“Stop Trying to Delight Your Customers”

If a customer has to expend extra energy to have their issue resolved, they are less likely to be loyal.  However, if the customer doesn’t have to put too much effort into resolving their issue, they are more likely to be loyal.  This according to a 2010 published article in Harvard Business Review titled, “Stop Trying to Delight Your Customers.” 

But, if you have been following me for the past ten years, whether through my blogs, newsletters, seminars or webinar, you know I’ve said this already.  And I didn’t need to survey 75,000 customers like HBR did. 

I have long said that exceptional customer service is ‘necessary evil’ we have to do it, if we don’t our competition will.  But there are three problems with exceptional service that makes it an evil. 

First, exceptional service is easily duplicated.  Think about it, if I’m your competitor and I hear or witness a service you are providing, that I’m not, can I copy you?  Sure I can.  And now, copying our competition is easier than ever, all I have to do is go to your website and surf around.  And, an unexpected problem from being duplicated is that we, as service providers, are raising our own bar.  We are setting unrealistic expectations on ourselves.  What are the services your our providing that your competition can be easily duplicated?  MORE BELOW.

 Choose one of these three great training tools.  Along with the gift, you will receive a profile form to help us give you the information best suited for you.

Quality Customer Service vs. Exceptional Customer Service;

In this 15 minute audio and power point presentation you learn the difference between Quality Customer Service and Exceptional service.  Why Quality service is more cost effective, creates a positive work environment and gives you a better competitive edge.  And we will show you how exceptional service may actually hurt your business because it is the necessary evil.

If you would like this free training tool, click and send qualitymodel@gormanbusinessconsultants.com

Privacy Policy; your information will not be sold or rented to any third party company and is exclusively for the exchange of content-rich training between your company and Gorman Business Consultants.

Time Management Matrix;

In this 45 minute audio and power point presentation you will learn where your time goes.  Pin-point what are your greatest time wasters?  Identify what are the things only you can do.  And what are the things other people can do.    

If you would like this free training tool, click and send timematrix@gormanbusinessconsultants.com

Maturity Ladder;

In this 45 minute audio with power point presentation you will learn how to assign tasks to the right person based on their level of maturity.  From there you will be able to give the best feedback to ‘grow them up’ the ladder.  All leading to a positive, mature, work environment.

If you would like this free training tool, click and send maturityladder@gormanbusinessconsultants.com

 Second, exceptional customer service can be expensive.  Too many times companies feel they have to ‘giveaway’ products or services to make apology for the mistakes we made.  In truth, if we handle the issue, and handle it quickly, the customer will return with future business for us.  We must remember to address the intellectual needs of the customer by fixing the problem and then their emotional needs by simply saying we’re sorry.

Third, exceptional service has a perception problem.  I may perceive the service you provide for me as excellent but, someone else may say, “They should provide great service, their prices are outrageous!”  Or, to me, great service is a knowledgeable service provider.  But to you, great service may be a clean environment.  If you focus your energies on one and not the other, someone is going to be disappointed with your level of service.  Try as we may, we can’t ‘reach’ everyone.  We are always going to have critics, so why spend time and money on something that has a high percentage of missing the target?

Quality customer service is the avenue to follow when considering where to put your energy to keep the customers you have.   If you would like to know the difference, send me an email for a gift of my 15 minute webinar recording giving you the details.

Thank you.

Mark

mark@gormanbusinessconsultants.com

 

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Ask Affirming Questions

If you ever want to read a really good book someday, read, “Psycho-Cybernetics” by Dr. Maxwell Maltz.  In the author teaches that the quality of your life is related to the quality of the questions you ask yourself; if you ask bad questions you get bad answers.  He writes that our bodies are designed to look for answers to the questions we ask ourselves, some may call that DNA, some may call it God but, Maltz calls it the servo-mechanism.  If you ask yourself, “Why am I always in debt?”  Your body is going to answer, “Well, you’re maxed out on your credit cards, you only pay the minimum, and every day on your way to work you stop and get a $4.00 latte.  The bad question leads us to non-affirming answers.  Affirming questions look for the solution, they typically start out like, “How can I..?”  Or, “What can I…?”  Instead of “Why am I always in debt?”  Ask, “How can I manage my money better?”  Companies that deliver poor service and they are faced with an upset customer, ask questions like, “What’s the problem?”  Or, “What’s wrong?”  These non-affirming questions don’t look for solutions.  We need to ask affirming questions, questions that demonstrate that we’re here to help, to look for solutions.  People who deliver great service to the customer don’t ask the upset customer, “What’s the problem?” they ask “How can I help?”

