This past week I had the privilege of attending the annual Global Leadership Summit via simulcast hosted at a location here in Georgia. It was two jam-packed days of teaching from some of the world’s greatest (and most successful) leaders in the world.
For any entrepreneur who is leading a business, whether an online e-commerce operation or any other type of organization, leadership is critical. Good leadership will help a venture soar to higher heights and poor leadership will most assuredly sink you into the lowest of lows.
One of the speakers was Horst Schulze, the CEO of Capella Hotel Group and Founding President of Ritz-Carlton Group. He discussed three simple reminders about hospitality and what customers want. I’d like to translate some of his teaching into our world of e-commerce and online business.
What Do Your Customers Want?
- Your customers want their product (or service) without defect: customers want to get what they ordered and they want to receive it without defect. That means we need to be sure we are shipping the correct product. We need to make sure that the product is in the condition described. We need to make sure that it’s packaged properly and protected in shipment.
- Your customers want timely service: This means that you ship on time. You answer customer inquiries quickly. If a customer needs to return a product for some reason, they want the return to be easy and quick.
- Your customers want to feel like you care about them: This is one of the hardest things to accomplish through an online business. The bulk of our interactions are electronic and there is very little interaction between your customer and yourself. How can you make them feel like you care? Are you shipping your own product? Do something special like tossing some candy in the box or a savings coupon for a future order. Send a courteous followup email to make sure they are happy with your service. These are just a few ideas.
I would challenge everyone to think about their online business through the lens of these three customer needs. How can you adjust your fulfillment and customer service practices to better serve your customers?