At Curry’s we try to emphasize with our team how critical it is to have a customer-focused perspective and how empathy is the key to having a great business.
One of my themes to achieve the right mindset among the Curry’s team is that, “there’s always a way to say yes.” Here’s what I mean.
If a customer describes a problem or has an issue, and you have too much of an internal or company-focused mindset, you immediately start thinking about what it means to YOU: how tricky the problem is for YOU to solve; how much time YOU are going to have to spend on it; which other people YOU are going to have to explain the situation to in order to resolve it.
This attitude can result in employees picking and choosing what work they do or don’t want to take on based on how difficult they perceive it to be or how well-equipped they feel to tackle it. The bottom line is that they aren’t saying ‘yes’ enough of the time.
This approach is totally contrary to the customer’s perspective: all they want to hear is “yes”–as in “yes we can,” or “yes, we’ll find out what’s going on.”
Obviously we don’t tell the customer “yes” in any false sense, for example, if they were to ask for a 75% discount. Of course we say “no” in certain situations. I’m talking about our default answer being in the affirmative–a positive approach.
Starting with the philosophy that “there’s always a way to say ‘yes'” forces us to take the customer’s perspective and put aside how their situation impacts us. Tell them ‘yes’ and you’ll figure out a way to resolve the situation!
The way I look at it is that if you want a customer for life, you have to start somewhere–but I guarantee you won’t get there by saying “no.” And rest assured, if you don’t say yes to customers, they’ll find one of your competitors that will.