Customer Service Is Not About Knowing Power, Voltage, Amps And Ohms!

When you want to turn on a light in your house, here’s what needs to happen for the light to function.

  1. You need power running to that switch from your electrical box. This power is generated at a plant owned by your electricity company and delivered to your house through a series of transformers and electrical lines.
  2. You need amps, (the flow of electrons), through the wires and your light.
  3. You need voltage, (the electrical pressure that pushes the amps through the wires and your light).
  4. You’ll have ohms in your wires. Ohms are resistance to the electron flow.

Do you need to know all of this stuff to simply turn on your light? Not really. You only have to walk up to the switch and flip it on. The above knowledge is useless to you for your purposes.

In regards to customer service, what are you trying to learn about your customers that may be useless to you?

Don’t spend time learning about power, voltage, amps and ohms.

Spend your time in direct contact with customers and you’ll learn all you need to know about servicing them!

 

Where Will The Customer Shop?

Your best friend is in an emergency situation and needs help!

A stranger is in the same emergency situation and needs help!

You are willing and able to help, but you can only help one of them. It’s not life or death so the decision is not critical.

Who are you going to help?

“Make friends with your customers”!  

Your Sale Went Perfectly……Too Bad You Blew It!

Congratulations! You made a sale! Everything went perfect.

You were polite and kind to your customer.

You answered every question they had to their satisfaction.

You pointed out all the great features and benefits of your product.

The customer was cordial towards you and was pleasant to deal with.

You accept their payment, say thank-you, please come back and shop with us again.

The customer thanks you for your help and goes on their merry way.

A text-book transaction.

It’s too bad you didn’t optimize your opportunity to create a loyal return customer!

That customer may come back or they may not come back. All that neat stuff you did for them was nothing special. It’s routine. They expect what you did as a minimum.

There is something you didn’t do, and most salespeople are guilty of it, that would have pretty much guaranteed the return of that customer.

When was the last time you said this to a customer before they left the store:

“If you have any questions or problems with your purchase, please contact me personally”. I want to make sure you are satisfied with your decision.

That is the most powerful question you can ever ask customers to gain their trust and loyalty.

Do you have the confidence and moxie to ask that question?

Most Customer Loyalty Programs Are Bogus!

Most customer loyalty programs out there are more a waste of time and money than they are an affective way to create “customer loyalty”.

I’m just a regular guy and I  am signed up for a number of these programs. I let them sign me up so I don’t have to hear the pitch if I return to the store. Am I loyal to those businesses? Not really. The programs are too complicated and they don’t really give me enough to retain my loyalty. If I see it that way, how many others out there think the same way. My guess is A LOT!

It’s hardly worth my effort to pull my wallet out to get at the card they issue to me. A $5.00 coupon or an extra 10% discount after spending “x” dollars, or 25 billion miles flown to get a ticket with 25 billion restrictions, isn’t going to make me loyal… period! It’s just a nuisance to me. And there is the operative word. Nuisance! If that is what you create for me, how does your customer loyalty program really measure up on the “customer service scale”?

So, how should a customer loyalty program work that is simple and fair to every customer and creates customers that really return to do business with you?

  1. Every single customer gets exactly the same deal.
  2. Membership is FREE.
  3. The customer gets FREE merchandise or service when they meet the criteria.
  4. Absolutely no hoops to jump through to cash in.
  5. Customer belongs to the program forever…..no time limit.
  6. Customer can transfer their membership to someone else.
  7. If you end the program, you offer every member a prorated credit for the purchases they made.
  8. Customer gets credit based on the number of purchases made and their value;  not based on dollars spent.

How do I know if the above will really create loyal customers? We did it in our business for over 30 years and it worked perfectly. I’ve never seen or been offered a customer loyalty program that even approaches the simplicity, fairness, and effectiveness of the one we implemented in our stores based on the above principles.

In my next post, I’ll explain in more detail WHY the above principles are the only way to implement an effective customer loyalty policy based on purchases.

I Don’t Want Customer Loyalty Cards And Extra Discounts!

Customer loyalty cards and giving “extra” discounts are not authentic customer appreciation.

These things are marketing tactics to induce me to shop at your store or website. Don’t get me wrong.  They are ok marketing tactics but that’s all they are. I take them for what they are worth but I don’t take them as “appreciation”.

If you want to express real appreciation to me, appreciation that I believe is sincere, you’ll  have to do it face-to-face and right at the point of sale.

Give me a “free” pen!

Give me a “free” calendar!

Give me a “free” notepad!

Don’t give me another pitch!

Better yet, give me a thank-you for shopping at your store and tell me to contact you if I have any problems with the merchandise or service I purchased. Tell me you’ll be there to help me. Tell me that is what you are there to do. Give me the assurance that you really want me to be satisfied doing business with you.

Say these things to me and follow through and I will be loyal. It’s a whole lot cheaper than discounts and it really “buys” more customer loyalty.