sales

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

Same Product; 2 Totally Different Customer Experiences – 12/15/15 TOW

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


Debra’s home heating unit went out in the dead of winter – LOUSY timing! But it was an 18 year old unit, so it was definitely…well, time.

Two vendors came the next day to give an estimate. Al’s ACME Repair (the name has been changed to protect the guilty) sent two salesmen who spent 15 minutes in the house. They walked around, noted how cold it was inside, took a few measurements, and looked at the old system. They then went back to their vehicle, spent 30 minutes writing up a quote. They gave Debra a quote with three lines of information on the unit type and cost, and they left.

A couple hours later, Jeff from Harvey’s HVAC House came to provide a quote. He spent 50 minutes with Debra, asked lots of questions, took pictures of the old unit, described the process for installation of the new unit, mentioned the experience of the installers, and offered to provide a quote via e-mail later that evening with multiple options for Debra to consider.

Her takeaway? If Jeff’s quote comes in anywhere near Al’s ACME Repair, she’s going with Jeff.

Jeff offered details on 3 options (Good, Better, Best), “Better” was right in line with the other company’s quote, and she went with Jeff.

True story – and truth in the lessons learned: Conveying patience, being inquisitive, educating the customer, building-up co-workers, and offering options are all vital to customer service success.

Be like Jeff – learn from the tale of the two talks.

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Don’t Copy Company A – 5/19/15 TOW

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


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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