What Does Customer Service Have to Do With the Slinky? (Part Two)
ACPWC brings you Part Two of an article designed to help you succeed in your wedding planning business.
The Slinky Effect
Last week we discussed how simple it was when we were children. Our structured life consisted of eating, chores and playing. This week we’ll focus on the three rules we had to follow: 1) treat others the way you wanted to be treated, 2) share your toys, and 3) remember to say “please and thank you”.
Our customer service skills can be compared to the characteristics of the slinky. In the previous article we touched on one – balance – and how it helps us to keep flexible and structured in our wedding planning business. This week we’ll emphasize flexibility in relationships and staying connected and grounded.
The Characteristics of the Slinky
- Flexibility – The slinky will bend, but it is hard to break. We, too, can bend without breaking. Flexibility requires give and take, opening up to new ideas, extending ourselves, and compromising. It requires cooperation and negotiation. It means sometimes forgoing our original plan for a better overall result. This is true with business partners, in networking and in our customer relationships.
- Staying connected – Each person holds the end of the slinky. Both may pull in opposite directions at times, but move together overall. We are building a relationship, working together, viewing the situation from different angles, stretching, but always connected. We are getting to know each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Each of us may have a different approach, but as a team we are a complement to one another. We do well to commend and appreciate each other’s input. Building relationships, developing partnerships, and collaborating on ideas can bring positive results.
- Grounded – A slinky when set down will always land on its base. It is grounded in that position. One side will always be anchored. The grounding represents the goal, which has now become the common bond between the two parties. Both are looking for the best possible results from the relationship.
Today the basic idea of good customer service is returning, not just in the wedding industry, but all over. Being courteous and providing the customer with the best possible experience seems to be catching on. Stores are working toward it, top restaurants are known for it, and banks are excelling at it. They want to provide excellent service so that their customers will continue to keep doing business with them.
Getting back to basics means pulling the same way as the customer. It requires compromising. Contrary to popular belief, the customer is not always right. But they don’t have to know that. It’s still a good motto to go by and good for business. We need to flow with the peaks and valleys, roll with the challenges, find a balance between work and family, be flexible and open, and stay connected and grounded. If we focus more on these characteristics, we will have appreciative partners, build a strong networking group and have loyal customers.
Life is not as simple as it was when we were children, but the basic rules still apply. So, as professional wedding planners and small business owners, let’s treat our customers and colleagues the way we would like to be treated, say please and thank you, and above all…don’t forget to share our slinky. The effects might just improve business, as well as our outlook. And at the end of the day, we can all go home happy.
Have you been thinking about becoming a certified wedding consultant? Find out more information about our training courses at ACPWC’s website here.