I recently came across an article from New York Times bestselling author Josh Linker titled “The Most Powerful Phrase to Boost Your Company and Career.”
The premise is simple: to propel yourself or your company forward, focus less on how your daily interactions can benefit you, and more on how you can help others. In short, Linker urges the reader to look for every opportunity to employ four simple words…
“How can I help?”
Linker’s isn’t a novel idea. Much has been written about the so-called 'servant mentality' and its value when interacting with employees, colleagues and clients alike. The idea of putting the needs of others first as a way of boosting your own position has plenty of merit. And reading the article, I couldn’t help but think of the ways that this simple and profound philosophy could be applied to drive value in the business of the connected home.
As I’ve written about before, differentiating your integration business in today’s market is tougher than ever. With evaporating technological barriers and increasing competition, the single best way to do so is through a dedication to providing your clients with exceptional service.
This requires rethinking your approach to service, not in some vague sense, but to a level of X’s and O’s. From applying new standard operating procedures to new software systems, the level of change required can be overwhelming.
So, where do you start? Start with four simple words. “How can I help?”
Put all other thoughts aside, and simply walk through a service event in the shoes of your client. It’s 5:00 p.m. on a Saturday and you’re making final preparations for an evening with friends when you suddenly realize the house audio system isn’t functioning. Or perhaps it’s 7:00 p.m. on a Tuesday and you’re scrambling to figure out a plan for dinner when your daughter tells you the Wi-Fi is down, and she can’t work on her big project, which happens to be due the next day.
How will you get the support you need? Do you know exactly what number to call? Is it a dedicated line you’ve been instructed to use without hesitation when you need assistance? Or do you have to grapple with a nagging sense of guilt about interrupting your integrator’s personal life by calling their cell phone?
Are you 100 percent confident you’ll get an instant response? Or do you feel like you’re rolling the dice? And what happens if they don’t pick up? And if you do get someone on the phone, do they readily jump in and help, or simply go through the motions and tell you need to wait until the next business day when the first simple attempt doesn’t solve the problem?
Now step back and ask yourself: How can you help? What sort of systems and communication strategies can you put in place to make these situations as easy as possible for your clients?
A Few Ideas
A dedicated service line with extended and well-defined hours such as 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. can remove guesswork or feelings of unease surrounding an after-hours support request.
A guaranteed response seven days a week can reassure your clients that you’ll be there when they need you. Leveraging remote troubleshooting tools like rebootable outlets can help resolve more of these issues in the moment.
And learning to embrace creative workarounds can de-escalate the urgency when all else fails.
Of course, these are only a few simple examples. From drafting a new Terms of Service agreement to deploying software solutions like ticketing systems to figuring out strategies for gaining broad RSM platform penetration across your client base, every decision should be viewed through the same filter first. How does this help your client?
Focusing on the client service experience has never been more important in our industry. And making meaningful improvement in this arena requires a sharp focus on the client first and foremost. Whether you’re simply looking for ways to differentiate through service as a means of winning more projects, or looking to go one step further, leveraging premium service offerings to drive significant RMR, it all starts with embracing the servant mentality. Just ask yourself four simple words; “How can I help?”
For more information about service and using it to create RMR, visit www.onevisionresources.com/blog.
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