Customer Service

Articles courtesy of Steven Smith

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Customer Service

Foolproof Customer Service Strategies (that Only A Fool Would Try!)
Ever notice how customer service varies from store to store? You walk into some stores, and before you can say "Buzz off!" a salesperson asks "May I help you?""No thanks.""May I help you?" asks another."No thanks.""May I help you?" asks a third.When the store runs out of salespeople, you get to see the merchandise. This is called "in your face customer service"Other stores take the opposite approach. Wh...(related: Customer Service)


From Disgruntled To Champion - How To Turn An Unhappy Client Into Your Best Customer
It's a salesperson's worst nightmare- the phone call that comes in from a disgruntled customer. Not only does it create extra work for you, but it cuts into your valuable selling time. But believe it or not, this is actually a tremendous sales opportunity and a chance for you to become a hero. Here's how to make this situation work for you:Empathize With the ClientThough it may be difficult to keep a tight lip, just listen and let your customer vent. Listening allows you to determine what the customer is really angry about. Is it the actual problem that is causing his rage or is it how your customer looks to his superiors? Determine what the customer is really asking for and figure out how to deliver the solution. If higher level management needs to be ...(related: Customer Service)


From Scowl To Smile: 5 Practical Steps To Instill Exceptional Customer Service
Whether in a restaurant, a retail establishment, or the local post office, we have all experienced a decline in customer service. Rarely do smiling, happy employees interact with us anymore. Instead, the person we are dealing with in face-to-face relationships does not even attempt to feign a smile, but rather greets us with a scowl, completely avoids eye contact with us, and grudgingly mutters responses to our requests and questions. When did customer service cease to exist? Why is it suddenly so difficult for employees to show customers some common courtesy along with a little friendliness? Have we ventured so far from the service standards of yesteryear and become so shortsigh...(related: Customer Service)


Get Customers To Stop Calling You--12 Easy Ways To Save Money With Online Customer Support
Despite rumors to the contrary, the Web is not dead. More people are using it, they have faster bandwidth, and in many cases Net-time is taking over TV-time. It's no wonde...(related: Customer Service)


Got A Consumer Problem?
Millions of people, just like you, end up with a consumer problem that they just can't seem to get resolved. No matter what they do. Even though you are in the right, even though you are being treated improperly. You may needle and wheedle them, bellow and battle, but your problem still ends up unresolved. Sound familiar? If so, here's a proven, ...(related: Customer Service)


Handling Angry Clients

What do you do when your client gets mad at you? How do you handle this? An angry client can be one of the biggest time and energy drains on a sales person.

What you should specifically do will obviously depend on what the...(related: Customer Service)

Handling Customer Complaints
Even the best business will receive an occasional customer complaint. Knowing how to resolve these complaints will help you gain loyal customers who will then refer others to your business. Here are some important tips.1. Listen carefully to the customer and gather as much information as possible.2. Restate the complaint as you understand it. This ensures that you completely understand what the situation is.3. Resolve the problem as quickly as possible. Tell the person you are sorry this happened and ask what you can to do to make this right. Do not argue with the customer, even though you are right and do not become defensive.3. After correcting the problem, tell the customer thank you for bringing it to your attention and that you appreciate their business.4. Develop a ...(related: Customer Service)


Handling Difficult Customers - 8 Strategies
In any business our customers are one of our most important assets. Unfortunately there are days when not all customers want to be friendly or pleasant. On days like this, try these effective tips to help you handle those difficult customers.Don't take it personally ? rememb...(related: Customer Service)


Have You Hugged A Customer Today?
It all started a couple of weeks ago when a friend asked me if I could scan and print some of her slides. No problem, I said.Boy, was I mistaken....As it turns out, I seldom use my scanner for slides. And no matter how many different ...(related: Customer Service)


Hit The Jackpot With Customer Complaints
Our most powerful instinct is to avoid customer complaints, but they may be the best thing that happens to your business. Here's why...Marketing research shows that only 1 out 50 unhappy customers take the time to complain... to you. They are likely to let 11 of their friends in on the fact that they are unhappy, but don't feel comfortable letting you know. What happens to the 49 unhappy customers who don't complain? Besides griping to 11 friends and family members, they'll just change products or places of business.Complaining Customers Are A BonusLet's forget about the fact that complaining customers aren't always polite or fun to deal with. What's really happening when they let you know that you didn't meet their expectations?1. They are giving you the opportunity to fix the problem...(related: Customer Service)


