The key to customer loyalty and industry trust is genuine care for others.
Delivering a great customer experience is hard. After all, parking guests’ expectations are set by such world-class brands as Disney, Hilton Hotels, or Chick-fil-A.
However, an oft-overlooked key ingredient for a quality customer experience is Authentic Concern. It’s when companies genuinely demonstrate care for customers, which leaves them feeling valued and cared for.
Of course, for authentic concern to reach customers, it must first touch employees. Here’s where parking leaders enter the scene: executives can infuse their business with authentic concern, by instilling it from the top-down.
Authentic concern must be present in thought, word and deed. First off, be visible. Walk around the office. Perform small acts of kindness. Give praise. Sir Richard Branson had the right idea.
“I have always believed that the way you treat your employees is the way they will treat your customers, and that people flourish when they are praised.”– Sir Richard Branson
Not only do employees need praise, but they need to be told the truth. Employees always want to feel like you are leveling with them. Have frequent and honest communication with them, and in turn, they will be honest with you.
Not only will these measures lead to a happier, healthier, staff, but a better customer experience. Employees will treat customers the way that you treat them. If you afford them authentic concern, so too will they unto your customers.
And customers know when it’s not authentic. They know when we’re simply giving lip service to the concept of customer service. Authentic concern extends to every corner of parking operations.
Some questions to ask yourself:
• Do your ambassadors have smiles on their faces when they greet customers?
• Do they go the extra mile when a customer needs help?
• Do your people have the tools and training to deliver excellent customer service?
• How long do your customers have to wait when they push the help button?
If the answer to any of these questions is soft, then there’s a disconnect somewhere between thought, word, and deed.
If parking leaders instill authentic concern in this way, not only will they be managing with authentic concern, but delivering a product with authentic concern, too.
As if that in and of itself isn’t enough of a payoff, this culture of authentic concern drives good business. Here’s how: authentic concern builds trust. Trust between employer, employee and customer, builds loyalty.
In turn, loyalty creates repeat business. Repeat business builds margin.
Authentic concern is good for you, your staff, your customers, and the entire parking industry. If we can lead with trust, we’ll be able to thrive in these difficult times.