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How to Turn Irate Customers Into Raving Fans

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Upon returning from a business trip, a hotel employee who participated in one of my workshops, walked up to me and exclaimed, “It worked !!”.  Not being completely sure what he meant, I asked.  He told me that he successfully applied the techniques that he learned about turning furious customers into raving fans.  

I was happy that he courageously used the knowledge he gleaned from my training session and joined him in the celebration.  Something as simple as acknowledging the problem and taking ownership can quell a potentially volatile situation.

Large and small businesses share this problem.  In many cases, not enough money is budgeted to train how to successfully solve “outraged customer” complaints.  That said, organizations, especially small businesses, experience stunted growth or actually go out of business due to customer attrition and the loss of key employees.

Take charge of the situation by: (more…)

How to Build a Customer-Focused Team

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The days of companies relying on the customer service department to manage every complaint and challenge are all but completely gone.  Businesses are most effective when employees in every department have the same facts on hand to solve problems quickly and efficiently and to do it accurately on initial contact.  Doing so will reduce irritation and foster a healthier business/client relationship (I think we all know that transferring clients from one department to the next only exacerbates the problem).

Let’s be honest, it’s all about management and employees working in sync and keeping the lines of communication open and silos torn down. 

As a side note, I’d like you to consider this thought: when asking, “How was the service?” and the client says, “Fine”, you may have a problem on your hands.  “Fine” can mean, “The service was on point” or it could mean “I’m never going to return to your store”.  On the internet I found a funny phrase on posters and quote boards that support my claim that the word “fine” has a double meaning.  It says, “Fine is not fine! The scale goes Great, Good, Okay, Not Okay, I Hate You, Fine!”.

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Outrageously, Amazing Service

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Picture it…Your new advertising campaign was a major success and now scores of new prospects are flocking to your website, many more are calling on the phone and visiting your brick and mortar store.  What happens now?  How were they greeted when they landed on your website or walked into your store?  Could they navigate your site with ease? What happened when they exited your brick-and-mortar store/website?  Is your team feeling overwhelmed by the new found success or did you have a plan in place?

Providing outrageously, amazing service is all about creating a process and establishing mutually beneficial long-lasting relationships.  It is not uncommon for some businesses to have clients that are far reaching generational relationships because of an initial foundation that was built on trust, competency, and exceptional service.

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Value Customer Service – It’s the Heartbeat of the Company

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Adapting to seemingly ever-changing client whims is no different from adapting to life challenges in general.  Successful business owners accept inevitable changes—they quickly adapt and, when necessary, re-evaluate their brand, product, service, strengths, weaknesses, threats, and opportunities.  Adjustments are a fact of life and a certainty in business.

Sharing a few thoughts:

– Know your industry better that anyone.  It’s up to you to manage customers’ expectations.  In other words, it’s your job to showcase the company’s value proposition and to make it so memorable that consumers will know exactly what your business offers and how it is different from the competition.  In the busy online and brick-and-mortar marketplace, make sure your business has a trait that is worth remembering, pursuing, and buying. (more…)

The Stories Customers Tell About Service

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During a recent gathering of friends, we had an opportunity to talk about our experiences in customer care from various industries.  Some of the testimonies were experienced by most of us, however, one stood out: the chef who stabbed cooked meat with a cleaver, dangled the stabbed meat in the air and ate it.  Yes…my friend said that actually happened in front of her, her family, and other restaurant guests.

Our discussion led me to write today’s blog to prove that common sense is not as common as we would like to think.

Running a business that has a poor reputation is like a bird trying to fly without wings.  Let’s be honest, branding is everything.   Your organization’s perceived reputation is the foundation for its success or failure.  Consumers have a rightful expectation that every interaction they have with your organization will fulfill the promise that your brand has implicitly or explicitly proclaimed.

It takes years to build trust and only seconds to destroy it which is why you should do everything to protect your brand as if it is an endangered species.  Here are a couple of things to remember: (more…)