Are You Really Listening to Your Customers?

When you travel you get the best chance to observe good customer service firsthand. A hotel is your home away from home, and you have many places to choose from. It’s the customer service that makes the difference between a great experience or a lousy one. So, on my recent trip to NY I got to see some of both.

listen to your customers

listen to your customers

I got to the hotel quite late and was just ready to get to sleep. I quickly found out that the heat had two settings, boiling hot or freezing cold. There was a draft so bad it blew the curtains. And the heating system was so noisy I couldn’t even hear the TV. When I checked in, the only thing I asked for was a quiet room with temperature control. I didn’t care if it was the size of a closet with no frills.

An employee came up to see if he could fix the heat and said he would have to call the maintenance guy in the morning. Really? So, I would have to freeze all night? They offered me a free breakfast and a foot rub to make up for it. Okay, so they didn’t offer a foot rub, but a free breakfast wouldn’t save me from hyperthermia and lack of sleep. They finally moved me to a bigger room which was slightly better, but still very noisy. The whole time I was there I felt like I was talking to a brick wall. No warmth or friendliness. And they definitely weren’t listening. I couldn’t help thinking that the place could have been run better by robots.  [Read more…]

3 Ways to Thank Your Customers

"thank your customers"

thank your customers

The two most important words in the English language are “please” and “thank you”. You should be using them every single day. So on Thanksgiving weekend not only am I grateful for friends and family, but for all of the customers and clients I’ve had through the years.

It should go without saying that as a business owner you should have great customer service, but you should also make a point of thanking your customers personally. It really goes a long way. The Journal of Marketing conducted a study about the positive reinforcement of customers. They found that customers from one retail store who were called and thanked showed a 70% increase in sales. There was only a 30% increase when they were also told about a sale. [Read more…]

How Well Do You Know Your Customer?

know your customer

know your customer

How well do you know your customer? The more you know about them, the better you’ll be able to serve them.

I just got back from speaking at the California Public Information Officers Conference on the topic of “Getting Your Message Across: What Great Leaders Know About Storytelling”.

I really didn’t know what these people did, but I decided to do a lot of homework to find out. I’m glad I did because it paid off and they noticed.

The reason I’m bringing this up is because it’s important to know who your customer is. Since I was speaking at a conference, my customer was the meeting planner that hired me. But the “end user” was the people who were in the audience. So I actually had to know both for different reasons.

Let’s say, for example, you have a product or service to sell. You could sell that product directly to the end user, or you could sell it to a distributor, wholesaler, or retailer. With each one, you need to know the needs and concerns of each customer. And some of their concerns overlap. [Read more…]