I was having lunch today at the Louis Betton Steakhouse in Grand Rapids, MI. I asked the server about a particular dish and she went into a detailed description of it, and then told me that it tasted delicious. I then asked about a different dish described as “Greek”, received another detailed description, completed with – “tastes as if it were truly made in Greece.”
My curiosity was piqued. I asked the server if she had tried every dish on the menu. She replied that all servers must taste each dish in order to accurately tell their customers how it tastes. I told her her how impressed I was with that. She asked me a blatantly honest question in all seriousness – “If I didn’t taste it, how would I accurately be able to describe it to you, much less sell it?”
This is a concept that seems to be pushed to the side in most companies. While this example is in a restaurant setting, it still holds true in all fields. Everyone in your company should test and use your products and services yourself in order to share their true experiences with it. Customers will appreciate the honesty and candor. The customer will decide ultimately for themselves, but when given a subjective opinion by someone who has actually used it, it creates more credibility in the customer’s eyes. By testing your products, you are increasing the level of customer service that your staff will deliver. They will feel more confident in their interactions and go further to help the customer in their decision making process.
Customer satisfaction will increase when you have well informed sales people and staff. Everyone in your company is in sales, no matter what their title, and should truly be familiar with your products and services. By having firsthand knowledge, they will not only be helpful, but educational and perceived by your customers as a resource. When you become that resource for your customers, loyalty and customer retention also increase.
Remember, your customer’s foremost need is certainty. If you have not actually experienced what you are selling, you really have no actual knowledge on how it will perform. Once you do, you are then an “expert.”
Your customers will thank you for it.