7 Guaranteed Ways to Lose a Customer

...because my loyalty does have limits

You failed them again.  Be honest – face the facts!  You worked hard for years to build a loyal customer base and now look at you.  Your customers are leaving in droves.  What happened?

7 Guaranteed Ways to Lose a Customer

Sales are down, bills now pile up.  Employee morale is low and coming to work is no longer fun.

When business was good you thought it would last forever.  You stopped doing the things that brought you success and took your customers for granted.  You became the “bad boss”…

What happened?  How did you get into this position?

I bet if you asked your customers why they stopped shopping with you these are the reasons they would give.

7 Guaranteed Ways to Lose a Customer

Don’t Patronize Me

I don’t care about the industry jargon or technical terms used to describe why the product stopped working.  Speak to me like a person.  Explain the problem in terms I can understand and make sense.  Only then will I agree to pay for the repair or replacement.  If not, I don’t need your product or company.  I’ll go somewhere else.  There are plenty other businesses to choose from. (more…)

He’s So Darn Good The Competition Wants to Steal Him

...take that as a badge of honor!

The moment I entered the door he looked at me and smiled. “Good morning, welcome to Dunkin’ Donuts. Are you looking for a great cup of coffee today?” the attendant said.  He already had me smiling.  “Yes please” I answered.

The Competition Wants to Steal Him

This is not a promotion for Duncan Donuts.  It’s just to acknowledge a great employee that works at one of its many stores.  It’s a privilege to have great employees.  When your competition tries to lure them away from you, take that as a badge of honor.  You know they’re good. Your competition knows they’re good. And best of all your customers know they’re good. That’s why they keep coming back for more.

Unless you sell such a unique product or service that you cannot find anywhere else: Your customers come back to your business for one reason - they enjoy doing business with you. Click To Tweet

Maybe your store is an architectural gem or has the latest technology. Maybe it’s located in the trendiest part of town or owned by the hottest celebrity.  That’s great but that’s not enough. The employees are the lifeblood of any business.

Hire the best and pay them well. Train them until their skills are second to none. Click To Tweet


Should You Really Wait For The Perfect Employee?

…or does it even matter?

After your star performer quit and left you high and dry you insisted on keeping that manager position open for three weeks.  Face it; your pride got the best of you. “How dare he walk out like that? Besides, we didn’t need him anyway”. Boy, how wrong you were.

the perfect employee

No emails went out about why he left and there was no mention to the middle managers of what happened.  The employees are all asking questions.  But you didn’t care; you just wanted to erase him from the scene…

Now, after your self-imposed and ego-inspired funk subsided, it’s back to reality. You need to fill that spot.

“He got paid too much anyway, now’s the time to save a few thousand bucks. Let’s call that headhunter we used to use, and tell him to get me some people to interview by week’s end.  I don’t need the “perfect employee”; just get me some bodies here quick!”

Wait a minute.  Your star performed just quit and you don’t think you should look for a “perfect employee” to fill his spot?  That’s your ego talking again.

Who cares why he quit, that’s a conversation for another day. You must (more…)

I’m a Waiter, Not a Salesman!

Customers appreciate your positive attitude. They prefer to buy from those they like and those that have their best interest at heart. Here’s a post adapted from my book that shows it works in the restaurant industry.

Assume the sale. This is one of those phrases that is drilled into the head of any good salesperson. “They will love our product, I know they will. Just keep listing all the benefits of our product, and they will have to buy it. So, just assume that you will make the sale and ask them for their order,” says the hungry sales manager boss.

I'm a waiter, not a salesman

Well, I don’t want you to be a hungry sales guy, at least not at this point. But I do want you to assume the sale. Here’s what I mean.

Those well-spoken-of and restaurant industry standard “two minutes or two bites” has quickly passed as you make your way to table #22. As you reach there, you scan the plates to see if the four guests are enjoying their meal.

You say something like this:

  • “Is everything okay”?
  • “I hope you are enjoying the salmon”

No, no, man, that’s all wrong. It’s the worst way to check on a guest. Don’t you know that everything is okay? Were you paying attention? Why would you “hope” they like their salmon? This leaves doubt in the mind of the customer.

