Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Why Not Love Your Customer?

One of the biggest problems we run into as Corporate Leaders, CEO's, President's, Customer Service Managers, and staff employees is that we fail to love the customer.

The only true service is that of a servant. Archibishop Desmond Tutu, once said "The Leader is the Servant". And isn't that all our customers are truly looking for. Yes! Your customer and my customer are just looking for the opportunity to be lead, to be served and to be loved.

For argument sake let's say Desmond Tutu is right. Than your failure to truly be a leader in your industry is clearly due to the fact that your customers are not having an encounter with a world leader when they arrive at your company to be served. Well how might you change that? How will you establish new plans for better improvements in your organization? I've got a great solution.

Why not love your customer?

What's holding you back from delivering to your customer the one true commodity that can't be bottled and put in a package for sale?

What is it that stops you, me and everyone else from unleashing the dyanmic UNFORGETTABLE SERVANT SERVICE that all of our customers are dying to receive? Well we're just lacking the desire to give our customer a loving relationship that expresses the one universal quality everyone needs.

My mentor and God Father Brian Tracy, talks about the importance of Relationships in Chapter 7 of his book, Creating Your Own Future. In that chapter he talks about the 6th Principle---"Relationships Are Essential". He says that "The Law of Relationships explains one of the most critical success factors of all. It says, relationships are essential; the more people who know you and think of you in a positive way, the more opportunities you will have to achieve your goals."

I believe that Brian would agree with me when I say that all relationships are created out of love. So if you truly want your business to grow vibrantly and spread far you've got to love your customer. So why not love your customer?
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Tuesday, November 22, 2005

The New CHASE Me Away Customer Service

The other day while entering my #1 bank I noticed that the old banking sign had been Chased away by the NEW & improved logos, labels and shirts. I thought another force it down my throat banking merger. It really looked impressive and in the lingo of some of my marketing friends it was sexy, primal, and emotionally provocative.

But isn't that what all advertising is supposed to do? Make us feel something on the inside. Who needs a pretty airbrushed face with a Rembrandt (teeth whitened) close up smile and that Chase you away bad breath service. I sure don't, you sure don't and the world sure won't stand for it.

Now if they could only put a few million into training tellers on how to treat people they might make a huge transaction and open a few hundred thousand new accounts. But it's not really about customer retention anymore. As a matter of fact it's not even about customer expansion.

It's only about "hey Sponge Bob, how can we replace the few hundred customers we lost last week, so that it doesn't really look like our customers are migrating?". "Well don't worry Patrick, we have a few new customers just coming through the door and since they don't know how bad our service is we'll make a few hundred off of them before they catch on and leave for good. How does that sound?"

Well I guess if you can't give them good service why not just give them slick posters and bright lights...Oh yeah! And don't forget the suckers in the basket. Must be a freudian metaphor. Banks giving away suckers. They say there's a sucker born every minute. Or maybe the suckers to remind you that their service sucks. Either way somethings wrong with that picture.

I do not speak as one who lacks experience in the banking industry.

Past Employment: Harris Bank & Bankers Life & Casualty Insurance Company.

In my day I've seen great service and then I've seen the other kind of service. But it's time for the Banking industry to get back to the basics. Serving your customers with PASSION is making one heck of a come back. And it's time the banks did more than borrow the peoples money, over charge the customer for errors and then pay them almost nothing in interest for using their money. But I guess if we keep on sucking their suckers we'll eventually be up for the "All Day Sucker" Award.

I guess thinking I was going to be engaged by a teller who would make me remember her unforgettable service was a mistake. I was Chased away by bad Customer Service...again.

Being a Customer Passion Evangelist is not easy. On a day to day basis you see so many companies transacting millions and sometime billions of dollars through key customer relationships almost by accident. Well if you're going to be working with generating that kind of money you might as well focus on serving the customer so that you get automatic business (I'll talk about that in a future issue).

No time to train your tellers? Don't worry! Soon your customers will be flocking to Citibank, Harris Bank and all the other huge banking organizations to try their service. And if they get the kind of service I got the other day they've Chased away another customer that has relationship leverage.

