Customer Service

Articles courtesy of Steven Smith

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Customer Service

Putting The Service Back In Customer Service
The future of customer service is here. Technology has made seeking out support faster and easier than ever. But, has your digital age company sacrificed true service in the name of automation?Today, finding customer support is as simple as writing an e-mail or picking up the phone. But, even though you're not face-to-face with your customers, you still leave a lasting impression. Do you come across as caring and competent, or menacing and mechanical?Offering stand-out service on the Internet isn't as hard as it is rare. Take these simple steps towards old-style service in the digital age:* Give Each Customer a Personal Re...(related: Customer Service)


Quality Vs. Quantity
There is a battle in Call Centers. The teams are Quality vs. Quantity; two performance factors that don't seem to get along.? Representative Super Speedy says, "I've taken more calls than anyone on the team today. My average handle time is the lowest on the floor."Coach Level Head breaks it down for him, "But your quality scores are below everyone else on your team."? Representative Detailed Dan says, "My quality scores are top notch. I give every one of my customers the detailed attention they deserve."Coach Level Head breaks it down again, "Your Average Handle time is through the roof, and there are customers waiting in queue for attention to their needs.Where is the happy medium? True qu...(related: Customer Service)


Raising The Bar For Online Magazine Subscription Services And Customer Service
After years of flying below the radar in the magazine subscription service arena online, MagMall.com is gaining traction real fast. In December, the subscription retailer relaunched it's once relatively boring (though clean) site with the express intent of competing more effectively against its rivals. Key to the makeover is allowing customers to manage all their subscriptions online year after year.The new look ca...(related: Customer Service)


Reducing Customer Resistance To Your Product Or Service
Resistance has to do with putting up blocks that prevent us from doing, being, or accomplishing what we want for our business. There are many reasons for feeling resistance including fear of new things or change, fear of failure or success or even fear of not being perfect.When we resist things, somet...(related: Customer Service)


Renewing Customer Loyalty
Every business loses customers, but not many do much about getting them back. And that is a big mistake. Studies show that the average business looses 20 percent of its customer base each year.Here's what that means in practical terms: For example, let's say your business has 700 customers that buy repeatedly from you during the year and each customer spends an average of $300 a year. If you loose 20 percent of them ( one hundred and forty), you'll loose $42,000 a year. That's a lot of money to make up with new custo...(related: Customer Service)


Responding To Complaints
It's possible that in the course of your business dealings, you may (just may) have to deal with a complaint from a customer or client ....There are two ways you can go about this:1. You can stand up for your rights (and lose the customer and any po...(related: Customer Service)


Restaurant Owners ? How Important Are People Skills?
You are serving great food. Your establishment is new, spotless and inviting and yet you are not getting the repeat visits that you expect. What's up? What's going wrong?The answer may lie with your people skills?Why do people come to your restaurant?By now you should know why people frequent your restaurant?or at least you should know why they don't.They do not come for cheap food. It's c...(related: Customer Service)


Restaurant Scheduling For Success
- Excerpt from Richard Saporito's latest e-book "How to Improve Dining Room Service"This Tip will Help Maintain the Staff Schedule Keeping the Dining Room Service Staff Tight and Content which is Essential for Pleasing Paying Guests.Staff scheduling is closely tied to dining room customer service and crucial for keeping your staff tight, happy and well connec...(related: Customer Service)


Retail Greeters: Sales Builders Or Customer Turnoff?
Do you need greeters or should you avoid them? That is the perplexing question many retail organizations are struggling with today. Often touted in the press as the perennial example of the benefits to employing greeters,Walmart has hung on to its practice faithfully. But does it work and if so, will merely placing any warm body with a forced smile at the door to your store do the trick of converting entering customers into satisfied shoppers?Not necessarily, there is much more to successfully using retail greeters to affect a significant difference in your...(related: Customer Service)


Retail Store U-scan Machines: Self-serve Or Voluntary Part Time Job?
Do many of us realize that we are working an unpaid part time job for the grocery stores and some home a...(related: Customer Service)


