appreciation

Should I Stay or Should I Go? - 2/23/21


Should I stay or should I go?  That’s not just a classic song by The Clash.  It’s also the question customers ask more and more, especially during difficult economic times. A recent study in the Charlotte Business Journal noted that 50% of North Carolina businesses are concerned with how to Read more

Optimism – A Force for Good in Customer Service - 2/16/21


Will 2021 be a better year than 2020?  I have absolutely no idea.  Maybe it would be nice to see into the future and know for certain, but I can’t and I don’t.  But as I wade further and further into this year, I can hope that the water Read more

To Assure, Ensure You Do This - 2/9/21


Vince Lombardi – famous professional football coach – became a big hit on the speaker’s circuit during his time coaching.  He applied many of his principles in football and life to business, and one of his great business quotes is:  Confidence is contagious and so is lack of confidence, Read more

Let Your Goal Determine Your Question - 2/2/21


In the early 2000s, when the economy hit the skids, companies realized that they couldn’t take their customers for granted.  They needed to ramp up customer service.  They needed to listen to the Voice of the Customer. During the Great Recession in the 2008-10 timeframe, much of the “new marketing Read more

Excellence is Not Perfection, and that’s OK - 1/26/21


Surveys have questions with ratings that range from Excellent to Poor.  We custom-design and deliver Service Excellence Training.  Tom Peters wrote the book “In Search of Excellence.” But how do you define Excellence, particularly in customer service?  Let’s start with what Excellence is not.  Excellence is not something reflected in Read more

Bring Magic to Your Account Management - 1/19/21


One of our first sports-industry clients was the Orlando Magic.  They were a true leading-edge organization in the early 2000s when it came to dedicating resources to season ticket holder retention.  They didn’t make customer service, relationship-development, and renewals simply a function of the Sales department.  They broke it Read more

Customers Want Easy, but Easy is Difficult - 1/12/21


New employees go through days of training to learn products and services.  They have formal workshops to learn how to use their office applications, web functions, and whatever programs are specific to their department.  They test new technology, and they get quizzed on knowledge of policies.  This is hours Read more

Make 2021 the Year of Building Relationships - 1/5/21


I’ve been very fortunate over this company’s 20+ years in business to have great and long-lasting relationships with many clients, colleagues, business partners, and co-workers.  It’s a gift to be able to call on these individuals for advice or referrals or to be a sounding board.  And it’s just Read more

Bring Warmth During Winter - 12/29/20


Winter is upon us.  Now, winter can mean different things to different people in different regions, but just the word conjures up cold.  It conjures up visions of snow.  It conjures up feelings of wind and lack of warmth. Although some of us may like the cold at times of Read more

2020 Holiday Poem - 12/22/20


When in the role of customer service,We are wired to give and give.It’s built into our DNA.It’s simply the way we live. In order to give to others,We need to find ways to give them their fill.We need to pour empathy and openness into them.To serve, we need to have Read more

A Lesson in Gratitude – 11/24/20

Posted on in Customer Service Tip of the Week Please leave a comment

Mr. Robinson went to the hardware store with his teenaged son, Steve.  Steve was starting his first woodworking project – building a small coffee table – and needed supplies.  As they walked the aisles, Mr. Robinson and Steve couldn’t find the exact type of wood they wanted, so Mr. Robinson suggested that Steve ask an employee for help.  Steve found an employee walking by, asked for help, and got what he needed.

After the employee walked away, Mr. Robinson told Steve:  You did a good job talking with that gentleman.  Next time, though, thank the employee.

Steve:  Why should I thank the employee for doing his job?

The dad’s temperature started to rise.  It rose because this was his son talking, and why Steve was basically stating a truth, Mr. Robinson felt Steve was missing the bigger picture.

Mr. Robinson:  You thank them because they helped you, because we didn’t waste the next 30 minutes walking up and down every aisle, looking at every bin.  You thank them because – whether they were being paid or not – you show appreciation for others.

This was a teachable moment in the dad’s eyes.  You appreciate others.  Gratitude is not a light switch you just turn on when you’re an employee getting paid to answer a customer’s question, and otherwise turn it off.  Gratitude is an all-the-time thing, whether you’re an employee or a customer.

Mr. Robinson:  People have choices – whether to serve you or not, whether to do it with a good attitude or not, whether to listen to you and ask questions…or not.  You have a choice, too.  And I want you to see the importance of choosing to tell other people thanks.

Let’s make gratitude an all-the-time thing.

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Who Loves Ya, Baby? – 2/25/20

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Telly Savalas played Kojak – a hard-nosed detective who solved crimes while eating a lollipop.  He was a tough guy with a tough attitude but a soft side.  He used to say:  Who loves ya, baby?

So, who loves their customer?

If you want to see somebody who loves their customer, walk into a vet with your pet. Oh Bosco! I’m so happy to see you!  How have you been lately!  It’s like the dog is the receptionist’s long-lost friend or the doctor’s favorite cousin.

Congratulations, Zappos Zealot!  You’re one step closer to getting your holiday shopping done! We’ve received your order and are busy picking your gifts from our shelves as we speak. So jingle your bells, and roast your chestnuts, ‘cause we’ve got you covered this holiday season!  With Love, The Zappos Customer Loyalty Team.  Zappos must love that customer who they just sent that e-mail to…

Thank you for coming in today! Is there anything else I can get for you? Oh!  You want some potting soil for those plants you’re buying?  We have some good fresh bags in the back; let me call somebody to bring one up for you. Less than a minute later, a gentleman walks up with the bag, and the customer checks out with a dozen plants, fresh soil, and some helpful advice on how to get things growing quickly. Nice experience at Myers Greenhouse.

These are all experiences that I’ve had, and you may have had similar experiences where companies seem to love their customers.

It’s the organization that is sincerely excited to see the customer, even if the customer is a puppy.  It’s the business that is not just sharing an update on an order, but they’re sending an e-mail that’s shows their excitement to serve and conveys the enthusiasm of what you’ll do with their merchandise.  And it’s an employee that freely gives advice and goes an extra step to quickly give the customer a little something extra.

So, who loves ya, baby? These organizations and their employees seemingly love their customers.  Why don’t we take a few tips from them with our enthusiasm, respect, advice, guidance, and appreciation.

Let your customers know who loves them.

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LOTS of Opportunities to Appreciate Customers – 1/28/20

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They give us their money, and we give them merchandise. We say “Thank you!”  That is the old-time stereotypical opportunity for a company to thank their customers.  But there are opportunities all day long for us to convey appreciation to our customers.

Beyond the actual transaction, there are so many situations where we can say thank you to the customer.  And we want to do that often, because without customers, we have no business.  We understand that in the vast majority of the cases, the customer could go elsewhere.  They want to feel valued and appreciated, so we want to find ways to convey that appreciation.

Whether you’re dealing with a request, a complaint, or just the customer’s involvement in some activity, you have an opportunity to appreciate the customer.

Convey appreciation to customers or co-workers for their requestThanks for your request.  Thanks for asking!

Convey appreciation for telling you a complaintThanks for bringing that to our attention.  I appreciate your telling us about this issue.

Convey appreciation for their participationIt’s great that you’ve been a part of this.  I appreciate your time and your engagement in the process.

It is not hard to say thanks, but it is often one of the most forgotten aspects of communication with customers.  They are not a box in our process flow; a customer is an individual that wants to feel valued and appreciated.  So we want to make sure that we are not only appreciating them, but we are telling them so.

There are many opportunities to appreciate the customer throughout the day.  Identify them, and act on them so the customer feels how much you value them and their business.

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