The best relationships in the B 2 C industry will be those who leave a deep mark on the hearts of their clients or shall I say a deep impression in the souls of their customers.

Well when I walked away the other day I walked away wondering...can major banks who dominate the market place still afford to leave their workers untrained on how to deliver "Unforgettable Service"? Sure they can.

They even can afford to CHASE a few away. Maybe I should write the president and tell him about the CHASE me away customer service I got or maybe I should see it as an opportunity to help the president improve service? One things for sure they won't CHASE me away with bad Customer Service anymore.

A great management guru named Peter Drucker once said, "the purpose of a business is to CREATE a customer".

A great Customer Passion Evangelist named Deremiah, *CPE, interpreted this to mean "Don't CHASE your customers away"

Friday, November 11, 2005

* "The purpose of a business is to create a customer." Peter Drucker 11/19/09 - 11/11/05

The above quote came from a man who knew better than most the purpose of business and how that knowledge integrates with Customer Relationships. With out the creation of customers there is no business. Drucker also stood flat footed and expressed his views about everything from management to Wall Street.

No one said it better than Peter Drucker... "The purpose of a business is to create a customer" and I firmly agree.

Peter Drucker was one of the world's foremost thinkers. His concepts were thought provoking and his insight was keen. And although Peter Drucker is dead he still speaks. Please take the time now to read about this impressive man.




Thursday, November 03, 2005

Give Your Customers A Front Seat...In honor of a Great Woman - Rosa Parks

Rosa Parks is an amazing woman.

Her life reflects the grace and power of why customers should take a stand. She is a type of customer that refuses to sit in the back of the bus when she's paid to sit in the front and could anyone blame her.

If you paid the same fair as all the other customers wouldn't you want to have the same great experience? Well Rosa Parks experienced a classic example of what happens when we forget that the customer is King.

Now a whole nation entrenched in bad customer service had to take a back seat. You see the customer refused to sit in the back of the bus after a long hard day at work and who would blame her. She walks past the front row seats which are designated "Whites Only" and sits in the middle of the bus. She knows that if the front seats get full and whites enter the bus she will have to give up her seat and sit in the back.

One things for sure Rosa Parks knew that all customers should be treated with dignity and respect. But she was arrested and treated worse than someone who did not pay, as if she had snuck on the back of the bus. But that's not what she was trying to do. Rosa Parks just wanted the bus driver to leave her alone and allow the customer to sit where she freely wanted to sit.

The bus driver should have been thinking (we love to see our customers smile). He should have said "Mrs. Parks welcome aboard today! You look a little tired. So why don't you just have a seat near the front so you don't have to walk so far when it's time for you to get off. And here's a bottle of water".

But can you believe it was against the law for Blacks to sit in the middle section seats if all the "White Only" seats were taken in the front? The only seats they could sit in with out having to get up were the seats in the back of the bus.

Well if there is a front seat available for your customer never give them a back seat...unless they ask for the seat in the back. And never make laws or policies that will eventually treat customers unfairly.

That day Rosa Parks only wanted to experience Great Customer Service and a wonderful ride as she looked out the window. But that was far from what she received that day. When she refused to sit in the back and chose a seat near the front of the bus, she was removed by police.

Can you imagine paying the same fare as everyone who got on the bus that day and then being verbally disrespected by the bus driver? Well I can't imagine for the life of me how humiliated Mrs. Parks must have felt that day. And it wasn't the first time that the bus driver barked out orders to his customer to move. but I'm so glad she said enough of this bad customer service I'm not going to the back of the bus today. In honor of Rosa Parks I'd like to say we all have a lot to learn from the life of this ordinary but extraordinary woman.

Yesterday Mrs. Parks casually slipped into a place in history and today she grasped the attention of the entire world. And her life story is a customer service lesson in why it's important to "Serve The Customer With Passion".

So the moral of the lesson is the next time you're thinking of fussing at your customer and then asking them to take a seat in the back... wise up and "Give the Customer a front seat".

to learn more about this extraordinary woman take a peek at these links.