Hope you can attend my, "EFFORT & the Role of Leadership" Open workshop.  Learn to apply the '7 Slight Edges' manage your time and engage your staff.  January 18-19 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  $799.00 includes materials, lunches, snacks and beverages.

Write to find out more; mark@gormanbusinessconsultants.com

Economics

What does economics mean to you?  To me, economics is the skill, and it is a skill that you can learn, the skill of earning more money than you spend.  Many companies I work with are good at doing one or the other.  The very successful companies do both very well.  It’s difficult to deliver great service if you’re focus is on, not the customer but, the upcoming lease payment you’re going to have trouble making.  Ask your staff this question, “What are some costs we can cut to the benefit of the customer?”  The key words in this question are ‘to the benefit of the customer.’  Too many companies, when faced with the reality of cutting back, carelessly cut to hurt the customer.  Companies need to stop conducting business with the “earn and spend” attitude.  Remember, it’s not the money you earn that’s important, it’s the money you keep.

Hope you can attend my last webinar of the year on November 17th.  You have two time to choose from 11;00 and 3:00 central time.  This 60-minute session will give you real-world insights and applications to the ‘7 Slight Edges’ to keeping your customers.

Can’t make the date and time, no problem, for the same $97.00 you can have a recording of the session.

Please write if you need more information.

Mark,

mark@gormanbusinessconsultants.com

“Faith; Living in Your Imagination”

The ‘Slight Edge’ of FAITH has many facets.  First; it’s about measurements; companies that deliver great service have faith and have units of measurements in place to help them keep the faith.  For instance, one client told me the first time a customer comes into their store they spend $20.00.  But, the second time the customer comes in spends over $100.00.  They track the number of times a customer returns and how much they spend.

Faith is belief in something we have no proof of.  This is another facet to faith, confidence in things we can’t control.  Companies that deliver great customer service don’t know for certain that smiling, making eye contact, standing up to greet the customer will bring them back but, they have faith that it will.

But here is the aspect of faith I would like to share with you.  Companies, or people for that matter, that lack faith, are living in their history.  Living in their history means they are always making excuses; “That’s not how we do things here.”  Or they say, “This is the way we’ve always done it.”  They are always looking in their rearview mirror.  They are continually looking at the way it’s always been, not how it could be. 

Whereas companies and people who live in their imagination are always looking to how things can be.  They see a future of positivity, a future that includes a new and different way to look at things.  They are motivated by what could be and not by what has been. 

Listen to the way you and the people around you are talking.  Are the comments you hear reflective of history, status quo?  If so, you need to set the example of living in your imagination by painting a big picture of how things can be.

 

Mutual Benefits Agreement

A manager needs a method of effective communication, a process they can use in any situation.  Salespeople use a logical, repeatable process to try and gain a sale.  Managers and supervisors need their staff to ‘buy’ into the vision of the company leadership, so why not have a logical, repeatable process to ensure success? 

 This is what I like to call, “Mutual Benefits Agreement” or MBA.    It’s an agreement between you and the members of your team.  Done properly, you will fully engage your staff because it will cover all of the benefits of an engaged employee listed above. 

 Five steps to the MBA.

 State the desired outcome; what gets done and when, keep it simple and to the point. 

Give guidelines; paint a big picture of what the outcome will look like.

Give them the tools; give them the ‘things’ they will need to reach the desired results.  List yourself as a resource and ask them what they think they will need.

Timetable; hold them accountable by checking in with them.

Consequences; what will be the good or bad reaction to either achieving or missing the desired outcome.

 A few rules to keep in mind about the MBA are; use it in any situation, follow the steps in order, always list you as a resource, and remember to ask them what they need to get the job done.

‘Ask Affirming Questions’

Companies that deliver great service and keep the customers they have ‘Ask Affirming Questions.’

Think about this, maybe you’ve done this, I know I have.  You’re sitting at your kitchen table, you have all those bills spread out in front of you, and you’re writing out all of those checks.  And when you’re done you look into the registry and see there’s still some month left at the end of the money!  And you ask yourself that very bad question, “Why am I always in debt?”  Or, “Why can’t I get ahead?”  Or, “Why do I always live check to check?”

Our bodies are designed to look for the answers.  So in your mind, when you ask why you are always in debt, your mind thinks the answer is, “Well, your credit cards are maxed out, you only pay the minimum, and every day on your way to work you stop and buy a $4.00 latte. 

