Excel at Service, the Profits Follow: by Barbara Pellegrino

Barbara Pellegrino“The goal as a company is to have customer service that is not just the best, but legendary.” – SAM WALTON They say that when a customer is happy with your service or product they may tell 3 other people, but when they are unhappy, they are likely to tell 11 or more about how bad the service was. I found partial verification of this statistic at the blog below:

A dissatisfied consumer will tell between 9 and 15 people about their experience. About 13% of dissatisfied customers tell more than 20 people. Happy customers who get their issue resolved tell about 4 to 6 people about their experience. Source: White House Office of Consumer Affairs, Washington, DC http://www.customer1.com/blog/customer-service-statistics

NULL As a business owner I would like to think that I give great customer service and instead of sharing with you what I do, I’d like to “pay it forward” and share with you some legendary customer service that I have enjoyed over the years. I hope that one day my clients will tell you about the legendary service that they receive from my Company. Apple store: I have been a loyal customer since 2006, when I made the transition from a PC to a Mac, after being cajoled by a friend, who was a newly converted Mac user. The fervor of a Mac user who has given up the PC, is nothing less than evangelical. I now also sing their praises and have encouraged …more than one… of my friends to convert.

What REALLY impresses me about apple is the added benefits that are offered when you buy a computer or other product. They offer amazing training and support for only a few dollars per week and their CUSTOMER SERVICE is exceptional.

Bob Proctor: I co-incidentally met Bob Proctor in February this year and after a short introduction I was so excited to just “bump into” this legend, I was probably a little over exuberant. And he topped everything I’d ever heard about his kindness and generosity gifting me his latest program to try out! What incredible integrity and generosity this man displays. Not only did he offer me this generous gift but he followed through! Restaurant at LAX: Recently after a 5 hour flight from Hawaii to LAX I decided to return to and dine at a nice restaurant, that I had enjoyed about 6 months ago. I was delighted to see the same waiter who had served me well during the previous visit and I was even more delighted that he remembered me. Although it was a full 6 months ago, I had hoped this waiter would be there and he was. We again struck up a friendly conversation and I enjoyed the informal and pleasant interaction, as well as his attentive service and knowledgeable recommendations. Although, he had already given me excellent customer service, what really topped it of, was when he gave me the bill, he said “… I gave you 15% off.” After I recovered from my shock, I asked him why? Looking back I probably should have said thank you and then asked why? He said “ … because you are nice and most people who complain get this discount, I think people who are nice should also be rewarded, not just the complainers.”

I so appreciated his kind offer and what he said was profound. I gave him a generous tip, even by American standards.

More and more “frequent purchase – customer appreciation” programs are appearing and customers are being rewarded for spending money with airlines, hotels and of course the network marketing and direct selling industry. Some of the perks, hostess programs and customer rewards are great… and some not so great. But how many companies give extra bonuses to NICE customers! Imagine how much more loyal your happy customer would be if you rewarded them for being nice as well as spending money! Gifts for the most referrals, discounts for the best smile… Maybe your company has these offers already in place?

Imagine if you could increase profits and customer loyalty by not just being really helpful, but also by rewarding your extra nice regular customers also. There is a saying “its not what you know but WHO you know…”

On the dark side of this bright shiny customer service story is another story a friend shared with me about her favorite Starbucks store. She went in one afternoon and noticed, the usual “gang” wasn’t there. The new faces were friendly enough but because they didn’t “know” her as the others knew her, the expected level of service and friendly interaction was not there. She left disappointed and she was seriously thinking about even returning to that store again… According to the latest (May 2011) American Express Global Customer Service barometer…

“ In a positive economy, 70% of Americans are willing to spend an average of 13% more with companies they believe provide excellent customer service – up from 9% last year. My comment: Price is important, but becomes less important. While you have to remain somewhat competitive, you potentially have extra margin to work with. Delivering on customer expectations positively affects the bottom line.” (source- http://hyken.com/customer-service-3/customer-service-stats-prove-why-everyone-must-deliver-excellent-customer-service)

In the network marketing and direct sales industry, customer service is a premium. What does your company offer you that keeps you a loyal independent consultant / representative?

You are the CEO of your own company, what is the difference that makes the difference for your team members and customers that will keep them happy, loyal, referring and buying?

Quality in a service or product is not what you put into it. It is what the client or customer gets out of it. PETER DRUCKER

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