Hook Me Up With A Human
Oh, what has happened to the carbon-based organizational interface? Many organizations have digitized humans ? aka carbon-based units - out of existence in their customer service operations. Now, I love digital technology as much as anyone, but it is time to bring the people back into their appropriate customer service roles, don't you think?Have you ever tried to reach a human at Amazon.com? When I last checked you couldn't even find a telephone number on the website. Just to annoy them, here is their toll free number: 800-201-7575.Many organizations don't even have a live person answering phones. They dump you directly into voicemail. If this happens to you, punch "0" immediately. Some systems are pr...(related: Customer Service)


How Crm Software Works -- Creating Customer Satisfaction With A Click
When people ask, "What is CRM?" the literal answer is, "Customer Relationship Management," but that doesn't really convey much in terms of what all CRM does for a business. This CRM definition is too narrow to really explain everything the system does if it is working to its fullest potential and is user-friendly enough to expand and grow as a customer-client relationship changes and grows. CRM in the broader sense encompasse...(related: Customer Service)


How Do You Create Customer Loyalty?
Another sad fact of life is that these days, very few customers are loyal. Most of their loyalties lie with their bank accounts, and you can't blame people for watching their shrinking dollars. If you have regular clients, offer them an extra incentive now and again. Thank them for visiting and remember their names. Give them an additional discount for regular business or a promotional item to remember you & your business.Be good to them and they will bring you new business. Treat them as you would a good fiend, especially if you meet on the street and discuss your business. Remember their birthdays. You can do this by starting a bithday c...(related: Customer Service)


How Not To Get Stiffed, Improving Your Collection Procedures
Some businesses have slow paying customers or past due balances because they didn't "train" their customers in the beginning.It is important that your customers know your credit policy and/or terms of payment, BEFORE they become a customer. Reiteration of your credit policy, when payment is overdue, is a good step to take in trying to obtain payment. Always ask for payment when it is justly due.You should never extend credit to a new customer without having them fill out a credit application and go through the credit approval policy. Once you extend credit, it is important to maintain accurate records on an accounts payment history.Adhere to your collection policies no matter what. You cannot see the future or changi...(related: Customer Service)


How To Boost Your Bottom Line With Two Little Words
I hate to sound like one of those cheesy get-rich-quick commercials, but this week I am going to let you in on a little secret that is so powerful that it will immediately change the way you do business.In fact, this little secret is so powerful that you will be amazed at its immediate effect on you, your employees, and your bottom line. This little secret is guaranteed to improve your relationship with current customers and if used wisely, can get you lots of new customers without spending a dime on marketing or advertising.Do want to know what this little secret is?Before I let the cat out of the bag let me ask you one question: What are the two little words you can say to every customer that will immediately endear t...(related: Customer Service)


How To Build A Profitable Business
It's never too soon to start saying thanks to your clients, vendors and referral sources for what they contribute to your business. Everyone loves to be appreciated and acknowledged, so start now and do something every month.Keep in contact with your clients and vendors by sending articles you have written or that would be of interest to them. Add a little "How are you?" note to these people and keep the lines of communication open. Include current information about any new value-added products or services, such as a newsletter...(related: Customer Service)


How To Build Stellar Client Relationships
Your opportunity to build a stellar client relationship starts with managing the gap between your perception of how things are going and your client's.Begin the process here . . .--Know who your ideal client is.Minimize problems from the get-go by targeting clients you want to work with and clients you would enjoy and have fun working with.--Ask the right questions.Craft questions that will help you manage client expectations early. If you offer a service, ask how the client will measure results, what criteria he will use.--Trust and act on your intuition.When you feel something is "off" with a client, con...(related: Customer Service)


How To Deliver Exceptional Customer Service
Having been in business a number of years, I'm amazed at the number of people who don't have the slightest idea of what customer service is. Customer service is not a way of doing things ? it's an attitude.I always love it when company's send their people to seminars to learn about customer service. All the seminars will discuss the customer's needs and expectations and the orator will package these ideas as new and cutting edge when in fact these very ideas were in practice over 30 years ago!Somewhere along the line, we forgot the customer in favor of the bottom line. Some of this may also be attributed to different mind sets over time and how people tend to treat one another.Let me wax poetic here a moment. When was the last time you could go to a ...(related: Customer Service)


How To Easily Increase Your Profits
Do you remember the last time you went into a shop and the person 'serving' raced over to you, greeted you with a lovely smile, heaps of enthusiasm and said, "...(related: Customer Service)


