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Strategies for Providing Outstanding Customer Service #16-35

publication date: May 10, 2012
author/source: Carol Roth Blog, as submitted by Bill Todd

16. Call Your Mother!

We provide full-spectrum support for law students (personal trainers, but for the mind). For students, family support is key, and grad school is isolating. Many parents are paying, and we reach out directly. With clients' permission, we call Mom & Dad to update them on the ups and downs of law school life. We create not only accountability for our work, but also help families be supportive. The return on this 15 minute-investment is serious brand loyalty from the whole family.
Thanks to: Elura Nanos of Morange Workshops.


17. No Client Bashing Allowed

Enforce a "No Client Bashing" rule at your place of business.

Customer service is about how you think and when you think negative thoughts about a person, it will show through in your behavior toward them. And when you verbalize negative thoughts about a customer, you pass them along to others inside the organization.
Thanks to: Marilyn Suttle and Lori Jo Vest of Suttle Enterprises LLC.


18. Personal Touch is Key

Great customer service requires recognizing your customers by name and thanking them personally. Today there is so much automation (self checkouts at the grocery store, post office, etc. or automated phone services at most businesses from cable companies to airlines) and customers crave human contact. If you engage you customers in person, over the phone or even through social media, they will reward you with loyalty.
Thanks to: Janet Hinz of Critical Thinking in the Real World.


19. Provide a Wow! Experience

Your brand is more than slogan, logo, colors, etc.--it's *the customer's (and prospect's) perception and experience of you.* Thus customer service is far more than grievance resolution; your job is to create strong positive memories of every interaction. Exceed expectations, create "wow moments" and thrill customers so they have to brag.

Many examples are in my 8th book Guerrilla Marketing Goes Green: Winning Strategies to Improve Your Profits and Your Planet (co-author: Jay Conrad Levinson).
Thanks to: Shel Horowitz of FrugalMarketing.com.


20. Give Customers an Experience

Companies have only 2 kinds of customers, those who want to do business with them and those who do not but who have no other choice. You need to keep the first group and convert the second group. Your competitive advantage can be the total positive experience they have doing business with you.

It works because customers make most shopping decisions emotionally including where to shop. So focus on creating a positive experience for the customer. If you do this, they will return.
Thanks to: Bob Dixon of Robert Dixon Associates.


21. Promises, Promises

I learned this from a business mentor: all customer service should be based on "make a promise, keep a promise." Don't promise more than you can deliver, and then over-deliver. If this is what you do every day, then you will have happy customers... who will send you more!
Thanks to: Jeannette Cezanne of Customline Wordware.


22. Sock it to Them!

Blacksocks delivers high quality socks by "sockscription." If a customer is unhappy with his or her order, then we issue a credit for the socks received and if it's less than four pair, we say: "give them to friend." No need to return the socks to us. This creates good will for the customer and introduces our beautiful socks to a new potential customer.
Thanks to: Lori Rosen of Blacksocks.


23. Watch Those Hands!

Pay attention to someone's hand gestures and you'll strike gold! Are they moving their hands while talking? They want bottom line information and are quick to spend money. Status and prestige motivates them so show them how buying your product makes them look good to others. Not talking with their hands? Slow it down and give lots of details. They will ask many questions and need time to digest facts! They don't care about status and prestige. It's all about safety and security for them!
Thanks to: Angel Tucker.


24. It's All About Relationships

Outstanding customer service is all about relationships. My best advice for building strong relationships with your customers is in Tweet number 123 in my new book SUCCESS TWEETS. "Use every customer interaction to build and strengthen your relationship. Strong relationships are your ticket to dynamite customer service."
Thanks to: Bud Bilanich of The Common Sense Guy.


25. Guaranteed Tip!

Do everything necessary to increase the intensity of their experience. Make them use their 5 senses. The emotional connection is a guarantee.
Thanks to: Norman Lacasse.


