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Update on Customer Service, The Real Secret to Success

Update on Customer Service, The Real Secret to Success

Back in March I posted about Customer Service and how it seems to be a Lost Art of Business, especially in this Cyber Age of Impersonal Communication with Computer generated Phone Trees,  automatic generated Mail, and Robot Voices.

One of My successful Clients, John Brand, 30 year owner of  Buckaroo Leather has always put Customer Service in priority position in his Family Business. Since John has entered the Internet Marketing Arena, he has continued to be PERSONALLY the point of contact, through Social Media and other Internet Venues.

Yes, He answers his phone 7 days a week. or the answering machine if he is on another call.

We are Bombarded daily with “phony” claims and lofty Testimonies on How to succeed in Business..

Well here is a Photo of a REAL unsolicited Testimony regarding John and His Company Buckaroo Leather

Jasmine's Facebook Testimony for Buckaroo Leather

John has developed a wonderful Facebook Fan Page and communicates with his fans on a regular.

Along the same lines, our Webinars have been focusing on the powerful Impact on Business a well designed Facebok fan Page can be.

If you would like to learn more on how to develop this kind of Customer relationship give a call for FREE 30 minute evaluation
1-530-798-0245
to find how HOW to Effectively Build that relationship

Also, Our contributor Brad Parler, of Powered Production, has some Facebook systems that can assure a more successful customer service climate

Before I go, don’t leave with the idea just being on Social media will provide Customer service. There need to be a dedicated consistent Plan of Action and it must be activated. Read the following post:

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6 Responses to “Update on Customer Service, The Real Secret to Success”

  1. Hi all!

    Customer service is an interesting topic as there are two different components at play: the Vendor and the Customer. With those two players, there are two sets of expectations: the vendor’s and the customer’s. When the two match, we generally have what is considered “good customer service.”

    When they don’t, well, watch out!

    Chuck likes to say that my views are somewhat “controversial” — and I agree. I try my best to disregard the “standard” way of looking at things and instead look at the topic or situation anew. In this case, I’d like to aver — as both a customer and a vendor — that more often than we’d like to acknowledge, much of the basis for bad customer service is the fault of … *wait for it!* … the customer.

    I base that observation on two points: the first is that I’ve rarely had bad customer service, even in places that are notorious for providing such service; and the second is that I tend to deliver good customer service (at least that is what I have been told numerous times).

    So, what is the thread that ties the two together? What have I noticed (or practiced) that compels me to say that more often than not, it is the customer who causes the bad customer service rather than the vendor?

    One word: Communication.

    As a customer, when I call a business, either for information or to make a purchase, when they answer the phone — “Hi, this is Joe. How can I help you?” — the first words from my mouth are always, “Hi, my name is Tony. How are you?” And then I shut up. I let them answer. I talk to the person. I make a little joke with them. When I speak about why I am calling, I do my best to be as clear and concise as possible. I refer to them by name. I ask them where they are located.

    In other words, I treat them like a fellow human being.

    As a vendor, the vast majority of my calls begin with me answering the phone and then someone basically saying, “I want books! Do you have books?” No intro, no how-are-yous, nothing. Just an awkward lurch into their questions and concerns.

    Now, I can live with that. I’ve been in business for a while and I know how to treat people, so I make it into a conversation and begin speaking with them. “What’s your name? How are you? From where are you calling? How’s the weather your way? Great! Let’s get the books you want.”

    Can you imagine a young, green kid being placed on the spot like that? Now imagine if instead if it were a sales or information inquiry and instead it were a complaint call?

    I receive the latter as well occasionally, usually by email. I kid you not when I state that there have been times when it took me fifteen minutes just to decipher the nature of the person’s complaint! Since we’re all doing business on the Internet to one degree or another, I am highly confident that you know of what I speak.

    So, how does this help us as vendors who deal with customers? I would say that as quickly as possible, make it known to the person on the other end of the phone that you are an actual, honest-to-goodness human being. I think that one of the reason there is so much bad communication is that these people are in the mindset that they are talking to a business — a faceless, impersonal, out-to-get-them business. Thus, they behave and speak accordingly.

    Likewise, when we make a call to a company, the person on the end end views us as one of the the Mongol horde out to verbally decapitate them.

