Put the customer experience first and success will follow

Customers First.jpg

If you're in any service based industry you most likely rely on people. The people providing your service to the people receiving your service. Your greatest strength and selling point is your people. A happy customer will tell other people about your service, and hopefully you will grow to reach more people.

Business is people, people, people

The problem is, people can be unpredictable - we can't control people or what they think (now in sales, that would be gold!) However, when it comes to the letters on a page, the layout of a document or technical aspects of our process, these are things we can control, so it's easy to get hung up on them. It's human nature.

However, we must always remember that it's people that are at the heart of any success.

The experience someone has with us is the absolute most important aspect of retaining a customer so that they become a regular client in future.

Focusing on the customer

Take for instance a headshot session I recently undertook with senior staff at the Black Country Housing Group.

A headshot, more than most services, requires absolute focus on people (and not only for the photo to look sharp!) It's a one on one situation, which needs to be handled in a manner which is enjoyable for the person being photographed. Otherwise, it won't be much fun for the individual and it's likely they won't like the photo of themselves when all's said and done.

In terms of delivering my service, there are a great deal of elements I need to consider to provide high quality, consistent images. These include:

  • Balancing my camera's aperture, shutter speed and ISO.

  • The power levels needed on my lights for the space I'm in.

  • The look I want to achieve for each individual, and how I'm going to pose them to get it.

  • The need to adjust my lights depending on whether someone is wearing glasses, the colour of their clothes, their height etc.

  • Keeping within the timeframe I have to take the photos. Including setting up equipment and taking it down when I'm done.

Now, do you think I talk about the above points during the headshot session?

Of course not.

They are all on my mind, but my primary focus is the people. Specifically, the person stood in front of my camera at that moment. Now, I may need to take headshots for 25 people or more in one session. However, I aim to make sure that my manner, my banter, and my approach to each individual is consistent from first to last (even if I'm getting a little worn out towards the end!)

The vast majority of people dislike having their photo taken and can be a little nervous when entering the room. So my first concern is putting them at ease, which enables them to relax and have a giggle with me. That's when you'll start to get the best photos.

So during the session, I treat each person exactly the same. I always intend the time spent with me to be a highlight of their day.

The end result: good business

So what am I getting at here?

I'd like to encourage you to not sweat the details too much if they don't impact the customer experience. Don't delay sending that document because you're not quite happy with the wording of a paragraph or layout of a page. Don't treat one customer as a priority over another because they shout the loudest.

If you treat each customer in a consistent manner, which puts their needs at the centre of the service, success will follow.

Everything else is secondary.

“We booked Thomas for headshots of our Exec and board members, and the final images are outstanding.

We now regularly use Thomas as his manner and approach are spot on. Thomas regularly comes with tips and advice of how to get the best shots, whether for press shots or shots for the website and social media and we’re always sure he understands what we are aiming to achieve.” - Black Country Housing Group