Are you being paid what you believe you are worth? Your answer will be like practically all Americans. Virtually no one who believes, that they are being paid what they are actually worth. The problem with this line of reasoning is that it’s misdirected because it focuses on us and not the customer.
Your perceived value that you believe you have is not what you think you’re worth or even the company you work for believes. The only one who has the authority to know and say if you are worth what you are being paid is the customer. It’s what our customers think how valuable we are, rather than how valuable we think we are.
To a lot of people, that may be a hard pill to swallow, because your age doesn’t enter into the equation on this point. I’ve seen it from those that are well into their 70s and those that are barely starting to work, teenagers and millennials, such as the protests for a higher minimum wage. And there is nothing easy about it. If the customer thinks you’re worth the money then…it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks or wants!!
As an example, you go to the store and purchase a pair of pants and a shirt for a discounted price. You look good and it fits well. You take it home and according to the label, take care of it as best as you can. After one washing it starts falling apart. Threads pop out everywhere, seams start to rip, especially in the crotch, and the cuffs or collars begin to fray.
Then a personal question for you, management or front line employee, is it appropriate to say to your employer, and the customer, I’ll work harder, if you give me more money? You have to be able to earn that level of trust through the level of service that you provide. You have to show that you are worth the money before handing it out. Our pay raises are up to us and the service we provide our customers.
How do you create an environment where the customer values our service over & above that of a competitor who may offer a lower price, and want to give us that extra pay? Only through continued effort towards providing COQS. It has to go beyond regular service, just like value added service.
It’s what we do every single day. Not just doing our job, but doing our job right the first time. Then doing it again, on a consistent continual basis. Some of those things that make up our perceived value to our customers are as follows;
- Customer Oriented Attitude
Being friendly and pleasant and not acting like a marine drill sergeant with fresh recruits. Maintain your integrity but in a pleasant atmosphere. It’s the people that you interact with that will make or break your both pay and job.
- Customer Oriented Appearance
Don’t let your uniform resemble a tablecloth at the local pizza joint after a Little League party or your favorite pair of pajamas after watching a horror movie with red wine. Also ensure that personal hygiene is up to standards also. What will your customers think?
Everyone will drop coffee or a condiment on their shirt once in a while. That’s where you need to be prepared with an extra in your car so you can change. As for hygiene, taking a daily shower is a ritual you can’t avoid for any reason.
- Customer Oriented Concern
This is the one thing that sets a truly committed customer oriented employee apart from the average one in how they perform their job. Ensuring that the job gets done, right the first time, and on time. The concern you show for your customers will shine through if you have this.
This concern can’t be faked for any reason either. People, even the most naive 17-year-old know when you’re faking a smile and happiness. People can easily see through your disguise, like it was plastic wrap, and know you’re not being truthful in that concern for what they want.
- Professional Way of Thinking
Some people call this ‘The Big Picture’. How will what I do affect someone else both now and in the, near and far, future.
If we want more for what we are doing, then we must prove that we are worth more. We can’t just demand more because we want it. It has to be earned and enforced by what the customer says.
Our perceived value means a lot more than you may think. The perceptions of customers are the most important thing in any business. And if there perception of you is negative…
Think about it this way; Why do people pay more for C&H Sugar, Morton Salt, Coca Cola, Charmin (all of those names are trademarked) and the other innumerable name brands out there rather than a generic? It’s the same product just a different name and packaging. But it’s the perceived value that makes the difference. Are you name brand or just generic?
(This is an excerpt from my book Customer Oriented Quality Service: The COQS Method, It is due out spring 2017)
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I May be Blind but my Vision is Crystal Clear