If you really were paying attention you would have (more…)

3 Free Sure-Fire Tips That Revive The Customer Experience

...do what's in the best interest for me, not your wallet

Don’t hard-sell me.  I don’t like it and I promise you won’t change my mind. Touting the benefits of a product/service over my objections does nothing to sway me.  All it does is want me to leave the item at your register and walk out the door.

3 Free Sure-Fire Tips That Revive The Customer Experience

Best Buy, a local electronics “mega store”, has more items than anyone could possibly want.  Aisle after aisle is packed with the latest gadgets and there are plenty of blue-shirted employees to help you.  That’s a good thing.

I stopped into the store yesterday with my cousin who eagerly guided me through the benefits of his latest gadget, the Amazon Fire TV Stick.  Now it was my turn to buy it.

One of the sales associates quickly helped us find the item within the large store then whisked us towards the short checkout line.  Another good thing.

Here’s when my problems started… (more…)

Enriching the Customer Experience Works in Any Industry

...Guest post by Ben Motteram

Today’s guest post is by Ben Motteram, the Principal at CXpert, a customer experience consulting company. Ben has over 20 years’ experience in customer service, and is a recognized CX thought leader. Thanks Ben!

As someone deeply involved in customer service and the overall customer experience, I am interested in identifying companies that share my love of service and how they tend to the customer’s needs.

Enriching the Customer Experience

Using a process like customer journey mapping, companies can clearly show how every role impacts the end customer.

A great example of this is Little Real Estate, Australia’s largest independently owned real estate agency with over 23,000 properties under management and 23 offices nationally.

I recently met with Brock Fisher, the National Manager of Customer Support at LITTLE, to discuss his approach to customer service.

Ben Motteram: Hi Brock, one of the things that has really impressed me about LITTLE Real Estate is their commitment to customer service. As the National Manager of Customer Support, what are you responsible for?

Brock Fisher: My “customers” are all of our Property Management staff so my main role is running an offshore team of forty personnel in The Philippines.  They relieve Property Managers of much of that repetitive, process driven, “behind the scenes” administrative work that is normally a prominent aspect of the role. This enables our Property Managers to spend more time providing a high level, value add service to our clients.

To me, it’s all about understanding where the value in (more…)

How to Manage Like a Great Movie Director

...and not like a kindergarten teacher

Read this script and memorize each line.  You must get into the character and feel his pain, study his emotions. What makes him tick?  Let’s do it again.  Those were the words of the movie director.  It was a far cry from the kindergarten teacher…

How to Manage Like a Great Movie Director

“Now children, we are going to have free time.  Each of you will be able to do whatever you want until class is over” said the teacher.

Business is like that too.

Some rule with a heavy hand where expectations and quality are high.  Adaptability is rampant to suit the client’s wishes/needs.  You do “take after take” and don’t stop until it’s perfect.

Profits soar at these companies.

Others, like the kindergarten class, are much less formal.  Business flows as needed and management is less structured.  And the bosses want to be a “friend” to their subordinates.

I doubt their profits soar…

Any great business must run like a movie set where each employee is an actor with a specific role to play.  They must follow a script – not “scripted” words but scripted actions designed to produce the best product or service.

You must (more…)

The Ultimate Customer Service KPI?

Guest post by Steve Curtin

One of the Top 30 customer service experts in the world, Steve Curtin provides today’s guest post. Thanks Steve!

Earlier this year I was asked for my opinion about which key performance indicator (KPI) was the most important. I think if you ask five different people you may get five different answers.

Customer Service KPI

As important as overall satisfaction, value for price paid, intent to return, and a dozen other performance indicators are, if I had to choose one, I’d choose net promoter score (NPS).

NPS is a customer loyalty metric created by Fred Reicheld, Bain & Company and Satmetrix in 2003. Essentially, it identifies customers as being Promoters, Passives, or Detractors of an organization, company, or brand based on their likelihood to recommend it to others.

Here’s why I like NPS so much as a KPI of customer service quality: (more…)