It’s not, “Why am I so fat?”  because your body is going to say, “Well, because you’re like the average American sitting around watching four hours of television everyday eating cheese puffs.”

Here’s your hint, most affirming questions start out with, “How can I” or “What can I.”  So it’s not, “Why am I so fat?” it’s “How can I lead a healthy lifestyle?”  Or, “How can I eat right every day?”

The rephrasing leads to reframing in our minds.  We begin to look for solutions instead of looking at the problem. 

Companies that deliver great customer service are continually asking their customers, “How can we help?”  “What can we do for you?”  “How can we do better?”  Companies that deliver poor service ask the upset customer questions like, “What’s wrong?”  Or, “What’s the problem?”  Or, as we say in Minnesota, “What’s the matter?” 

If you ask an upset customer, “What’s the problem?” what are you going to hear?  But if you ask, “How can I help?” what are you going to hear?

Be of Service

Being of service is the most rewarding of all the “Seven Slight Edges” because it helps to meet our desire to leave a legacy. When we help our customers to meet their needs and goals they will remember us and be loyal to us. And, when they return time and time again to do business with us, we will strengthen our legacy, a legacy of service.

All of your communication with customers should center on how you are of service to them. Emails, brochures, advertisings, signage, all should state how you are of service. This is not the attitude of, “What’s in it for me?” It’s the attitude of, “What’s in it for you?”

You can use a simple formula to help create your message. Research the target market; read trade journals, visit their websites, talk the people in the industry. Uncover issues; ask them and yourself questions like, “What needs and goals are my customers trying to meet?” Or, “How can my product help my customers?” Then craft your message; write it so it directly addresses your customers needs. How your product or service will serve the customer is how you can differentiate yourself from the competition. Speak in terms of how these things serve, and you find your customers are loyal because they feel you understand them.

“How Do You Engage Your Team?”

A recent gallup.com poll stated that 13% of employees are ‘disengaged’ from their work.  They make their presents known by being constant whiners, they are frequently late to work, they use all of their sick and vacation days and they try to pull other employees down with them.  They are un-trainable no matter what and should be eliminated, either by termination or reassigned. 

Another survey, done by Workforce Engagement, estimates that this ‘disengagment’ costs American businesses $300 billion a year.  This means employees are not acting in ways that create positive customer experiences, which is detracting from organizational success, performance, and profitability.

In my 23 years of experience I have found that the average leader (supervisors, managers, and executives) are not satisfied in their job because of their inability to be truly effective with and through their staff. 

The ‘engaged’ employee produces nine times more than the ‘disengaged’ co-worker.

“Faith; Living in Your Imagination”

The ‘Slight Edge’ of FAITH has many facets.  First; it’s about measurements; companies that deliver great service have faith and have units of measurements in place to help them keep the faith.  For instance, one client told me the first time a customer comes into their store they spend $20.00.  But, the second time the customer comes in spends over $100.00.  They track the number of times a customer returns and how much they spend.

Faith is belief in something we have no proof of.  This is another facet to faith, confidence in things we can’t control.  Companies that deliver great customer service don’t know for certain that smiling, making eye contact, standing up to greet the customer will bring them back but, they have faith that it will.

But here is the aspect of faith I would like to share with you.  Companies, or people for that matter, that lack faith, are living in their history.  Living in their history means they are always making excuses; “That’s not how we do things here.”  Or they say, “This is the way we’ve always done it.”  They are always looking in their rearview mirror.  They are continually looking at the way it’s always been, not how it could be.  

Whereas companies and people who live in their imagination are always looking to how things can be.  They see a future of positivity, a future that includes a new and different way to look at things.  They are motivated by what could be and not by what has been. 

Listen to the way you and the people around you are talking.  Are the comments you hear reflective of history, status quo?  If so, you need to set the example of living in your imagination by painting a big picture of how things can be.

MARK ISAAC 

Mark Isaac has been a training professional for twenty three years. He specializes in management and leadership communication. He travels extensively working public and private sector companies to increase customer and employee retention. He has conducted seminars in front of hundreds of attendees, workshops with company management and leadership teams, as well as one-on-one coaching. 

His programs have been described as “insightful, clear-cut, and action provoking”. Past participants have said that Mark “takes complicated information and makes it understandable”. His seminars and workshops are successful because people leave with specific plans for their company to keep the customers and employees they have. 

Mark has his B.A. from the University of Minnesota and has completed over 30 marathons.

 Mark@gormanbusinessconsultants.com