|JJ's (April '11) Tips in this issue:
1. Keeping Customers
2. JJs Favorite Quotes
3. Tele-Coaching, Mentoring, Training
Use the following tips as training tools.
Present this situation to your group and brainstorm solutions together, or submit your own
situation question to be answered in an upcoming newsletter.
What are the businesses you go back to year after year, and what are the businesses you
will NEVER return to again? What happened at these businesses that attracts you back, and
at the ones that lost your business forever?
These are questions I have asked hundreds of people in my College of Customer Care
seminars over the years. They have enjoyed telling everyone in the room about their
companies and especially about the ones that they would never return to again. You see,
bad customer service irritates, annoys and aggravates people to withdraw from their
If there is a similar business nearby giving good customer service, people will go to the
other one if they are not too inconvenienced. The first business never knows why they left
because most often people vote with their feet.
When I ask participants in my seminars if they just go someplace else instead, the
majority say they usually do rather than complain.
Before sitting down to write my monthly newsletter yesterday, I went grocery shopping to
take advantage of a sale that was ending that day. When I returned I noticed some of the
sales items had not been charged correctly. Since I had been reading in our local paper
that other people had been unhappy with this grocery chain, and I had experienced a
similar problem the week before, I was annoyed.
It was only a ten dollar overcharge again but I returned to the store. The checker
confirmed with the young man in the meat department that the sign read a different price
than the product was marked and charged. She then took me to customer service for the
refund. The customer service rep asked the checker if the meat department had taken the
sign down because she had had other complaints too. The checker returned to take the sale
sign down herself.
This was a good example of two employees not being trained or empowered to take
responsibility for the customers experience. They had to be directed by someone else
from another department after several customers complained. Department managers should
empower front line people to take care of situations like this on the spot.
The customer service person was obviously not in a good mood when I arrived with the
checker. She finished with another unhappy customer ahead of me and curtly directed me
through the process of the refund. When I didnt understand how the process went she
was even more curt with me. She was lacking basic customer service training on how to deal
with an upset customer. I said to her, I have not gone through this before so you
need to slow down. The man waiting in line behind me said quite loudly, Yes,
slow down. She looked at me with her eyes wide as though she had just seen me and
said, Oh, I need to slow down. She was totally unaware that she was turning
It was noticeable that all three of the people in line with complaints left with unhappy
looks on their faces. The rep had not said anything about understanding how they felt or
being sorry that the error had happened or that they had had to make an extra trip back to
the store. This is the first thing she should have said with a caring attitude, and then
processed the refund.
If an unhappy customer isnt allowed to vent to a caring, empathetic rep with a great
attitude, the customer will walk away feeling the store doesnt care that they were
inconvenienced. Then they vent to family, friends and anyone else who will listen.
On my way home this stores reputation had taken a dive in my mind as I considered
going to another grocery store next week. Your business reputation is only as good as the
last interaction customers have with your company.
By returning for the refund and telling the rep to slow down, I had registered complaints
about how they were treating me. The only reason customers complain is that they want the
situation corrected and changes made. They are telling the store they are unhappy and if
changes are made, they will remain their customer. Otherwise, they would shop someplace
Since only a small number of customers complain when theyre unhappy, ask for
customer feedback often. Also watch your customers body language for added insights.
Everyone in your company is part of customer service, sales and marketing whether they
interface with customers or not.
It is the managers job to inspire them to have pride in quality work and to help
them see how important their work is in retaining and attracting customers. This is also
empowering them to take full responsibility for the customers experience on the
spot. A smile and a genuine, super attitude also goes a long way as a lasting impression.
JJ's FAVORITE QUOTES
"If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in
little matters. Excellence is not an exception, it is a prevailing attitude."
- Colin Powell
Excellence is to do a common thing in an uncommon way.
- Booker T. Washington
Tele-COACHING & Tele-MENTORING
DO YOU WANT TO IMPROVE in an area? Service? Sales?
* Motivation and growth of your people?
* Dealing with irate internal or external customers?
* Leading and Coaching your staff?
TRY our one-on-one Tele-Mentoring (phone coaching service) that is available to business
owners, executives, managers, supervisors and staff members.
Call for your FREE CONSULTATION now! 408 445-1590
EVALUATION OF YOUR ENVIRONMENT
Have you had an 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, CMC
408 445-1590, 1716 Husted Ave., San Jose, CA 95124.
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
She's an international speaker, trainer, facilitator and certified management consultant
(CMC) 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:
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