It’s the year 2002, and We are in desperate need of a recession!
I can hear you saying, “This guy is nuts!”
But the fact is that when we become used to many years of prosperity and a strong economy, customer service suffers to an embarrassing degree.
Have you ever gone to a store where you had to struggle to get an employee’s attention, and when you finally did you felt as if you were intruding?
It has to do with the law of supply and demand. One lost or unhappy customer isn’t a big deal. The economy is good, interest rates are low and everyone is buying. A new customer will come along soon.
Back in the ’80’s interest rates went up to over 24%. In those days business owners dared not abuse a customer. Their customers were important to them. They knew they had to make sure their customers were satisfied. The needed their customers to survive!
Today, It’s different. It’s like nobody cares. Especially after they have made the sale. If there is a problem, the person in charge comes up with ridiculous excuses or passes you on to 1-800 number. When you call you get a message like “Welcome to our award-winning customer care center. We are currently closed. Please call back during normal business hours.” Or you reach someone after being on hold for 20 minutes, and you get redirected to another 1-800-number or another agent.
This whole “nobody cares” mentality will run the economy into the ground. It’s totally unacceptable. The business manager that implements the concept that the consumer is the “Number One Priority,” will win a great deal of the market shares, especially in a prosperous economy.
- Listen to your customers. Let them talk and don’t interrupt. Even if they are wrong. We tend to want to justify our points before we hear the whole story.
- Put your customer’s needs before yours. Remember the customer is your business. Statistics show that each dissatisfied customer tells eight people about his experience while a satisfied one only tells three.
- After listening to the customer’s complaint, ask her what she would like you to do about the situation. It doesn’t mean you have to give her whatever she wants. Most people just want to express their feelings and get recognition. If she asks for something outrageous, just say you can’t do that or offer her a concession. Each case is different. Above all, it’s important that you put forth an honest effort and demonstrate that you want to resolve the situation and you do care.
- Address consumer complaints immediately and resolve the situation, or find someone that will.
- Remember that a customer’s time is important. Don’t waste it! Help him get what he wants ASAP. Make the buying process a pleasurable experience.
- Always, always be sincere and treat the customer like a friend! Make sure you keep the consumer’s needs in mind. For example, if you sell computers, Sell your customers the computers they need. Don’t talk them into the top of the line computer with and all the bells and whistles if they just need to use a word processor. The consumer will view you as a consultant and you will win them over in terms of satisfaction and future sales and you will most likely get referrals.
Treat your business as if there is a depression going on and you will start to see an increase in both sales and customers!
That’s the way I see it.
A Touch of Business.com