This is part 2 of Common Sense Reminders:
7. It is not enough to take care of customers. You have to care about them. Great service isn’t just a transaction, it’s a bond. I am reminded of my recommendation to “Treat Your Customers Like Dogs.” This is not a slur. It is common sense. We just don’t care about our beloved pets. We care about them night and day.
If you need another “cute” doggie reminder try this one for size: “It is not wise to bite the hand that feeds you.” My suggestion is to care about the person who holds the wallet.
8. Don’t just solve problems – create opportunities. You can turn a slip-up into a lasting relationship. All companies make mistakes. Make good on your mistakes. Don’t forget that every mistake is a chance to prove how good you really are. Act wisely and you create a customer for life.
9. Don’t just listen – learn. Small complaints can generate big improvements. Do you take notes from your customer conversations or do you fix the problems, and forget all about the lessons? Create a filing system where you can log all customer complaints. Then periodically conduct a meeting to discuss the lessons learned from these “challenges.”
10. Learn to anticipate problems. If you listen to people and look for patterns, you can read your customer’s mind. Remember, we can amaze customers! We can dazzle them with our ability to know what they’re going to say – before they say it.
I am reminded of hotel Ritz Carlton’s three steps of exemplary service. 1. Say hello. 2. Anticipate. 3. Say good-bye. Step two is the key. Think of what could happen next and prepare accordingly beforehand.
11. Every customer is a judgment call. The deeper your knowledge, the better your judgment. Give yourself this test: Do you really know your product/service? Can you offer the customer your expert opinions and advice? As obvious as this may sound, there are many so-called experts out there who continue to wing their way through the day. True professionals practice and study their trade. Be one of the pros.
12. If you really want to help the customers, don’t be afraid to ask for help yourself. Your questions to your company will improve your answers to your customers. There is no such thing as a stupid question. Your customers aren’t embarrassed to ask you anything they want to know. If you are going to answer their questions, you’ve got to be willing to ask their questions to each other. What you don’t know can hurt you. So, ask away.
There you have it. Twelve simple reminders that can propel you to the top of your trade.
Mike Marchev is a down-to-earth motivating sales trainer, author and business coach who specializes in the travel industry. For a complimentary copy of Mike’s 12-Word Marketing Plan send him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with the number “12” in the Subject Box. His daily column is made possible by AmaWaterways.