Posts Tagged ‘customer satisfaction’

Winging It

February 29, 2012 Leave a comment

Inspired by Mistake #1 from The Termite Effect.

Are there areas of your business in which you feel less in control? For some of us it is our sales strategy or lack thereof. While others, it is how we manage and lead our employees. The bottom line is, if you are NOT in control, you are winging it to some degree.

For those areas of your business where you know you are in less control than you should be, I want to challenge you to develop systems around that function to reduce the amount of “winging it”.

As an example, let’s take the customer service function.

  • Do you measure customer satisfaction formally or informally?
  • What procedures do you have in place to handle customer complaints?
  • Do you have a strategy in place to proactively follow-up with customers after they purchase from you?

I realize a list of questions like this can seem daunting; that is why it is imperative that you tackle one piece at a time. Pick the one where you are furthest along already. Consider the list above; you most likely have some type of process to handle customer complaints therefore . . .

  • Look at how consistently it is applied.
  • Evaluate the output that is collected from each complaint.
  • How do you leverage the information gleamed from each complaint? Staff meetings? Informal huddles with your team?

The ultimate question for any business owner is: Could I be absent from the business for a day / a week / a month / six months and return to a thriving operation? 

In order to get to the point where your business can run without your every-waking-moment-attention, take one step at a time. Tackle one task at a time. Establish and implement a system, track the results, insure the system is followed; then, and only then, move on to the next task. Over the course of several months, you will see a dramatic reduction in the amount of “winging it” and, as a result, a less stressful existence in the greatest profession on earth – an entrepreneur.

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Call Me Tuesday

January 28, 2012 Leave a comment

Inspired by Mistake No. 2 from The Termite Effect.

My wife recently went into a local bank branch to get our daughter a debit card. After filling out the required paperwork, the young banker said to my wife,

Call me on Tuesday to make sure the paperwork was properly submitted.

Question: Who is responsible for making sure the paperwork was properly submitted? My wife or the banker?

Question: What was the banker really saying?
Answer: “I am indifferent to you as a customer so check back with me to see if I did my job and, maybe if you are lucky, you will get your debit card.”

Lesson: For the sake of your business or your sales career, please, please, please NEVER utter the words “call me” to a customer!

I suggest a different tact?

The banker could have said something like, “I will call you Tuesday after I confirm that everything is ready to go.”

When he called on Tuesday, he simply reports, “You are all set. I will check the system on Thursday to make sure your debit card was issued and mailed”.

When he called on Thursday to report on the debit card’s arrival he could have said, “I will call you on Tuesday to make sure you received your card.”

When he called on Tuesday to confirm the receipt of the card, he could have said, “please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions or any future banking needs. I will touch base with you periodically to make sure you are satisfied”.

He could follow that conversation up with an email or a card thanking them for their business.

Does this seem like overkill to you? Three phone calls, an email or note card (two minutes of your time) over a stupid debit card? What is the lifetime value of a customer? After answering that question, perhaps you will have a different perspective on taking care of your customers.

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