Forget the Fockers...Meet Your Customers!

Craig Harrison
April 7, 2011 — 1,058 views  
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How much do you know about your customers? Do you know what makes them happy? Mad? Restless? Let's face it…you should! Businesses often operate in ignorance of what their customers like or dislike, ignore and abhor. To ensure retention, pay attention!

 

The Basics: What Customers Love

 

  • When you know them, remember them by name and remember their preferences.
  • To be treated with respect
  • To feel special
  • To know you're accountable when problems arise
  • The ability to reach a live voice or person when problems arise
  • To receive lagniappe — a little something extra, for their money's worth

 

The Basics: What Customers Hate

 

  • The runaround — and having to repeat one's predicament repeatedly
  • Labyrinthine voice mail systems
  • Ignorant salespeople
  • Apathetic employees
  • Being put on hold
  • Being left on hold
  • Being disconnected after holding
  • Poor routing of their phone call to the incorrect person
  • Repeatedly hearing how important their patronage is while on hold indefinitely
  • Canned e-mail responses that are unresponsive or miss the particulars of the problem
  • Sales reps with surly or superior attitudes who are condescending
  • Lack of empathy
  • Taking customers for granted
  • Being nickel and dimed!
  • Adhering to the letter of the law as opposed to the spirit of the law

 

How We Can Win Points With Customers

 

  • Exceed their expectations!
  • Anticipate client needs even before they do
  • Proactively head off problems before they occur
  • Advocate for your customers with management
  • Provide full service — offering one-stop shopping for myriad client needs
  • Make doing business with you fun and easy
  • Don't make charge-backs, returns and problems problematic to address
  • Grow with your customers
  • Treat them like royalty and employ a touch of class in your interactions

 

Your Next Steps

 

  • Audit your sales and customer service process; look for ways to streamline both for your customers' convenience.
  • Make sure your sales reps know your product lines inside and out.
  • Poll your customers to uncover new ways to better serve them.
  • Create a marketing plan for keeping in front of your customers: e-zines, ads, invites, demos, sales and courtesy calls, focus groups and other mechanisms.
  • Review your returns; look for patterns and trends. Fix systemic flaws in your systems.
  • Seek to reward devoted, long-term customers for their loyalty.
  • To the extent possible, meet and better acquaint yourself with your customers so they're more than a customer number or account name.

 

Don't treat customers like dreaded in-laws. Treat them like beloved family!
With these words I thee wed.

 

Book Craig to train your sales and service teams to deliver great service:

www.VoiceOfCustomerService.com

 

 

San Francisco Bay Area-based Professional speaker Craig Harrison's Expressions of Excellence!™ provides sales and service solutions through speaking. For information on keynotes, training, coaching, curricula for licensing and more, call (510) 547-0664, visit www.VoiceOfCustomerService.com or E-mail [email protected] for inquiries.

 

Craig Harrison

Expressions of Excellence

Craig Harrison's Expressions of Excellence!™ provides sales and service solutions through speaking, training, consulting, coaching and curriculum development. Craig is a professional speaker, corporate trainer and the author of Cultivating the Leader in You, Stellar Service! and a pair of books for Toastmasters members on how to go from Good, Better…BEST! as a leader and communicator. His keynotes are high energy, his training programs interactive and his tasteful humor is contagious. Craig's use of humor, storytelling and games makes learning fun and easy for all. He is a leader in the National Speakers Association, National Storytelling Network and Toastmasters International and has a worldwide following from his writing, keynotes and travels. For more about Craig visit www.ExpressionsOfExcellence.com, e-mail [email protected] or call (510) 547-0664.