Customer service are two of the most maligned words in our language. So often as customers we are disappointed in the service we receive (or the attitude attached to the service) that we go elsewhere. Amazing.
The company made the sale, got the customer, and then, through an act of rudeness, indifference, poor follow-up, bad service, slow response, or the like, lost the customer they fought so hard (and spent so much) to get.
Seems ridiculous, but it happens thousands of times every day. It's happened to each of us many times. And boy do we talk about it. In fact, stats show a disgruntled customer tells twenty times more people than the satisfied one.
How good is your customer service?
Once you make the sale, are you as intense to keep the customer as you were to get the customer?
I attended a Ty Boyd seminar called, "The Spirit of Customer Service." I thought I was going to get a great lesson from a great speaker. I was wrong. I got an unbelievable series of lessons from a master presenter. I was rewarded with more than one hundred rules, lessons, and examples about what to do and what NOT to do in the never ending quest to serve (and preserve) the customer.
How do we lose customers?
Ty offers the Seven Deadly Sins of Service:
- Putting money or profits ahead of service.
- Complacency brought about by success (getting fat).
- Organizational layering without creating teamwork (people blaming others or whining "it's not my job.")
- Lack of proper employee training, recognition, or retention.
- Not listening. Anticipating the answer before hearing the situation.
- Isolationism. Not paying attention to the customer or the competition.
- Lip service, or worse, lying.
We have probably been victims of every one of these sins at one time or another. Yet if I ask you if you commit any of these, you'll say NO. Guess what, someone's lying or living in fantasyland waiting for tickets to the Inaugural Ball.
Satisfactory customer service is no longer acceptable.
Customer service is a complex issue critical to the ongoing success of any business. It's easy to go astray without guidelines and standards.
Some of Ty Boyd's wisdom about customer service includes:
- Satisfactory customer service is no longer acceptable.
- Customer service begins at 100%.
- The customer's perception is reality.
- A mistake is a chance to improve the company.
- Problems can create beneficial re–arrangements.
- Make the customer feel important.
- Learn and learn how to ask questions.
- The most important art – the art of listening.
Ty spoke in depth on refining the skill of listening. It is a vital key in the customer service process. As salespeople, we are prone to talk way too much. Sometimes we lose sales and customers because we failed to hear their true needs and desires.
Ty offered the following rules to observe to maximize your listening skills and increase customer satisfaction:
- Don't interrupt. (But...but...but)
- Ask questions. Then be quiet. Concentrate on really listening.
- Prejudice will distort what you hear. Listen without prejudging.
- Don't jump to the answer before you hear the ENTIRE situation.
- Listen for purpose, details, and conclusions.
- Active listening involves interpreting.
- Listen to what is not said. Implied is often more important than spoken.
- Think between sentences.
- Digest what is said (and not said) before engaging your mouth.
- Demonstrate you are listening by taking action.
Sounds simple, but it ain't easy.
Next week we will focus on Ty Boyd's answers to creating great customer service, and share excerpts from his legendary, "Ways to get close to your customer."
Ty Boyd's 51 Ways to Get Closer to Your Customer. Because the customer is the real boss! Just go to www.gitomer.com, register if you're a first time user and enter the words 51 WAYS in the GitBit box.