26. Customer? No...MOM!

I treat all customers like they are my mother. I respect them. I am grateful for them. I honor the role they play in my business. I may not agree with everything they say or do, but as “my mom” they deserve a level of respect. I am open to their feedback, their questions, and their praise. I know that they made me who I am and that I am nothing without them. I am “open for business” because of them. Without them, I would not exist. I love them and am thankful for them each day.
Thanks to: Barbilee Hemmings of Are You For Real?.


27. Fast Follow Up!

Get back to clients in a timely manner.
Responding to emails and phone calls immediately or very quickly give clients the impression that you are there to serve them and work for them. This is important to me as a client and a service provider.
Thanks to: Dayna Edwards of REACH, LLC.


28. Who Are These People?

Instead of thinking of the people we serve as clients, patients, customers, or worse yet, dollar signs, what happens when we think of them as guests? Suddenly, the entire relationship takes a turn for the better and we all know that business is about relationships. When a guest enters, we greet them warmly and genuinely; when a customer walks in we ask what they looking for. Do you see the difference? It is amazing the changes that happened in my practice when I changed my thought process.
Thanks to: Jeannie M. Bush of AmenityElectrolysis, LLC.


29. It's 2010, People Book Online!

Face it, online bookings are here to stay. It would be ridiculous to return to booking flights, hotel rooms, or cars by calling in and speaking to a real live human being, so what about everything else? Since it's 2010, there are lots of websites that help you offer online bookings, including some that are free! Whether you need to merely book consultations with clients, schedule a site visit, or rent out spaces or objects, your customers will love the option and immediacy of booking online.
Thanks to: Daniel Trang of Veribook.


30. Ask and Ye Shall Receive

Ask the customer what THEY would like.
Thanks to: Akasha Halsey.


31. Make Them Feel Special

Make them feel special with your full attention. When was the last time anyone you did business with didn't text, take a call, glance at a calendar, and really focused on you? Each interaction should be as calm, quiet and focused on your customer every time you speak. This turns what normally is an odd occurrence into something they can count on. They feel special and important and that resonates with everyone. If a customer feels important they are a customer for life.
Thanks to: Elysabeth Fulda of Sphinx Group.


32. 24/ 7/ 365

It's all about 24/7/365 access to you, the business owner. To that end, I tell everyone that our main business line is also my cell phone. Which I try to answer on the first or second ring, unless I'm stopping someone from bleeding out at the moment!

Clients love knowing they can reach me whenever and wherever I am!
Thanks to: Sylvia Wildfire of On Call Medic / CPR Plus.


33. National Keynote Speaker

I have been keynote speaking for over 10 years and I know the importance of showing appreciation and thanks to meeting planners and staff who do all of the background work to make my hour on the stage fantastic. I have sent baskets and flowers but the one thing that gets their attention and keeps the relationship alive is a "YOU ROCK" tee shirt. I had a simple tee created at a local tee shirt shop- sent it on off and the RIO has been fantastic. People like to know that they rock!
Thanks to: Karen McCullough of Karen McCullough & Co. .


34. Please and Thank You

Acknowledge your customer and potential customers. This applies to both face to face customers and on-line customers. I am not a brick and mortar business, but I do participate in trade shows. I greet everyone entering my booth. The same applies to my website; I acknowledge orders on packing slips or email from my sales site so if they have any questions, the customers can just reply. I indicate ship dates and thank them for their order. I have gotten compliments that my notes are greatly appreciated.
Thanks to: Alicia Campbell of The Batty Lady.


35. Be Available

Be available. One of the ways I distinguish myself from other lawyers is that clients can get me on the phone. I am ALWAYS available, and clients know that they can talk to an attorney on their schedule when their needs require it.

The adage that "half of life is showing up" is so true in the legal profession when many lawyers don’t even return calls. I get at least 20% of my clients because they're under the gun and need a lawyer right NOW and I was able to be there for them.
Thanks to: Bob King of Legally Nanny.

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