    If there is any passage in the Bible that applies here, it’s the one where Jesus says, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”

    Keep that in mind when you’re dealing with a customer or a vendor (or a vendor’s representative, to be precise). They may be surly, they may even be down-right nasty, but it IS within our power to command the situation. In my experience, the way to do that has been to realize that the person with whom we are speaking is an actual human being — with all the faults and foibles that come with it.

    All of this is not to say that there aren’t times when there is some truly horrible service. Nor is this to dismiss any companies that, for whatever reasons, fostered a culture of bad customer service. They’re there and they exist. I have found that they are, generally, few and far between and that even in places that have a somewhat notorious reputation, it can ALWAYS be tempered by being and treating others as fellow human beings.

    I hope this helps and I hope that it adds to the conversation. It’s a different view from both sides of the fence. Enjoy!

    Have fun … Tony.

  2. I could blog daily on this topic. I don’t know what customer service is like in other areas, but I feel that it’s very poor in my area of New York. We are the fastest growing county in our state, in addition to being the closest city to Ft. Drum, but people truly lack proper etiquette and customer service skills.

    I have complained to corporate companies on numerous occasions. I don’t do this out of anger or annoyance, but rather so the employees can be approached and taught better skills. I have lots of stories I could tell…many of which would probably be embarrassing for the employees since they didn’t know anyone caught them behaving in such a poor manner.

  3. Chuck Bartok says:

    I am glad you pointed out the “scripted” part of the engagement, Jeff.

    There seems to be an attitude that “I don’t need to memorize a script” when making a sales presentation…

    Nothing is further from the truth.

    All sales are the result on a flow of direct conversation; Written, Spoken or Visual.

    And the successful presenter always has the that FLOW firmly entrenched in their Top Of Mind Awareness (TOMA)

  4. JeffBeeman says:

    Just posted what I think was a great example of Customer Service on my blog from a visit to a local fast food chain this weekend. Sorry, a little self promotion but here is the post from http://jeffbeeman.blogspot.com.

    Saw a great example of how to meet and greet a new customer yesterday. Local restaurant for this example. I have visited two stores recently of this particular food chain and I have noticed that they have really stepped up the front line customer service. How many times have you walked into your local store weather it be fast food, grocery or retail and been greeted with the straight faced “Hello, How can I help you” I’m bored out of my mind but I have to do this attitude? Probably several times a week right?

    Ian was our greeter/register man yesterday and he was on the ball. Who ever is doing the training is doing a great job getting these kids to pay attention to how they communicate with the customer who are just there to order a # 4 combo meal. You could tell Ian was very knowledgeable and liked his job. For the first time in a long time I actually saw a counter / register person selling the product..not just taking the order! He was engaged with the customers and not just repeating his script. Yes some of it was scripted as it’s a system and you have to stay in the system however he overcame the dull boring “Do you want curly fries with that?” question by being courteous and helpful with information about the items being ordered. Normally a name on a name tag I hardly notice..but because of Ian’s great customer service I will remember his name the next time we visit his store.

    Great job and a lesson we can all take to heart…First Step in the sales process is to meet and greet weather your doing that over the phone, face to face or even through the use of a web site. What’s your prospects first impression?

    Want to know more about the sales process get in touch or join us this Wednesday night @ 9:30 EST with my friends at The Beginner’s Marketing Class

  5. Chuck says:

    John,
    It is amazing how much can be done with a little Time and Energy directed to a well designed marketing Plan using the assets available on Facebook

  6. BuckarooJohn says:

    At Buckaroo Leather American Made is not just a sales slogan, standing tall behind our Buckaroo logo is honesty, hard work, dedication, sacrifice and integrity. In our journey of the last 30 years we have met many amazing artists, business horseman and women, craftsmen and customers who still live, as us, by American Made. In the last two years we have connected with more customers than we did in the first 28 due to Chuck Bartok’s mentoring on the principles of marketing yourself and your company on the world wide web..
    Stick to your moto and follow up on every customer service need in a more than timely manner.
    Facebook has been our best value in time and money spent marketing…
    Focus on your customers desire and make it interesting to them and they will eat it up..
    http://buckarooleatherfacebook.com

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