All businesses know how important it is to provide quality service and ensure customer satisfaction. As consumers we also know how nice it feels and how great service ensures that we become more willing to buy. When friendly employees who are willing to go that extra mile for us greet us, we feel satisfied and appreciated. “Feel” is the key word here – to offer good service is precisely the ability to get another person to feel satisfied and happy. As in many other contexts, it refers to emotional intelligence.

A person who knows the value of good service and understands the link to EQ is Colin Luthardt who works with coaching sellers worldwide at Seco Tools. Colin and his wife Runa were recently traveling in Asia and sent me the following little anecdote that I want to share with you:

A letter from a flight to Jakarta, How to level with your customer?

Yesterday I was on my way to Jakarta and we had a refuelling stop in Singapore.I had to gather all my personal things to leave the plane only to be told to be back in 20 mins. It was perhaps not the thing I prefer doing after a 12 hour flight. I got a special re-boarding pass for gate E4 and I decided to spend 20 mins in the hall of Singapore airport completing my landing card to Jakarta and reading my book. After a while I realized a commotion at gate E4. I had not noticed how fast the time had passed. I grabbed my stuff and moved to the gate quickly. On entering I was stopped by a security inspector who wanted to see my boarding pass and I showed it to him, however, he wanted the real one from boarding in Frankfurt, not the one for re-boarding. I looked frantically to find it.

“Take your time, Sir and look for it, it is sure to be somewhere”, the officer said, ”There is no reason for hurry.”
I found it finally. I had been using it as a book mark of the book I had been reading on the flight.
What was remarkable was what the inspector had said. Seeing me looking for it frantically he was able to reach me where I was tired and stressed by an officer in charge. He could reach out and comment in an empathtic way.He was trained to recognize and react to these situations to make passengers feel comfortable. He was making a difference.

Just like you. Put yourself into your customer’s shoes and think about how you would feel at his place and meet him there the next time: Your customer could think that here is another supplier who is only wasting my time. Is there a risk that he will not listen at all and think that “is this salesperson talking about a tool I don’t really want?” Especially now, where everyone needs orientation and reconfirmation. Many are getting double information; is the economy really picking up? how much? and where? and so on. If you meet your customer where he stands with his thoughts, it will make a difference. Your customers will appreciate this. You can do it.

Try it, it works!