customer retention

Know the Customer’s Value Proposition - 2/12/19


I’ve written about how it’s important to build up your co-workers when talking to customers. When the nurse is getting ready to send the patient down to radiology, she lets the patient know what great work and great care that the radiology tech provides. When the teller contacts a Read more

Paint a Picture, Take a Picture - 2/5/19


Many of us are visual learners. In order for us to understand the concept, we need to be able to see the concept illustrated. And by seeing the concept illustrated, I’m not just talking about taking something that somebody says and merely typing it into an email. I don’t Read more

Recipe for Reputation Rehab - 1/29/19


As another corporation is trying to recover from self-inflicted reputation wounds, it is seeking to get back in the good graces of consumers. It’s laying out a 6-point plan to improve its performance, but – in the end – publicizing this plan is also about rehabilitating its reputation. Read more

Don’t Dwell on the Customer Crazies - 1/22/19


Whether or not you’re a fan of Duke University basketball, you may have heard of the “Cameron Crazies.” This is a nickname for Duke fans that attend home games in Duke’s Cameron Indoor Stadium. One of my friends was one of those Cameron Crazies. He was Read more

Retain through Responsiveness - 1/15/19


In a recent Bloomberg article about online retailers, there’s a story about a women’s cosmetics customer who used an online app to order some items. She waited weeks for the delivery after it was shipped to the wrong address, and she had great difficulty in getting the issue resolved. Read more

Bring Something Extra to the Table - 1/8/19


As somebody who has customer service as a part of their role and responsibilities, you are often talking to customers who could access the answers to their questions or the solutions to their problems via a website or some social media resource. But instead of going to those communication Read more

How to Have a Truly HAPPY New Year - 1/1/19


Don’t worry. After today, I will get away from my holiday-themed tips, but for now, let me ask you a question. What would be a good way to have a truly HAPPY New Year? Is it lowering expectations so that everything exceeds your expectations? Is Read more

2018 Holiday Poem - 12/25/18


Annually I write a note at this time of year, And the goal not once but every time is to bring you some cheer. I try to encourage, And I work to state the truth Because as we continue to grow more “wise,” We can’t lose sight of the joys of youth. So this year Read more

Be SomeBODY to Your Customer - 12/18/18


Jenny lives on a farm, and she's often running errands to get things for the animals or the family. She goes to one particular store to get her hay, and she always chit-chats with the person at the register. Marie is always friendly and cordial, and Jenny always buys Read more

A Representative Success! - 12/11/18


I was in a meeting recently with a client, and it was interesting to chat with one of their best customer service representatives. This is an employee who works with the same business clients every month, and when she described what she does, best practices started flowing. She knows her Read more

Recipe for Reputation Rehab – 1/29/19

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


As another corporation is trying to recover from self-inflicted reputation wounds, it is seeking to get back in the good graces of consumers. It’s laying out a 6-point plan to improve its performance, but – in the end – publicizing this plan is also about rehabilitating its reputation. Here’s their 6-point plan:

  • Changing the organizational structure
  • Eliminating incentives that negatively affect customers
  • Improving the customer experience
  • Innovating for customers
  • Retaining team members
  • Giving back to the communities.

 
I’m not going to get into the specifics of what these terms mean to them, because what’s important is what these terms mean to you and your organization. To improve your business, ask yourself these six related questions:

  • How could you or your organization change how it’s organized or structured to facilitate internal communications and decision-making, and to better serve customers?
  • What current incentives don’t drive behaviors that benefit customers, and what new incentives would motivate staff to actions that create customer delight?
  • How can you improve the experience of your customers?
  • What are creative ways to come up with fresh ideas from staff to better communicate with customers as well as retain and grow business with customers?
  • How can you get more joy out of your daily work?
  • How can you bring more joy to co-workers and those you serve?

 
Want to uncover ideas to improve yourself, your company, and your customer’s experience.

Try this recipe for reputation rehab.

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Provide Customer Service When They’re Absent – 7/12/16 TOW

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


Rick went on sick leave, hating to miss out on his great relationships with his co-workers for a few weeks but knowing he needed to get himself better. Eventually his health improved, but when he returned, he had resentment against the company.

Although an occasional co-worker would text Rick to check on him or bring him a meal at home, his direct supervisor never reached out. No manager ever communicated with Rick in any way. “They preach caring, collaboration, support, and relationships at work,” Rick thought to himself, “but when you’re sick and at home, it’s like you don’t even exist.”

The local restaurant loved its regulars – they were not only good for business, but they were fun to have around, fun to develop relationships with, fun to just see every week. When a couple of the best customers – Dave and Deanna Lundy – didn’t show for their usual Thursday happy hour or their Sunday brunch for a few weeks, one of the managers and their favorite server noticed. But that’s all they did – they just noticed.

Dave and Deanna had taken a week’s vacation, and then Deanna had gotten sick – even had a brief hospital stay. She was better now, and they decided to try a new restaurant on Thursdays and another on Sundays – for some reason, they didn’t feel the same strong pull to go back to the local place they had patronized for years.

Too often we view customer service as something to do just “in the moment,” reacting to something requested or to an issue presented. But if part of delivering great customer service requires that we care about the other, it should move us to act even when the customer’s not right in front of us. We should be moved to reach out to the co-workers not around. We should want to know if our “regulars” are okay. We should convey we care about them even if they’re not accomplishing a task at work or paying us money for some product or service.

Notice those that are missing, and care enough to serve them when they’re absent.

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Don’t Copy Company A – 5/19/15 TOW

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Terri, the church secretary, knows that the copier agreement ends in about a year, and while she’s aware of its upcoming renewal timeline, it’s obviously not something that she thinks about much.

The current copier vendor (“Company A”) signed on with the church two years ago, before Terri became the new secretary; that vendor hasn’t contacted the church once since the contract was signed. Even though there’s a maintenance agreement, they have never come out to do service because the church never called. So even though “Company A” has a contract with the church, they have no relationship.

When another copier vendor (“Company B”) contacted Terri about the church’s needs, Terri said she’d talk with them. “Company B” noted specifically how they would save the church money on the contract. They described how they’d provide more maintenance and shared their “Company B” promise that they would contact the church to schedule the appointments. They noted the increased functionality they’d provide on the copier. And while changing vendors today and getting out of her current contract would require time and effort on Terri’s part, she’s willing to do it.

The reason that she’s willing to do it is partially because of what the new provider is offering. But here’s the big difference – she knows what it’s like to be a customer of the current vendor, and there’s no relationship, there’s no sense of caring, there’s no proactive communication, and there’s no sense that she – the customer – matters.

Realize that getting a customer is merely the start of a relationship. Make and execute the plans to develop a relationship, provide proactive communications, and ensure the customer feels like they matter to you.

Don’t Copy Company A.

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