Revealed ? A Simple Formula For Success! Exceeding Expectations
Delight = Customer Expectation plus 1. This was the simple formula for delighting your customers that Ken Blanchard informed us of in his book "Raving Fans" For me this is a great formula, but in itself it also raises a number of questions. For example, to deliver a plus one, to exceed something, you must know what that something is in the first place? so do you? Do you know what your customer expectations are at each mo...(related: Customer Service)


Sales Marketing: 10 High Impact Ways To Improve Your Customer Service
If you want to last a long time in business and succeed, you must learn how to make your customers happy.You have to know who are your customers, what they want and keep in touch with them and their needs.Let me suggest to you 10 ways to succeed in doing this.1. Stay in contact with customers on a regular basis. Offerthem a free e-zine subscription. Ask customers if theywant to be updated by e-mail when you make changes toyour Web site. After every sale, follow-up with thecustomer to see if they are satisfied with their purchase.2. Create a customer focus group. Invite ten to twenty ofyour most loyal customers to meet regularly. They will giveyou idea...(related: Customer Service)


Say It With Humor
When you own a business, you may find yourself in situations that may be a little tricky to handle. Dealing with customers who steal is one of them.A few years back we were faced with the problem of how to handle our free water cups. It seems some of our customers were filling them with the fountain drinks instead of water. This was, of course, was theft - pur...(related: Customer Service)


Saying Thank You To Your Clients
"Thanking your customers" - Why you should do it and how...Your customers make up 100% of your sales and 100% of your profits. Yet we spend a lot of money and time beating the bushes for new customers and not much time thanking those responsible for 100% of our business!One lesson your mother taught you was to say "thank you" when someone did something nice. We t...(related: Customer Service)


Sending Mixed Signals Can Send Your Clients Away
I call it the "wave and roll."You walk up to an intersection. You look both ways before you cross when you make eye co...(related: Customer Service)


Service Equals Performance Equals Service
Service can be described as a "performance" of some kind involving two parties whereby one party is the benefactor and the other party is the performing party receiving some type of monetary payment. The value of the Service depends on the personal experience of the benefactor.When I looked it up in Webster's, there it was #11 out of ...(related: Customer Service)


Setting Up A Customer Of The Week Program For A Mobile Car Wash
In a mobile detail or mobile car wash business you are on a first name basis with your customers. You sink or swim with your ability to please your customer and rely on them to build your business by referring their friends, associates and neighbors. One excellent way to insure referrals is to set up a "Customer of the Week Program."...(related: Customer Service)


Should I Have My Company Mystery Shopped?
I wish I had a nickel for every time someone said to me, "Oh, you do Mystery Shopping; I always wanted to do that!" I think most people do find the thought of posing as a customer and reporting back on how they were treated, rather intriguing. But there is a lot more to it that skulking around in a trench coat and spy glass!I believe most companies have taken the plunge and decided that it really is important to conduct frequent "mystery or secret shops" of their businesses. The question remains, do they do anything constructive with the information or is it used as a disciplinary tool?Before you start having people snoop around your company, consider the following clues that will help guarantee a successful program.1. What's the Value in a Mystery Shopper Program?a. ...(related: Customer Service)


Small Business Customer Service Can Work Against You
Is the special treatment you designed specifically to keep customers coming back working against you?A local jeweler offers free lifetime battery replacement for any watch he sells. It's a good hook to keep customers walking back in the store on a regular basis and increases his sales volume.But, it's backfired on him. And he's lost at least one customer because of it....(related: Customer Service)


Sorry, No Customer Service After 4:00 P.m.
A few months ago, I wrote about ingenious styles of customer service that every business should know about, mostly because their employees were inflicting them on their customers.For instance, I warned about "in yo...(related: Customer Service)


Stand Out In Business The Write Way
When was the last time you received a handwritten note from a business associate? It may be that it was too long ago for y...(related: Customer Service)


Stay - Say - Pay
Would you like to have customers that stay with you anddon't buy from your competitors?Customers that say nice things about your business to...(related: Customer Service)


Stellar Customer Service In 10 Simple Steps
If you're like me, you've had plenty of experience with BAD customer service. Just think about the last time you had a bad experience w...(related: Customer Service)


Take Care Of Yourself Before You Take Care Of Your Customer

One of the most important questions people ask when they are focused on improving their quantity and quality of business is: "What is my competitive advantage?    What makes me unique, memorable, special? what truly sets me apart from the rest?"

