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Have You Hugged a Customer Today?


It all started a couple of weeks ago when a friend asked me if I could scan and print some of her slides. No problem, I said.

Boy, was I mistaken....

As it turns out, I seldom use my scanner for slides. And no matter how many different 'Kathy' techniques I tried to get it to work, nothing. I even resorted to reading the online manual (what was I thinking?). Still didn't work.

After several (okay, many!) bull-headed attempts to figure it out myself, I called the Epson tech help line.

The good news, they actually answered the phone near midnight. The bad news? My scanner was out of warranty, so I'd have to pay $9.95 for their tech service.

I was pretty desperate, so $9.95 seemed a bargain. And indeed, I got the help I needed. I was, once again, a happy pup.

Didn't think about it again until the telemarketer called today....

1 - Good For Me

Before the call, I had virtually no attention on Epson, my scanner, or the slides that are now beautifully printed.

And I must say, when I answered the phone and heard, "Is this Kathleen?" (my first clue that it's not a friend calling!), I was a little annoyed.

For whatever reason, I didn't hang up. And I answered all the rep's questions about my experience with the Epson tech guys.

I was reminded that I didn't call just once, but twice - when I had some follow-up questions a few days later.

The call reminded me how great it was to be able to access their tech support 24 hours a day. (Is it just me, or do you, too, find that everything breaks down in the middle of the night?)

And the quick survey made me think back to the beautifully printed artwork that I scanned from my friend's slides.

Gotta say, I felt really good when I hung up the phone!

2 - Good For Them

What's in it for Epson?

Well, if even half of their calls today end in another smiling customer like me, they're doing great!

They're also getting valuable feedback that can help them improve their tech support, and their products.

Who knows if the two tech guys I spoke with last week were one "5" on the survey away from getting fired, or getting a promotion? I'd like to think that my positive feedback helped them personally, in some small way.

It's a win-win situation. And I like that.

3 - Make a Habit of Hugging Your Customers

Yes, I could have emailed Epson and told them how helpful their tech guys were. But I didn't.

Which got me thinking....

How often do we actually take the time to "hug" our customers and supporters?

We might:

- call someone who's just bought one of our products, and thank them for their purchase

- call a participant the week after our teleclass to see if they have any questions

- write a quick thank-you note to someone who's been supporting us

- thank someone, in writing, for their help with a project

- write to thank someone for coming to live workshop

- surprise an especially good customer with a small gift (free RealAudio download of a teleclass, for example)

- ask our best customers for feedback about our product, or our service

- take the time to be grateful, and find ways to let people know about it!

Thanking our customers isn't just good for the soul. It's good business.

I'll be hugging lots more often - and more deliberately - in the future. I hope you'll join me.

Best-selling author Kathy Gulrich helps clients get from idea, to action, to results - more quickly, and more easily - whether they're looking to write a book, develop a new product, or market their product or business. Clients love her direct, no-nonsense approach - and her gentle insistence on great results. Find out for yourself: Check out one of Kathy's teleclasses, or pick up a free worksheet, at http://www.smARTbusinessCoaching.com


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