How To Handle Customer Billing Snafus
Q: I just discovered that for the past six months I have been billing a client half of what I should have been. Should I just include the total of the past due balance on his next bill or contact him first to let him know that it's coming? This client has been difficult in the past, so I'd rather not deal with him until I absolutely have to. My partner, on the other hand, thinks we should call the client and let him know what's going on before sending the bill. What do you think?-- Louis K.A: I think your partner is right. If you think this client has been difficult to deal with in ...(related: Customer Service)


How To Keep Customers
Who was it that said - "The customer is always right"? Wellfor those of you who can't get through the day withoutknowing, it was H Gordon Selfridge, the founder ofSelfridges's department store in London.The question I want answered is; did he ever work withcu...(related: Customer Service)


How To Keep Your Customers Coming Back -- Understanding Customer Retention
Why do some businesses offer points, stamps or every tenth coffee for free?These businesses understand that a customer retention program is a fantastic way to ensure that customers keep coming back. The most recognized customer retention programs are those loyalty programs used by retailers, but this same principal can be applied to any business that wishes to maintain a loyal customer base.Ask yourself these simple questions.?Does your business have a comprehensive retention strategy?...(related: Customer Service)


How To Kick Your Customer Service Up A Notch!
Welcome to the inaugural issue of Human Tech Tips -- Tip #1. How do we take your customer service and kick it up a notch?This is a big question so where do we begin?As an overview, it's a given that the answer is three-fold: People, Process, and Technology. Let me say right from the start, my bias is on the people side.My questions for you to ponder are:1) ...(related: Customer Service)


How To Provide Instant Customer Service
Customer service is an essential component of any business. Clearly, if you work alone your business thrives on good customer service. But what if you run mu...(related: Customer Service)


How To Retain Your Customers The Dish Network Way
Customer retention is vital to a business. If you cannot retain your customers you will be continually losing current customers and always on the search for new ones. This can be very expensive. Retaining current customers means continual sales which is essential to keep your business afloat. Here are some keys to keeping your customers that can be learned from looking at the Dish Network business model.Have a Product or Service that Appeals to your Customer. This may seem like common sen...(related: Customer Service)


How To Succeed In Business Without Compromising Your Integrity
I spent some twenty years in the corporate world, for much of it I was not particularly interested in spirituality. It was a world where profits reigned supreme, often with little respect for the rest of society.It took a while for change to happen in Australia, but led by Ralph Nader in the USA, consumers have become more aware of their rights with respect to corporations. New government bodies looking at pollution, corporate fraud and other matters have appeared and some of our leading businessmen are spending time behind bars. Greater education of the general population is leading to more informed choices by consumers.There have been many cases of businesses ignoring those who have an interest in what they do at their own peril. At university my business degree has placed much emphasis on stakeholder theory and issues man...(related: Customer Service)


How To Transform Your Voicemail Into An Effective Medium Of Communication
"Hi this is Randy. Leave me a message after the beep and I'll get back to you as soon as possible. Thanks and have a great day."Garbage.This is an example of a typical outgoing message that makes callers feel like they really are talking to a machine. Now, we've all heard this cookie cutter message about a zillion times, but honestly ? it hurts me more with every call.This doesn't make a voicemail message bad. It simply means that the voicemail is not totally leveraged. So, for the sake of your callers and my ears, I want to share six techniques that will transform boring, robotic voicemail into an engaging, fun and personable medium of communication.No...(related: Customer Service)


How To Use Your Current Customers
Jay instructed a customer of his to offer a rare coin collection to new customers for just $19. He was actually losing a couple of dollar on every sale! But .... of the 50,000 people who bought the coin collection for $19, nearly 10,000 come back and bought.Pretty impressive, don't you think?Your current customers will make you more money than any others methods, so I hope that you're paying attention.If you give them good information and a good customer service for high quality, then it will be very easy to sell to these peop...(related: Customer Service)


How To Walk The Floor And Talk To Customers
This may seem a strange topic to introduce. Yet, it is the most under-used skill by many retail managers, but one of the most important roles in their supervision.1. You Are the Maitre ...(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)


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)


Identify Your Silent Customer Service Message
With the growing number of people in every business sector,doing business requires creativity and ingenuity. Theentrepreneur that understands the importance of thinkingdifferently is the entrepreneur that sees their businessesgrowing. However, too many business owners are relying onthe old ways of doing or packaging their products and services. Whether retail or service oriented, old clichés and techniquesno longer work.A recent trip to Universal Mall in Warren, Michigan, provided some great examples without having to look too hard. One store with glass displays cases had a two-inch by six-inch black and white engraved sign on every case stating "Please Do Not Lean O...(related: Customer Service)


