And The Difference Is... Attitude
I returned a rental car at an airport yesterday. As the person who was going to check me in approached, he smiled (which shocked me) and said, "Hello Mr. Galler," which shocked me further as I don't have a clue how he knew my name ? obviously there was some way of identifying my car, and therefore me, at a distance. "How was your trip; was everything OK with your car?" he inquired in a friendly, personal tone. "Everything was fine I replied" "Great ? I hope we'll see you back soon. There is some bottled water in the cooler over there for you" he said as he directed me towards the shuttle bus to the terminal.
As I made my way out of the facility, two more staffers greeted me, not in the impersonal manner of an automaton, but as if they really cared whether I had a good experience with their product, that they sincerely wanted me to return.
As I sat on the shuttle bus I considered my experience. Their product and price is about the same as their competitors. Why should I choose one car rental company over another? Simple, their attitude!
They impressed me with their attitude ? one of caring service, friendliness, helpfulness, and respectful courtesy. I noticed that corporate attitude on a trip over a year ago and have used this company a number of times since. I will continue to use them when I need to rent a car assuming they continue their wonderful attitude and competitive value.
Where does that attitude come from? It must be intentional, starting with top management. Certainly it doesn't come from each individual employee because I have observed the same attitude at other branches of the company and I have seen an opposite attitude at many other competing companies. That positive, friendly, helpful attitude has to come right from the top. They intentionally hire people who can express that attitude, they train them to deliver that attitude, and that attitude is shown at branches throughout their system. Customer loyalty based on their service and their attitude is growing the company. Your company can do the same if your management starts with an intentional attitude that makes the difference.
Larry Galler coaches and consults with high-performance executives, professionals, and small businesses since 1993. He is the writer of the long-running (every Sunday since November 2001) business column, "Front Lines with Larry Galler" Sign up for his newsletter at http://www.larrygaller.com
Make An Action Plan To Improve Customer Service
Customer Service is a critical factor for keeping your clients coming back and ensuring they'll refer you to others. Growing your business will be a difficult task at best if you don't perform, meet and exceed your client's expectations, and provide service that creates customers for life.
Customer service is all about the customer's perception. You have to do more than just get the job done. You must deliver on all the things (big and small) that affect the relationship with your client. Consider opportunities for improvement in the following areas.
1. Setting/Reviewing Expectations. Do you work with your client to set clear, appropriate, realistic expectations that you can always meet or exceed? Are you cl...(related: Customer Service)
How To Win The Hearts Of Your Customers And Friends
Those of us doing business over the internet have to become especially adept at our listening and speaking skills since we don't have the luxury of talking with our customers face to face. It's especially important to give those on the phone extra attention - listening to their voice, because that is the only thing you have to go on, to sense their emotion. You can't observe their body language or their eyes like you can in person. They have the same limitations in listening ...(related: Customer Service)
4 Customer Service Mistakes Companies Should Avoid Making
1) Being placed on hold endlessly. Don't you just love it when you call a company and they place you on hold, leaving you to listen to their latest on-hold, recorded sales pitch, over and over again. Would you think it normal business practice for a retail store clerk to ask you to "wait a minute" while they disappeared into the back of the store for ten, fifteen, thirty minutes or longer? People do things over the phone that they would never do in person. It's bad business either way to l...(related: Customer Service)
I Wont Tell My Lawyer But I Will Tell You
A general counsel of a large international consulting firm told us about his experience talking to an interviewer who had called to discuss his satisfaction level with his outside law firm. He had been using the services of a "high end, expensive" law firm out of New York.We asked if the interview questions allowed him to speak about all the issues that were on his mind regarding his relationship with his lawyers. His response was, "There were many small things that had been bothering me abou...(related: Customer Service)
When The Customer Demands: Give A Discount Or Lose The Order
Periodically every sales person encounters the customer who refuses to buy unless they receive a discount. Sometimes this is driven by the organization's culture or the buyer wanting to look good to their boss and sometimes it is simply the mindset of the individual buyer them self. To some people price satisfaction and their perception of value, is not about the actual amo...(related: Customer Service)
Your Career Plan--think Like A Ceo
You've been going 6-to-late; exhausted by running the supersonic treadmill of life and wish you had a different job. But you can't because you have ...(related: Customer Service)
Develop Loyal Customers For A Lifetime ? Part 1 (1 ? 10)
Traditional marketing strategies encourage business owners to continually grow their businesses by adding new customers. In today's compet...(related: Customer Service)
Invalid Excuses For Poor Business Results - The Weather
Note to Kmart: It wasn't about the weatherIn the 1970s Kmart was the retailer to beat. No matter what happened, they seemed to turn profit. Customers were loyal and prices were hard to beat. The chain was opening more store each year than some of their competitors had in their entire chain and sales were growing at admirable rates. Things were good.Then sales began to slump. By the middle of the 1980s Kmart was beginning to be report poor sales. The main reason they gave: the weat...(related: Customer Service)
Do You Want More Profits? - Follow The Golden Rules Of Providing Good Customer Service
Last night I was at my computer and a Skype chat window opened up with a link in it from a stranger. I clicked the link and was taken to one of those "You would have to be crazy to pass up this business opportunity" sites. You know, the kind with great testimonials and it seems too good to be true possible outcomes. All it takes is a few hours a day and you can be pulling in thousands of dollars! Wow, sounds ...(related: Customer Service)
What Every Employee Should Know About How To See Customers Problems From Their Creative Side
Customer Service is a blessing and a curse; a blessing to the customer and a curse to you, the employee. At least so it seems. Although as the Customer Service representative for your employer, you are faced with a never-ending barrage of complaints, problems, and questions on a daily basis, the pressure of the job could easily become a source of anger, frustration, and other forms of counter-productive behaviors. You seem to live in a pressure-cooker of stress.Rather than let the pressure get to you, why not develop attitudes that will help you become more cheerful, positive, and productive?Did you know that a winning attitude, especially while exposed to stress, actually puts less wear and...(related: Customer Service)
Customer Service: Why Bears Make Bad Customers
Every business owner should have a picture of his or her ideal customer. When I picture my ideal customer, I see a business owner struggling to find time for all that needs to be done, someone passionate about what they do, someone striving to find answers to make their business run better. By picturing this person in my mind, I am able to develop products and services that I know will benefit that customer. But what happens when a not-so-ideal customer enters the mix?Recently, I moved from a suburban location to a very woodsy location. One of my first orders of business was to set up my bird fe...(related: Customer Service)
At Your Service: The Ten Commandments Of Great Customer Service!
Customer service is an integral part of our job and should not be seen as an extension of it. A company's most vital asset is its customers. Without them, we would not and could not exist in business. When you satisfy our customers, they not only help us grow by continuing to do business with you, but recommend you to friends and associates.The practice of customer service should be as present on the show floor as it is in any other sales environment.The Ten Commandments of Customer Service1. Know who is boss. You are in business to service customer needs, and you can only do that if you know what it is your customers want. When you truly listen to your customers, they let you know what they want and how you can provide good service. Never forget t...(related: Customer Service)