JJ's Tips in this issue:

1. Missed Opportunities in Serving & Selling
2. JJ's Favorite Quotes
3. Tele-Coaching & Tele-Mentoring FREE Consultation


Use the following tips as training tools.

Present the problem to your group and brainstorm solutions together, or submit your own situation question to be answered in an upcoming newsletter.

Why is it so hard to get quick and reasonable solutions to problems we're having with companies? How do we know if customers think our company is easy to do business with when things go wrong? Aren't these missed opportunities in serving and selling?

Yes, there are three reasons these are missed opportunities. All three were present in a car maintenance situation I had with a company last week.

This company advertised "Tires Plus Total Car Care," and the three areas of importance listed on their customer receipt forms were, Immediate Attention, Preventative Maintenance and Improved Performance.

Four new tires had been bought from them in two visits the preceding year, and I had had a very customer-focused, caring staff bend over backwards to take care of my needs, make recommendations, give store hours and explain all the guarantees and suggestions (up selling) for further maintenance.

My tires had hit some big pot holes recently so I needed an alignment and tire rotation. The work was done on Friday afternoon. Over the weekend I noticed a strange set of noises coming from the wheels and tires.

Since the very nice man at the counter had given me the 6:30 am store hours the year before, I woke up very early on Monday morning and called to ask if this was a safety hazard to drive the car very far before taking it in to be checked. No one answered until after 8:00 am, an hour before my doctor's
appointment that was a distance away.

The man who answered the phone was annoyed that he had to answer the phone as he was starting work. When I said I'd been calling since 6:30, he said "I was in bed at 6:30." 1st missed opportunity: He should have given me their new hours and picked up my sense of urgency about the safety factor with the wheel noise. He did neither.

I explained that a few years ago I had had the tires on another car rotated, and the company doing the work didn't screw the lug nuts down tight on the wheels. One of the back wheels flew off the car across 4 lanes of a freeway and disappeared down a canyon to never be seen again. We had traveled over 25 miles of mountainous highways and were slowing to exit the freeway when it happened. So luckily no one was hurt, just badly shaken.

After telling of my past experience and concern for the tire noise, the man did nothing to calm my fears and abruptly told me to bring it back so they could look at it.

After cautiously driving to my appointment I headed for the tire place. To my surprise, the unconcerned man I'd talked to earlier was the manager. He looked at the car and told me hub caps sometimes made some of that kind of noise, but he would have the mechanics take the caps off and check the tires. When they finished, I asked what they did and he said they rotated the hub caps. I asked if the lug nuts had been checked and he said no, but he would have them pull them off again and check all the lug nuts.

As I watched, some were loose and one stud was stripped so the regular lug nut wouldn't stay on it at all. I asked the manager and the mechanic if they had noticed this originally. The manager said, yes, the mechanic had written it on the safety repair recommendations part of the work sheet the mechanics
use, but it was not relayed to me on my receipt.

This was the 2nd missed opportunity as he could have cross-sold a new $60 stud to replace the damaged one if he had tried.

Most of the noise and my apprehensions were eliminated with the lug nut and hub cap tightening, and by putting a larger chrome nut on the damaged stud.

As I walked out the door, hanging on the office walls of the tire company were these words, "Our standard is defined by asking ourselves, is this the way I'd like my friends and family treated?" At that moment I thought, I'm glad I'm not the manager's friends, family or employees because I know they
don't feel respected, important or special.

This company has forgotten that their reputation is only as good as their last customer interaction. And signs, stating their company purpose or mission, call attention to whether everyone in the company is living the posted statement or just giving it "lip service." Don't post it if you can't consistently live up to it!

1. MISSED OPPORTUNITY: Personnel focus on daily production and neglect to be custo mer focused. Customer focus must be made an important part of the culture by the management team at the top, and reinforced down through the ranks to customers. When front line people don't have a strong customer-
focused environment themselves as internal customers, they see the customer's questions, complaints and upset as a distraction, irritant and waste of time in getting their work done. Make your workday about the
customer, not about YOU.

2. MISSED OPPORTUNITY: Everyone in a company is in marketing, sales and customer service, regardless of their title or job description. There are opportunities to sell more services and products when the personnel have been trained to look for and fill the customers' needs. By suggesting additional products (cross selling) or even higher-priced items (up selling) if it would be of greater benefit to the customer, is being customer focused.

3. MISSED OPPORTUNITY: Remember, no one complains or questions a situation unless they want and expect a company to respond quickly, pick up their sense of urgency, and respectfully make the changes they need. Otherwise, they just go somewhere else to spend their money without ever telling you
why they left. They vote with their feet and you wonder why they left.

Are you keeping your customers happily coming back for more, or are you always looking for new customers?. Is your company easy to do business with, experiencing missed opportunities and losing old customers? By the way, it takes 5 times more money to get a new customer than it does to keep the old
one. Treat them royally and they'll bring you the gold and riches you desire.


"A customer is the most important visitor on our premises.
He is not dependent on us.
We are dependent on him.
He is not an interruption in our work.
He is the purpose of it.
He is not an outsider in our business.
He is part of it.
We are not doing him a favor by serving him.
He is doing us a favor by giving us an opportunity to do so."

‹Mahatma Gandhi

Nothing is ever lost by courtesy. It is the cheapest of pleasures, costs
nothing, and conveys much.

- Erastus Wiman


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Have you had a quick Evaluation of Your Environment lately so you could receive suggestions on improving it? (It's like the doctor's check up, you often don't know you need it until after you've had it.)


JJ Lauderbaugh, CPCM
408 866-7673 or 800 500-9656, 189 Altura Vista Dr., Los Gatos, CA 95032.

JJ works with companies that want to give exceptional customer service to increase sales, and with Directors and Call Center/Help Desk Managers who want to improve human performance.

She's an international speaker, trainer, facilitator and certified management consultant (CPCM) on customer service management, specializing in performance improvement, call centers, up/cross selling and outbound calling.

For training resources, free articles, tips and streaming video, go to our web site at http://www.JJLauderbaugh.com

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Reprint permission is granted when the following credit appears: JJ Lauderbaugh, CPCM, Lauderbaugh & Associates, Inc., 2003. Reprinted with permission from JJ's Tips, a monthly internet newsletter. For your own personal subscription, E-mail: jj@jjlauderbaugh.com.

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