If Everyone Thinks They Give Good Service, Why Do We As Customers Think Its Poor!
First of all let's look at what customer service is all about.If you go into a shop and talk to anyone who works there you expect to be treated with respect, not sold to and to have en enjoyable experience.Often that isn't the case, in fact we're often not spoken to at all, or we're asked the silly question, 'can I help you', which virtually everyone knee-jerks an answer to with, 'no thanks, I'm just looking'.We want help, but funnily enough we don't want to...(related: Customer Service)


Importance Of Good Customer Support In Online Computer Peripherals Shops
Looking for hi-fi computer peripherals? Finding it tough to decide on the product you need to purchase? Not sure about the models that are available? Not sure about the configuration that would best suit your need? Worried that your budget might not fetch you your long dreamt hi-fi? Just relax!! There are many great world class online computer peripherals shopping centers. They offer you not only the b...(related: Customer Service)


Improving Customer Service
Improving customer service starts at the top - with us owners and managers. We need to be living pictures of how we want our staff to treat customers. Having 10 plus years operating, owning and working in the food business and being a customer myself, I know what good customer service looks like. If I don't place a high value on the best customer service possible, then my staff won't make it a priority either.From the time a customer walks into our establishment until the time he or she leaves, we need to treat them as guests in a mature, professional manner, regardless of their demeanor or our good or bad day. We are there to serve them and meet their needs as best we can....(related: Customer Service)


In The Villa Of The Sick Cat -- A Lesson In Customer Care
If you're a pet owner, you know the stress of having a sick pet and you know that having a great veterinarian is a wonderful thing. My cat, Zoe, came down with a nasty infection that had me racing off to the vet's office last week with an unhappy, howling kitty in tow. (She's doing much better now.)This was my first visit to this v...(related: Customer Service)


Increase In Customer Sales = Increase In Customer Service
One of the most popular questions asked in online business forums or even by my customers and subscribers is this :"How the hell can I increase my sales?"or"I've got tons of visitors but nobody seems to be buying anything? What gives?"FISHNETS WITH HOLES? ANYONE?Getting traffic is not the be all and end all of a successful online business. It requires skills, specific online marketing strategies designed for your site and a robust customer service strategy.So what if you have thousands of visitors per day! That does'nt amount to success, unless you close at least 5 to 10% of those visitors.You see, when you get a lot o...(related: Customer Service)


Increase Sum In Your Check Account With Follow-ups
We'll be examining what makes follow up to prospects/customers so important on our online world today.Are you familiar with this scenario?

  • Joined an affiliate program with good pay-out.
  • Send an email to everyone you know and/or send an email to a list of people
  • Didn't make any sales
  • Change to another affiliate program
Well, I am.This never ending cycle is what I used to do.Until I stumble across a training article from Six-Figure Income Marketing Group ? "The Fortune is in the Follow-Up!" I wak...(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)


Is Your Crm (customer Relationship Management) System Doomed To Fail?
"Right, People. Let's blast out that mail campaign we've been planning for so long."It's time to put your trusty CRM software to work; to let it earn its keep. You run a search of people and companies you want to target.You soon realize something's wrong when your list is far smaller th...(related: Customer Service)


Is Your Food Establishment Clean?
Is your restaurant, bar or hotel clean? I mean really clean. I don't mean"do you stick to all the rules and regulations?". I mean, ...(related: Customer Service)








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Your Voice Print
"Mountains are built one pebble at a time and climbed one step at a time." This is a quote of mine that I personally put into practice each day as I progress towards fulfilling my WHY in life.The word pebble in this quote means that each action you take needs to be productive toward building your mountain of success. As I was retrieving a message today from someone who called me, I had to play the message 5 times t...(related: Customer Service)

We Got It Wrong: Never Under Promise & Over Deliver
You know how it is, you believe something for so long, everyone agrees with you, all the books tell you it's true and then suddenly you have a blinding revelation - we've all been duped! ...(related: Customer Service)

One Critical Question To Ask Yourself Every Day
What happened to the old saying, the customer is always right? I'll bet every one of you reading this article has a "customer service nightmare" story to tell. My most recent nightmare experience took place recently when my business partner and I went in to a wireless phone store to purchase two new pda wireless phones. We told the young man who greeted us that we had only one question: is this phone compatible with the database software we intend to purchase? "I don't know," he said, "Most customers do the research on this before they come in.&quo...(related: Customer Service)

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