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  • Writer's pictureRobert Stevenson

Are You Keeping Your Promise

Robert Stevenson Blog - We promise word map

I had the opportunity to speak at the Customer Service Revolution Conference held in Cleveland this week, put on by the DiJulius Group. Over 700 people from companies throughout the United States and Canada were there to learn how they can deliver the best customer service possible. In preparing for my program, I dove deep into my books, articles and notes on everything I had written and read about customer service. I thought it might be helpful if I shared a few of the things I found.

As I have said in the past, “The day you forget you are in business for the customer, is the day you start going out of business.” First and foremost - what is the PROMISE you are making to your customer and are you keeping it? Then ask, answer and verify - do your employees know what the PROMISE is and how to keep it? Here are several examples of corporate promises that are being made; I’ll let you be the judge if you think they are keeping their promise.

Disney - "the happiest place on earth"KFC - “we do chicken right”United - “the friendly skies”FedEx - "when it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight”

Have you ever walked into a store and couldn’t find anyone to help you? Macy’s department stores understand that frustration; their motto is, “Be everywhere, do everything and never fail to astonish the customer.” Here is a very scary fact: A typical business hears from 4% of its dissatisfied customers, so 96% of unhappy customers will go somewhere else and not let you know why. Consumers are now being given more and more alternatives of companies they can do business with and they are actively looking for companies who will TREAT THEM BETTER.

A now-classic Harvard Business Review article called "Staple Yourself to an Order" showed executives how to improve operations by watching how orders are filled. If you want to design and improve customer experience, you should hop onto a customer and ride piggyback for the duration of their journey with you. Never forget, the costliest thing for a business is BAD customer service. Here are some quotes you

should consider when it comes to customer service:

  • “Do it well, and they will tell their friends.”

  • “If you don’t take care of your customer, someone else will.”

  • “As you treat your employees, they will treat your customers.”

  • “Customers remember service a lot longer than they remember the price.”

  • “The customer is why we are here. If we take good care of them, they’ll come back.”

  • “The secret to success is to treat all customers as if the world revolves around them.”

  • “Consider every customer as a family member, who deserves nothing but the best service.”

If I had to summarize the entire conference, I would say this: Even in this age of advanced technology and e-commerce, the HUMAN SIDE of doing business with a customer is still of paramount importance. This spells an enormous opportunity for all companies who want to enlarge their market share. Only one company can be the cheapest, all other companies have to do something else to attract customers.

If You Want to Increase Your Market Share Raise Your Level of Customer Service


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