When I moved to Phoenix 6 years ago, I was on the job hunt almost immediately. My wife works for a big corporation that relocated us to the Valley. I had taken some time off for the move just to get our things in order but once we were settled in I began my search for a new job. Coming from the Midwest (most recently), I had grown accustomed to a certain level of courtesy provided by nearly everyone. I don’t know if you’ve ever had the chance to visit Indiana but the people there are super friendly and enjoy helping each other. There is a common bond among most of the residents there. People wave to each other, hold doors open and even volunteer when they can help others. A big area where Mid-Westerners go over and above is in their customer service. This friendly and kind mentality gets doubled when dealing with their potential and existing clients. Friendliness and a strong work ethic are an every day part of the job market in Indiana. Let me tell you what I discovered when comparing it to Phoenix.
I would never say that the people of Phoenix do not have a strong work ethic. Phoenix has a large population of people who came here for a fresh start and a job. What I am really focused on in this article is the customer service. We run a Web Design business in Phoenix. Customer service is a primary focus of ours. We value our customer’s opinion over everything else. We often ask for testimonials from our clients that we can post to our home page. If there is any reason at all that they are not happy with our service, we find out why and we address the issue. Sometimes I feel like this is a lost art in the Phoenix Valley. I am often surprised by the lack of hospitality at times. This is true in every industry. Not always, but it exists everywhere. Those of you who live here are familiar with what I’m talking about.
In my working career in sales and project management, I was taught, “the customer is always right”. There is always a give and take between service provider and client but it is to be conducted professionally and with mutual respect. I always find it a breath of fresh air when I meet a friendly outgoing sales person. I want to buy from them. As long as the product and price are in line with what I feel is fair, I will come back to that person not only now but also indefinitely. People buy from people that they like. I think aggressive sales people who are only trying to “win the day” lose this at times. The kindness and positivity that you show people on a daily basis will resonate with them far beyond the transaction. They will know a trusted professional that they will not only come back to but be happy to tell others about.
I was recently on the phone with my cable provider (you know who). I was being charged a fee due to late payment. I had sent payment in on time and it was received but for some reason it took them an extra week to associate my business check to my personal Internet bill even though my account number was printed on the check from my bank. I kindly ask them to remove the late charge. The customer service representative argued with me that the charge was valid. Of course I asked to speak with the manager and the charge was eventually removed but my experience overall was bad. What some people fail to realize is that even when you win the battle you may be losing the war. I’m not planning to switch providers just yet but I am certainly keeping my options open.
Here is the best part for all of you sales professionals in Phoenix. Knowing that there are plenty of greedy and rude people out there can work to your advantage. Showing your clients a superior level of hospitality and service will set you apart from your competition in Phoenix. People will always come back to you for future needs and you won’t have to hesitate when asking them for referral business.
My time spent in the Mid-West instilled some important principles that I use every day in my Phoenix Web Design business. Creating long lasting relationships with my clients is what I do best. Putting their needs before my own is a daily habit and it is the primary factor to our success.