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…]

Are You Creating Loyal Customers?

loyal customers

loyal customers

I would be willing to bet that most people are creatures of habit. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, because when we find companies we like we tend to stick with them. That could be a brand of clothing or a type of car or the restaurants we frequent. And we usually tend to stick to our own neighborhood restaurants for various reasons.

So, when I found out one of my favorite restaurants had gone out of business, it was sad. This is where I spent many Thanksgivings and Christmases enjoying the holiday special of turkey and pumpkin pie.

I went through the restaurant reviews and found out that I wasn’t the only one that felt that way. In fact, some of the reviews were quite interesting. [Read more…]

Are You Creating Customers For Life?

The other day I had an urgent swiggies order for a kid’s birthday party on the other side of the country. So I packaged up the box and headed down to the shipping company I normally use. You have to print everything up online and put the shipping label on the package before getting to the distribution station.

customers for life

customers for life

For some reason I couldn’t remember which log in and password I used, so I went down in person. The people there weren’t very helpful and just told me to go back home and call the company for help. So I did. And I waited and waited on the phone for what seemed like an eternity. When I finally got someone on the phone I was told to jump through some more hoops online, but it still didn’t work. I went back down and they basically told me there was nothing they could do.

So, I went to the competition. They both charge about the same thing, only the other company lets you walk in and just fill out the paperwork. You can do it online if you want to save time, but it’s not mandatory. By now you probably know which companies I’m talking about if you do a lot of shipping. [Read more…]

What an Entrepreneur Can Learn From a Zumba Teacher

entrepreneurI always say you can learn something from everyone if you pay attention. L.A. DanceFit just opened right across the street from me so, even though I didn’t know anything about Zumba I figured it would be crazy not to at least go and see what it’s like. It’s awesome, BTW. And so is the teacher, Wil.

When I heard that Zumba was started by an aerobics teacher who had forgotten his music for class and had to improvise with his salsa and merengue music, I liked it already. One way to be innovative is simply by sheer accident. That’s how many well known inventions were created. It’s the people that realize they have an opportunity to capitalize on that lucky accident, who will succeed. So, here’s what I learned today: [Read more…]