yourself in the mirror and say today is the day I start making a difference in my business again? Or do you decide to remain indifferent and let your business wither and die?
Are these people working for you now? If you can’t recognize the indifferent one, maybe it’s you?
An indifferent manager lacks the drive to push ahead and aggressively knock down all obstacles. An indifferent manager will give up easily, miss targets and fail to inspire his or her team. An indifferent manager models the wrong attitude.
An indifferent employee is one who doesn’t care. They will show up, but won’t stay late to make calls or smile when helping customers. They are there for the paycheck. This kind of behavior is unacceptable and should be stopped immediately.
Can You Battle Indifference?
Take a good hard look at your business. Never assume that you or your employees are not giving off an air of indifference. Ask your customers how they view your service. Really seek out the answers. Ask a neutral, new third-party person to be a customer or “mystery shopper.” It doesn’t matter if it is over the phone or in person. After they go through the experience, ask for feedback without them holding back. Make sure it is someone that is going to tell you the truth, and be prepared for what you might hear. Sometimes it isn’t pretty. Be prepared to make the necessary changes to eliminate indifference. That could even mean eliminating employees or at least shuffling someone to a new position that does not require customer interface.
Time for a New Direction
There is no telling how it started, but it is time for indifference to end – beginning today. Your business cannot withstand the drain of energy that is caused by indifference. What if you are reading this and you are not the owner or even a supervisor? That is the best part. You can kill indifference beginning right now.
Do these things:
- Look the next customer in the eye, or speak with an upbeat tone in your voice if you are on the phone- as if you are looking them in the eye.
- Smile (whether you are in front of the person or on the phone). Yes, people can see you smile over the phone.
- Ask the customer their name and then use it (at least three times).
- Ask this question, truly wanting to know the answer, “How are you today and what can I do to help?”
- Display your desire to help your clients by using language that shows you want to and are willing to help.
- Empathize with those clients who are calling with a problem, but also share the excitement of those clients who let you know about something good that’s happened to them.
- Also be prepared to listen to the things you don’t do so well when your customers tell you about them. We should always be looking at ways to improve.
- Remember that your client is the reason you are there. Don’t treat them as if they’re an interruption to your day.
- Focus on your client. In this day and age we tend to multitask. Doing that can give the impression you don’t really are about your client, so maintain eye contact with your client and do not look around. Definitely don’t look down. Even if you’re speaking to the client on the phone, give them you undivided attention.
- Smile some more; it will make your client feel as if you’re more approachable. It will make you feel better too. Even if you’re on the phone, your positive attitude will shine through when you smile.
When you think about all the time and money spent on the product or service, the aesthetics, pricing and marketing, it’s sort of funny that at the end of the day, it is often a company’s attitude- of concern or of indifference – that determines whether or not that customer actually comes into your store. What time and effort is going into ensuring that your clients do not experience an attitude of indifference at your company?
The economy is bad, the weather is horrible, your candidate didn’t win the election. So what? These are all things that are beyond our control. What can you control? You can control your attitude and you can control who works for you. It’s more important now than ever before to have rock stars working at your places of business. In the current times, the stores with great leadership up front are doing well, but the ones with average employees are not able to thrive and keep up. Stop being indifferent and start making a difference.