While there are no definitively right answers to that question, most people come to some conclusion that customer service is a critical component of your competitive advantage.  For most businesses, the service they offer can vary from exceptional to not so hot, depending upon circumstanc...(related: Customer Service)

Ten Ways To Help You Improve Your Customer Service

1. Stay in contact with customers on a regular basis. Just
as it is bad news to send out too many emails to customers,
it is just as bad to not stay in contact with them.
Customers don't want to feel abandoned.  So don't.

Here are three things to help you stay in touch.

(1) Offer them your ezine subscription at least once a
month.
(2) Ask customers if they want to be updated by e-mail when
you make changes to your Web site.
(3) Follow-up after each sale to see if they are satisfied
with their purchase.  Send an e-mail out a few days after
their purchase, another in a week or two, and then another
in a month.

2. Create a customer focus group by inviting 10 to 20 loyal
customers to meet regularly. Alternat...(related: Customer Service)


The 3 Rs Of Customer Service
What I am about to tell you may seem very obvious - you may even say DUH!!! but the fact is, - many company's forget the 3 R's of good customer service- Respect your Customer, Take Responsibility for Your Actions and Products and give your Customers a Full REFUND when it just isn't right. I promise you that if you follow these 3 simple rules you will never have to run after the same customer again!Respect the customer! Just about as plain as the nose on your face Right? Wrong!How many times have you been greeted in a less than courteous manner or worse yet- not at all!! Never lose the opportunity to make a great first impression- very rare...(related: Customer Service)


The 7 Principles Of Business Integrity
If you have integrity, nothing else matters. If you don't have integrity, nothing else matters. -- Alan K. SimpsonIf I were to ask you what attribute is the most influential in regard to the success of a business, would you know immediately which one is the most important? Based on my many years as a business ow...(related: Customer Service)


The Added Value - Is You!
If there was a restaurant in your town that was physically attractive and clean, had a pleasant variety of entrées on the menu, served food that was prepared in an attractive manner, and the service was outstanding--the maitre'd greeted you by name, remembered which was your favorite table, stopped by later...(related: Customer Service)


The Art Of Giving Great Service
Sales is tough to get right, and depends on retaining those customers, yet people do it badly and unprofessionally all the time. It's really not difficult to learn the art of good service, and if you get it perfect, you will see those rewards.Let's look at an example of service from my point of view:I usual...(related: Customer Service)


The Consumer Power
While most companies talk about consumer friendliness, customer centricity, customer relationship etc. more often than not they are mere lip service or ...(related: Customer Service)


The Death Of Customer Servie
The other day a reporter call to interview me on the "Death of Customer Service". My first reaction was to deny that charge and claim that customer servi...(related: Customer Service)


The Death Of The Loyal Customer
One of my classes in management focused on the repeat customer. The course stressed the importance of the repeat customer to the financial welfare of the business. We spent hours discussing ways to turn "first time" buyers into repeat customers. This is not a new concept. We've all heard the term "the customer is always right". And then there is the movie we watch every Christmas where Macy tries to out "customer satisfaction" Gimbel. I prefer to take that concept one step further with what I consider the most valuable asset of a business, the loyal customer.The loyal customer is one who will buy your product or service even when it is more expensive or at a personal inconvenience. The loyal customer...(related: Customer Service)


The Dissatisfied Customer
We, as small business people, naturally dislike complaints from our clients and customers. Because we're intimately in...(related: Customer Service)


