Boosting Customer Service Part 3
November 3, 2003
Ten Tips for Creating Enticing Customer Service
By: Christopher DeVany
When we are the customer, what do we want from those whose products and service we purchase? How about this for a Top 10 List:
- Stand for Better Performance
- Greet the Customer Promptly and Courteously
- Ask, Listen, Ask and Listen (ALAL)
- Offer a Service Promise
- Deliver What You Promise (and maybe more!)
- “How Did You Hear of Us?”
- “What Are We Doing Well?”
- “What Can We Do Better?”
- “Let’s Stay In Touch”
- “Do You Know Anyone Else Who Would Benefit from Our Service?”
Tip #7: “What Are We Doing Well?”
Knowing our penchant for beating ourselves over the head when we make a mistake, when was the last time you asked your customers what they like about your organization, products and services? Isn’t it about time you, as Peter Drucker once prompted us, “spend at least as much time understanding your strengths as you do understanding your weaknesses”?
This provides you and your customers with yet another opportunity to discuss the positive elements of your offerings. Human behavioralists will verify that, as you prompt customers to keep in effect saying, “yes, yes” instead of “no, no”, you place them and keep them in “buying” mode rather than “no, thanks” mode. This is good; keep it up!
Tip #8: “What Can We Do Better?”
Don’t be shy about asking your customers this very important question. Making the time to carefully ask your customers this informs them and reminds you of your commitment to continuous improvement. Commitment to continuous improvement is what many of us, the author included, identify as a best practice of successful organizations.
Tip #9: Communicating Regularly: “Let’s Stay In Touch”
What methods are you using to communicate with your customers? Are you using direct mail, e-mail, your Web site, fax, TV, radio, billboards, newspaper, banner ads and/or telephoning? How many of these media are you using? How often?
It is incumbent upon all of us to stay in touch regularly with as many customers as possible. Ask your employees how they receive their information. Perhaps your employees’ information-absorption habits will help predict your customers’ buying tendencies. For that matter, ask your customers.
The customers who respond will help you continue to make intelligent marketing materials purchasing decisions. One recommendation: don’t discontinue any one method unless you are certain it is a losing proposition. When I was selling insurance, sending a form letter to “new movers” was our most effective marketing method for new business.
Tip #10: “Do You Know Anyone Else Who Would Benefit from Our Service?” (Referrals)
There are at least three great opportunities I can think of for getting referrals from satisfied customers:
- Whenever they purchase from you.
- Whenever you are contacting them.
- Whenever they contact you.
Bottom line: Try at least three of these tips in your organization each month. Giving everyone at least 21 days to practice some “new habits” will increase your likelihood at implementing success, better customer service and greater profits.
(c) Christopher R. DeVany. All rights reserved.
Chris DeVany is the president of Pinnacle Performance Improvement Worldwide, a management consulting and training firm. For more information, call 508-358-8070, send Chris an e-mail at email@example.com or visit their Web site at http://www.ppiw.com.
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