Is there an epidemic of poor service in your world? What do you do when you receive poor service? Do you “fly off the handle”, “give them a piece of your mind?” Ever give a thought as to how this behavior might be perpetuating the “poor service” epidemic?
Take a minute to think about jobs you’ve had in the past. If you’ve ever HAD a customer, you’ve also BEEN a customer. How so? Well, Communication (and therefore, service) is a 2- way street. And, remember: Wherever you are on the communication chain, you’re either “giving” or “receiving.”
Here’s where the TSA (The Service Advisors) Cure for Poor Service comes into play. Ever hear of the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
Here’s an example of how this Golden Rule thing works. Let’s say you order a hamburger from a fast food clerk. She messes up your order repeatedly, and won’t even say she’s sorry for the mix-up. You’re the customer at this moment. Then the transaction starts to shift. You’ve waited 15 minutes for your “fast food”; your anger and frustration start to get the best of you; you “pop” and tell the clerk that she’s incompetent, and you want your money back. At that moment, the “shift” is complete, and the fast food clerk just became YOUR “customer.”
Did your response make her attitude better or worse? Did she learn anything about customer service from your behavior? I doubt it – anyone who is called “incompetent” is going to be even more distant with the next customer. I’m inclined to think that she’ll only get more surly with her customers as the day goes on.
So, the next time you receive poor customer service, and the vein in your forehead is starting to throb, remember to “inoculate” the situation with the TSA Cure. Try out the Golden Rule, and instead of contributing to the problem, be a part of the solution!
For more TSA cures, and tips on how to use customer service techniques to increase sales, go to www.theserviceadvisors.com.
Happy Holidays Customer Service (video)- I just heard a great customer service story that I wanted to share with you. My friend, Bonnie, used to be a bank teller at a drive-up window. She had repeat customers that sometimes had their family pet in the car with them. When the customer would send her their deposit via a pneumatic tube, she would return their receipt – via the tube- with a dog buscuit enclosed. She actually went to Trader Joe’s and bought dog biscuits in bulk so she could connect with her customers and put a smile on their face. We’re all out there in the weather and the traffic searching for the perfect gift this holiday season- and we’re bound to have some good- (some bad) – customer service experiences. We’ll either make a “connection” and bond with the merchant, or tell the world about our not so good experience! Let’s hope, this season, we all run into a “Bonnie.” Happy Holidays Everybody!
Let your customers do the advertising for you – and increase sales via Word of Mouth Advertising! It’s FREE! Sound good? Are you ready to rev up that Word of Mouth Engine? There are 4 Gold Star customer service strategies that are guaranteed to do just that. (So you can remember them easily, I’m going to apply these techniques to a great customer service story that I ran across on the Internet):
(1) Be Helpful – the customer’s car broke down, and when he called the garage, they offered to pick it up for him. Now that’s Helpful! Gold Star #1.
(2) Update Frequently - Keep the customer informed – In this example, the garage kept the customer posted re the status, what was wrong, and how much it would cost to fix the problem. I think you’ll agree that there’s nothing worse than wondering what’s happening, or sitting by the phone all day waiting for that status call! Gold Star #2.
(3) Give a Token of Appreciation – the garage didn’t charge the customer for the tow. Wow! What an unexpected treat. That’ll be sure to create some buzz. Gold Star #3.
(4) Call Back - the Big Daddy of Delight! Several days later, the garage called the customer just to see how things were going and check to see that everything worked out OK. Gold Star #4.
This customer is now telling his story on the internet. Do you think this is worth the cost of the tow? Yep. Many times over. Follow these 4 Gold Star customer service strategies and you’re guaranteed lots of FREE Word of Mouth Advertising and increased sales! Get more NO COST tips at www.theserviceadvisors.com.
I just read an interesting factoid – Did you know that 68% of customers who discontinue relations with a company do so due to poor customer service? It is the number one reason for customers to defect from a business. Everyone has experienced poor customer service at some point and it is infuriating and frustrating, prompting some to sever ties with a company even if they have had a long-standing relationship and been previously satisfied.
I like to restate the above in terms of dollars lost – 11% of business is lost due to unhappy customers. Get out the calculator – What does that 11% mean to you? Go on . . . do the math. Scary, isn’t it. So, whether it’s 68% of your customers who leave due to poor customer service or 11% of your business lost due to unhappy customers, those are some serious numbers. And, the great part is, you can take some action NOW, and it doesn’t cost you anything. Learn how to win back an unhappy customer or just keep your customers buying again and again. Let the word of mouth engine rev. It’s FREE advertising, right? And who doesn’t like FREE? Just go to
for the 11%solution!
