I don’t know about you but I like great customer service.
I like to know that when I order a service, or buy a product, there is a person behind the product. Someone I can turn to if things go wrong (and let’s admit it, in all areas of life, things can and do go wrong occasionally) and someone I can talk to when things go right.
I like to know that I’m getting a personal service, that my custom matters and that whoever I’m buying from cares about their business and their customers. I care about my clients, so I take it as read that other businesses should also have the same attitude.
Over the years I’ve had some run-ins with businesses who say that they care about their customers, but really only have money in mind, and I’ve had wonderful customer service from others, who take care of business and understand that customers will come back if you treat them well. Some of these excellent services were from well established national companies, some were small local businesses and some were start-ups with few customers under their belt. Sure we all need to earn a living, but it’s how you do it that counts.
For me, when I’m looking to buy a product or a service I look for:
How they take care of customers
All difficult to measure if you don’t know the business, and sometimes it seems the bigger the business the less they care, which is why when you find a great business they’re worth their weight in gold. Having HIGH IQ means that the company will usually do their best for you, know that a happy customer is easily morphed into a repeat customer, and will do their best to rectify things if problems do occur.
We know it’s difficult to quantify these points but there are a few ways to find out if the company you choose to do business with has a HIGH IQ.
Google them – it takes very little time and if there are any major issues they will often come and smack you in the chops. Try “Company name” +complaints as a search term. But remember… take everything with a pinch of salt, some people will complain about the smallest things. Weed out the major complaints and see how the company handles them (if you can). Also remember, the bigger the company, the more complaints they will probably have. If you come up with nothing… that’s probably good.
Social Media – see how they compare to others in their field. Not everyone uses Social Media, but it can be a good gauge of how businesses relate to their customers. How do they deal with them? Do they seem knowledgeable and approachable?
Word of mouth – ask around. Ask other customers. This is often the best way to find a good business. If you don’t know anyone who has used the business, again, do a search to see what others are saying.
Talk to them – this doesn’t guarantee anything, but if you feel comfortable talking to the company’s representative you can use your inner radar to see how you feel. Ask them pertinent questions and see how they reply. If they know their stuff the conversation should flow.
Just like a woman who sees a great haircut, or pair of shoes, don’t be afraid to ask. Talk to people about where they obtained their object of desire, or how they found the company that did a smashingly brilliant job on their swanky annual report. Too many people are afraid to ask others or do the research.
If you do your homework it really can pay off, so I’ll give you a few examples:
I needed a new fridge recently, our local appliance shop had closed and I didn’t know where to turn. A friend of a friend recommended ao.com but I’d read on their website that they didn’t deliver to this Highlands (they now seem to have removed the statement). Off I trot to Facebook, messaged the company representative and within five minutes had confirmation that the company does deliver to the Highlands after all, and she had logged my conversation in the event of any problems. Long story short, it was the best appliance company I’ve ever dealt with, customer service is amazingly good and when I replace my dishwasher I’ll go back to them. I also saved myself fifty quid.
My second example takes us to Twitter. Alyssa Smith (@AlyssaJewellery) is one savvy lady who has made social media her main arena; she is a jeweller and I’ve been following her since she landed on the social media site with a fledgling business and no advertising revenue. Her clever use of Twitter has led her to become known around the country and has netted her numerous awards. But not only is she clever, her jewellery is first class and her customer service is fantastic. She aims to please, talks to her customers with ease and even has had her followers name a collection. Her company really is a HIGH IQ business, so much so that she’s now my go to gal for sparkly adornments.
See? By keeping your eyes open, and doing a little research, and by not being afraid to talk, you can find some hidden gems. So, take a chance, look out for HIGH IQ businesses and find a company that cares.
*I’ve in no way been bribed, or paid, by these companies to include them in my blog, they’re just great examples. I’ll bet you have some great examples too. If you’ve found a HIGH IQ business, let everyone know!