Serve Me. Know Me. Love Me.

Lisa Lehmann

Posted on October 20 2011

It's not what you think it is. I'm talking about true service, the kind we reserve for customers. It impacts all of us. We can walk away from an experience saying "Wow! That was incredible!" Or more often, we walk away grumbling under our breath about an individuals incompetency.
What about your customer service?
Are you an entrepreneur? Are you a "maker"? Do you sell something for anyone else.
Do you KNOW your product?
I don't mean you know what it is so you can sell it, I mean intimately know what it is, what it does, how it works, how it will work for me, your customer?
Last week I FINALLY got an iPhone. If you know me, this is a big deal, I mean a really big deal. Why? Because I have owned Apple computers before they were fashionable. I was one of the people that was mocked for using that format. I heard things like "they won't last" - "they will never do what our computer can do". Can I just say, "who is laughing now?"
ANYway, for me having a droid phone was torture. It didn't sync with my apple strewn life. When Sprint announced they were to become recipients of the NEW iPhone I was the first in line. Well, not actually. It was my "Sprint guy" who called me to tell me when they were getting the iPhone and he asked me if I wanted him to reserve one for me. THIS my friends, is an example of good customer service. He knew me well enough, and took the time to address a need he knew I had. And he, in turn, achieved a sale. Actually four sales, including two iPhones. It was a good day for Mr. T.
Now Mr. T is the "get the sale" man and he performed his duties perfectly. But then I was passed over to the "tech" guy to make the magic happen. Transfer my contacts. Get me activated etc. Here comes the bad customer service. These are Sprint people. Not Apple people. He didn't know his phone. He gave me all sorts of wrong information which ended up with me, hours later, in the Apple Store across town with a nice young blue shirted young man shaking his head at me. "I'm sorry miss (I love that he didn't call me ma'am) your Sprint service man was wrong. I'm sorry you had to make the trip. Here...let me help you". *que in angel voices*
A little background information. The Apple Store was P.A.C.K.E.D. this was the day Apple had released the iPhone to Sprint - it was madness. This was also a Friday night - think geeky teenagers. There was barely room to breathe in this place, and it smelled like a locker room. But not my "Apple boy" he was perfect! Geesh, now I think he is wearing a halo!
He explained everything I needed to do. He retrieved a giant info transfer machine and got me up and running. I was out of that store with a big smile on my face in no time. A proud iPhone USER...not just owner.
So why do I tell you this story?
I think as makers and sellers we know our products, but we really need to KNOW our products...intimately. How is it made? What process did we use? Does it use recycled material? Are we using Free Trade Stones? How does it wear with time?
AND, we need to KNOW our customers. Who are they? What do they love? What makes them smile? What do they want from us? What do they expect from us? Are you willing to give it to them?
If I call myself a Jewelry Artist I better be one. I need to know my designs. I need to know the process. I need to know my product. And if I don't have an answer...I need to say so and be willing to find it. ASAP.
Will I go back to the Apple store and fight the crowds and pay their high prices? Absolutely. Why? Because they know their product. And they know ME. They know what their users need and want.
I went back to the Sprint store last night to activate my sons phone. For as many times as I have been there, and for as often as I have interacted with this "techie" guy, he didn't even recognize me. {gasp} I know. How can it be right?
It's time to rise above the rest and step up to the plate. Stand out from the other "makers" out there and treat your customers like you would a good friend. They deserve it. They are the heart of your business!
And with my new phone? Watch out instagram. I am coming for you!
xoxoxo, lisa

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