Give Your Customers the Invisible:
Serving Customers Intangibles
By Craig Harrison
When we think of customer service we think of giving customers services of some sort: catering, decorations, music, meeting facilities, food and beverages, etc. And we do! This month I'd like to show you those other, intangible deliverables you are also providing your customers. You'll smile when you realize all you've been doing for your customers.
Did you know you give customers that "warm, happy feeling" they seek when they call you? When they engage your professional services they are relying on the fact that you know the in's and out's of your industry. They derive confidence from knowing that you will care for them and guide them through the sometimes hazardous journey to a successful event.
Over 30 years ago Jimi Hendrix asked "Are you experienced?" Your answer is a resounding YES! In fact, your experience can save customers money and lead to more fulfilling events. Don't sell yourself short! Pablo Picasso, when asked for an autograph, affixed a price tag equivalent to $15,000. The fan gasped, "but that only took you ten seconds to write." He was dumbfounded. "On the contrary," countered Picasso, "that took me a lifetime to write!" You are the sum total of your experiences as a professional. When people hire you they are hiring the experience you bring with you.
You are also the sum of the resources you bring to bear on any event. You know the other vendors to recommend or subcontract with for success. You know the venues, the key players and others whose reputation has been proven over time. You know your NACE colleagues who are capable of combining with you for success. In short, you know the lay of the land.
As an experienced professional you can actually see their event clearer than they can sometimes. As you listen and ask questions to understand their aims you can then envision what they can't: how to apply your expertise to make their event "all that and more!" You'll have suggestions that never occurred to your clients. You'll creatively combine floral arrangements, menus, invitations, music and entertainment in ways they never would have known about because you are visionary in your work.
Ultimately you are giving customers confidence. With you on the job, they can relax and enjoy the events they are staging. You offload their headaches so they can do what they do best. The peace of mind you give them is priceless. Your savior faire carries the day. So remember all that you bring to the proverbial table as a NACE professional. It's just part of the "value added" you offer.