Why is it that so many business owners don’t realize that you can control how customers feel about your product or service? I recently spoke with an owner who was bemoaning the fact that the PROBLEM is a customer that just walks away – in silence. Never to visit you again, and you never know why. He’s been in business for 40 years and was resigned to just throwing up his hands in despair. He asked me what to do and I suggested “Call Backs”. It’s a very easy process – just call back in 2 or 3 days after the purchase to “check in” that everything is OK. Invite the customer to call you Personally at any time if there’s a problem. (I like to give out my cell phone number – I’ve done this for years and no one has ever called me!) People will appreciate the attention and caring and buy from you again and again. This is definitely a NO COST solution that keeps your customers happy. For more tips go to http://www.theserviceadvisors.com
I was in a well known, franchised, coffee shop yesterday and witnessed the use of the “4 words that your customers never want to hear!” Here’s what happened: You know those travel coffee mugs that line the retail shelves of every coffee boutique? They come in all shapes, sizes and colors, right? Well a customer brought in a black, thermal, travel mug that didn’t pour properly, and he wanted to return it for a new mug. After much hemming and hawing- I’m not sure what he was trying to say- the clerk handed over a new, identical, black travel mug. You could feel the customer’s power dwindling, and he – sheepishly – pointed out that this style of mug didn’t pour properly because of the way the lid was designed. Could he, please, have a different style? The clerk tried to be polite, and he even apologized, but the apology was hollow, because the next words out of his mouth were: “Do you have your receipt?” Now, get this, the customer mumbled, “No”, and the clerk replied, “I’m sorry sir, but, without the receipt, I can only exchange it for an identical mug. . . “ (and then he put the blame on the customer. . ) “because you don’t have the receipt.” The customer said , “But, it was a gift.” Clerk: “I can only give you an identical mug, because. . .” (and then came the dreaded 4 words that no customer ever wants to hear. . . )
to replace your purchase with a different style “UNLESS YOU HAVE YOUR RECEIPT.” The customer left, with his head hung low, and a coffee mug in his hand that he’ll probably put in his cupboard and never use again. So much for all the money spent on the logo and branding! That franchise may have lost a customer, plus the five people in line overheard the transaction. I guarantee you , they’ll never buy a gift from that store! What a missed opportunity to create a six loyal customers who will each tell 15 of their friends about your great (or not so great) customer service. Hmmm. . . 6×15 – that’s 90 people who will repeat the story, and so on, and so on. You choose – which NO COST advertising do you want for your business? Positive or negative, which will it be?
Ooooh. . . we all have a service story that has left us spitting and sputtering. I’ll bet that at one time or another, every one of us has left an establishment saying, “How in the world do they stay in business?”
I know you’ve got some customer service horror stories that you’d love to tell me, but here’s one of my own. In fact, by the time I’d finished with this ordeal, I was so mad my chin quivered!
Several years ago, I needed a new microwave. . .
(to get the rest of the story and meet Rox”E” the doxie go to http://theserviceadvisors.com/The-Problem.html
Since name badges done wrong is one of my pet peeves (hardly anyone does it right) I’d like to offer some food for thought. Name badges foster a bond between the service employee and the customer! When one wears a name badge, “bonding” is for sure going to happen, but I don’t want to bond with someone’s belly button! What’s up with that? Please don’t buy your staff laniards to wear around their neck and use as a name badge holder. I know this is convenient (they won’t get strangled the next time they have to use their badge to open a door!), but it really doesn’t add to the professionalism that you’re trying to achieve. Plus, I don’t wear my glasses. But, even if I did, the type face on some name badges is so small that I’m squinting while looking at someone’s belly button!!!! Not good! Check out the name badges at Sam’s Club. They’ve got two out of three steps right. First, they require name badges, second, they use really large font to spell out the first name, however, they don’t require that you wear the name badge at shoulder height, so I am familiar with the navels of some of their staff. Even if I don’t want to know them that well. Check out some more NO COST customer service tips at www.theserviceadvisors.com and leave me your comments on the blog.
Below is a blog posted by Emily Coltman at http://askm-videos.blogspot.com/2010/11/trust-me-im-customer.html. This is the perfect testimonial about a business that knows how to “recover” using trust. And, as a result, they just got some FREE advertising on the world wide web? Now, isn’t that worth it? Kudos to Lakeland. And, thanks, Emily. I couldn’t have said it better. Thanks, Emily.
Sunday, 28 November 2010