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Take Care of Yourself Before You Take Care of Your Customer
One of the most important questions people ask when they are focused on improving their quantity and quality of business is: "What is my competitive advantage? What makes me unique, memorable, special? what truly sets me apart from the rest?"
While there are no definitively right answers to that question, most people come to some conclusion that customer service is a critical component of your competitive advantage. For most businesses, the service they offer can vary from exceptional to not so hot, depending upon circumstances.
Why is that? Why does the same company, and even the same people within that company provide world class service some of the time, and marginal service (or worse) other times?
That answer can be found in asking a different question: "What makes you (or your staff) happy when serving your customers?" While these answers also vary, most people come up with some sort of variation of "I am happy when my customer is happy."
Do we enjoy dealing with agitated or disgruntled people? Normally not. We derive our joy from delivering value, by making others feel good about their experience, and by exceeding people's expectations.
What comes first then? The happy customer or the happy person serving the customer? This is not the chicken or the egg quandary. The happy person serving the customer NEEDS to come first, because it is a very unusual day when your customer comes into your business looking to cheer YOU up.
This all seems very obvious. At the same time that many people realize this truth, it is rare that people consciously take steps to make sure that their greatest customer service assets are being serviced too - whether that person in on your staff, in another department, or if that person is YOU. It is critical that you continually improve the emotional, physical and mental support you are supplying to the people serving your customers.
One of my friends and colleagues, Paul Wesselemann, shared a story about his time working at an HIV/AIDS support network. He explained how it was absolutely unacceptable to come to work when you were feeling even a bit ill, as even the smallest cold could be extremely dangerous for someone with HIV. He was REQUIRED first and foremost to take care of himself, make sure he was 100% before he was allowed to offer help and support to others.
How committed are you to taking the same care of YOUR needs? Your task for the month is to identify and act upon a couple of ways to keep you in proper shape so you can take care of your always important customers.
Eric Plantenberg, President of Freedom Speakers and Trainers, currently trains professionals across the country in memory, goal setting, attitude, time management, and effective communications. His newest program, P.A.C.T., is an intensive one-on-one twelve week personal coaching program designed for those who are serious about their success. Please click here for more information on Eric http://www.deliverfreedom.com/speakers_eric.html or Freedom Speakers and Trainers http://www.deliverfreedom.comCall 888-233-0407 x112 email firstname.lastname@example.org
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"Hi this is Randy. Leave me a message after the beep and I'll get back to you as soon as possible.
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I spent some twenty years in the corporate world, for much of it I was not particularly interested in spirituality. It was a world where profits reigned supreme, often with little respect for the rest of society.
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A New Way To Handle Complaints, Or Is It?
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You Bever Know Who Youre Serving
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Yesterday I went to buy a sandwich at a franchised outlet. I thought while driving up would the owner be there to help out and save some money on labor, knowing a holiday weekend is hard to get labor.
Making Your Contacts Work For You
The best way to explain this concept is to tell you a story. While calling for lease purchasing property, I spoke with an older widowed woman.
Call Center Services - An Ever Increasing Demand
Are your company's call center services all that they could be? Even centers that were state of the art a decade or so ago might be out of date and inadequate today. As technology expands, so do clients' expectations regarding communication.
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How To Build a Profitable Business
It's never too soon to start saying thanks to your clients, vendors and referral sources for what they contribute to your business. Everyone loves to be appreciated and acknowledged, so start now and do something every month.
Minimize The Pain of Check Recovery
$350 million in bad checks are written each and every week. That fact alone makes bad checks a serious problem for American businesses.
Mastering Challenging Service Situations
During the course of everyday business, many of you encounter unsatisfied customers. How you and your staff handle these situations, will shape your service image and ultimately your bottom line.
We Sell For Less and Our Stores Are a Mess!
What kind of image do you present when marketing your products? Are you professional and well organized or does your store/site/whatever scream, "sloppy!," to those who matter the most: your customers? Let's see how one leading retailer is winning the sales war, but losing an important battle: store organization.WalMart is dominant in so many categories with the various products that they sell.
How to Win the Hearts of Your Customers and Friends
Those of us doing business over the internet have to become especially adept at our listening and speaking skills since we don't have the luxury of talking with our customers face to face. It's especially important to give those on the phone extra attention - listening to their voice, because that is the only thing you have to go on, to sense their emotion.
Small Business Customer Service Can Work Against You
Is the special treatment you designed specifically to keep customers coming back working against you?A local jeweler offers free lifetime battery replacement for any watch he sells. It's a good hook to keep customers walking back in the store on a regular basis and increases his sales volume.
Hook Me Up With A Human
Oh, what has happened to the carbon-based organizational interface? Many organizations have digitized humans - aka carbon-based units - out of existence in their customer service operations. Now, I love digital technology as much as anyone, but it is time to bring the people back into their appropriate customer service roles, don't you think?Have you ever tried to reach a human at Amazon.
Customer No Service - How to Lose a Loyal Customer!
So today was the day where I almost stopped going to my favorite supermarket here in Milwaukee. If you're in Milwaukee, you know the one I'm talking about: the cool one downtown that has 1000 different types of produce, and a whole aisle dedicated to gourmet coffee and teas.
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