The Drawback Of Hacking Off A Blogger Through Weak Process Gaps And Pathetic Customer Service
With all of the recent data theft in the financial sector, it is important to make sure that we don't go crazy trying to protect ourselves from risk. Risk management does have a value but this value lies mostly on the front end. Reactionary risk management almost always produces a point at where the value of protecting oneself or one's customers overshadows the product or service that you are offering. The majority of companies always go beyond this point, some thinking they can even sell it to the customer as a security ...(related: Customer Service)


The Great American Customer Service Unawareness Campaign
Q: I'm so sick of you so-called business experts always saying the customer is always right. This is my business, not the customer's, so I'm the one who's always right. Sure, they can have an opinion, but in the end it's up to me to decide who's right and who's not. And if the customer doesn't like it they can take their business elsewhere. What do you say to that, Mr. Business Expert? -- Paul W.A: Ah, Paul, and I had such high hopes that we would be friends. Oh well, so much for that hope. The fact is, Paul, within the context of a normal business transaction, the customer is always right. If you can't accept that fact, you won't have customers for long.Sure, the customer might also be unreasonable, d...(related: Customer Service)


The History Of Crm -- Moving Beyond The Customer Database
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is one of those magnificent concepts that swept the business world in the 1990's with the promise of forever changing the way businesses small and large interacted with their customer bases. In the short term, however, it proved to be an unwieldy process that was better in theory than in practice for a variety of reasons. First among these was that it was simply so difficult and expensive to track and keep the high volume of records needed accurately and constantly update them. In the last several years, however, newer software systems and advanced tracking features have vastly improved CRM capabilities and the real promise of CRM is becoming a reality. As the price of newer, more customizable Internet solutions have hit the marketplace; competition has driven...(related: Customer Service)


The Importance Of Good Customer Service
Do you have good customer service? Even for your free giveaways?I have been thinking over the past couple of weeks why some WAHP's have trouble growing their business. They host chats or do online parties. They do giveaways and exchanges and it seems everything that they can do to help promote their business. So why do so many fail to get new customers?I stumbled across the answer this holiday season. I had attended an online event that had giveaways that were sponsored by WAHP's and their Home-Based Business. I won two awesome products! I was so excited, as they would make wonderful Christmas gifts. I had won these prizes...(related: Customer Service)


The Logic Of Emotion!
Homebuyers are an interesting study. Watching people make their home buying decisions has brought me to the conclusion that every decision that every one of us makes is based in emotion. You heard me, it's all about the emotion. Before you deny what I am describing to you, let me begin with me.Painful as the revelation is for me, even I as a Naval Academy graduate, retired Navy pilot, and home inspector extraordinaire, make decisions based...(related: Customer Service)


The Marvelous World Of Metaphors
Recognize metaphors from every angle and round up moreinsight into your own innovation. Nobody can do it better thanyou can!A metaphor is a f...(related: Customer Service)


The Nine Principles Of Customer Service For The Travel Industry©
If you want to learn how to get your clients to do your selling for you through excpetional customer service, read on. Learn customer service secrets from tourism professionals, apply them to your business and prosper.1. Be a Good Listener ? Most important, listen to your customers' concerns and complaints, as well as their praise. Discover what it is they want. Your guests are your best source of information in assessing yo...(related: Customer Service)


The Number 1 Rule For Businesses - Be Professional
Have you ever walked into a store and things looked sloppy? Stores should have nice neat displays, right? Normally, y...(related: Customer Service)








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Call Center Services - An Ever Increasing Demand
Are your company's call center services all that they could be? Even centers that were state of the art a decade or so ago might be out of date and inadequate today. As technology expands, so do clients' expectations regarding communication. Nowadays, a client will normally expect to be able to contact a company representative more or less twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, either by phone, fax or email. C...(related: Customer Service)

Dont Give Your Customers What They Want!
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Customer Service And The Human Experience
Historically, customer service was delivered over the phone or in person. Customers didn't have many choices, and switching to competitors was cumbersome. Today, these methods are but two of the many possible touch points of entry for any given interaction. With all the options the Internet brings, competit...(related: Customer Service)

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