Treat Your Customers Well, Whoever They May Be

 Leadership, Relationships  Comments Off on Treat Your Customers Well, Whoever They May Be
Jan 232013

Who are the easiest customers or clients for you or your business to get?  They’re the ones you already have.  And what’s the best way to retain them?  Provide them with outstanding customer service while they’re doing business with you.

Customer service means different things to different people.  Providing outstanding, memorable products or services on a consistent basis is great customer service, of course. It’s just not the whole picture.

People are people, and everyone has the potential for being your customer or client.  Depending on the size and nature of your business, you may have internal customers and external customers.  If you want to stretch, even family members can fall into that category.

Leaders treat all of their customers, internal and external, with respect and professionalism.

Focus on the relationship, not just the sale.  Starts with the bigger why — the reason you’re in business, the problem you solve, and the emotional connection that links the two.

Make time to develop a rapport with your customers.  Talk to them, ask them open-ended questions (questions that can’t be answered with yes or no) and listen to their responses.  Learn what their issues are and offer solutions to their problems.  Treat them the way they want to be treated, given where they are today.

Of course, surprise and delight your customers by going an extra mile.  Provide a level of service that will make them remember you.  This is important when things go right and even more important when things go wrong.  Little problems fester and grow into major issues when they’re not addressed promptly.

Be as grateful for the customer who doesn’t complete a purchase as you are for the one who does.  Learn from the experience.

Show the customer how much you appreciate their business by staying in touch.    It’s a challenge that’s worth the effort.  Deepen the relationship.

EXERCISE – Clarify Your Customer Service Position in Leader Up! e-zine…


2013 Commitments

 Leadership, Planning  Comments Off on 2013 Commitments
Jan 042013

Have you made New Year’s resolutions yet?  It’s time to change them to commitments.

Local governments pass resolutions regularly.  Last week, I heard a resolution written by a church committee which I still don’t understand.  Resolutions sound impressive and they direct attention in honorable directions, but their worth is sometimes debatable.  How many of us have made the same resolution year after year, only to forget about it after a few weeks.

Resolutions keep you in thought.  They’re not inherently bad, but they’re not enough.  They don’t have any real teeth.

Commitments keep you in action.  They’re purposeful.  They lead to measurable outcomes.  There are consequences to not keeping them.  You’ve made a promise to someone.

Leadership and commitment go hand in hand.

For some ideas on where to start, check out this week’s edition of Leader Up! e-zine…