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14 01, 2016

Is Your Customer Wearing an Invisible Cloak?

By |2017-03-03T12:06:49-05:00January 14th, 2016|Categories: Blog, Building your business, Customer Experience, Customer Service, Marketing, Reaching the Consumer|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

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Is your customer invisible?

Is your customer invisible?

My friend said she went into a local high end lighting store the other day; despite there were sales people walking around, no one approached her. It was almost as if she was wearing an invisible cloak.  What kind of customer experience is this? The salespeople may have been busy or maybe they didn’t see her, but does that matter? My mother used to say that she had to “have eyes in the back of her head” when I was little. That’s what salespeople need. They must always be on alert.

She had never been in the store and was in desperate need of a part for a chandelier. Yes, we are closer to developing an invisible cloak, but that’s not what I’m talking about.

I just read an article about how customer service should be invisible; I don’t think so. If you’ve got superb customer service everyone in the world should know about it. By the way, we are close to producing an invisible cloak; then what will happen to our customers?

When it comes to developing a working invisibility cloak, we may not be at Harry Potter level yet, but today’s newest breakthrough is nonetheless impressive.

A team of researchers led by Xingjie Ni—a nano-engineer at Pennsylvania State University—have just unveiled an fascinating invisibility cloak: one that takes the form of a sleek skin of nano-material.

 

We talk about providing a great customer experience; how can that happen if we don’t make a connection? Great customer experiences don’t just happen, we have to make them happen.

 

“Why didn’t anyone wait on me; she asked, didn’t I look right?” There was a hint of sarcasm in her voice, but I think there was some truth in her question. My hunch is you’ve had it happen to you.

Here are 2 simple ways to keep your customers from feeling invisible:

  • Approach your new customer immediately. If you’re with another customer, politely ask them if it’s okay for you to greet the customer coming in the door.
  • Make the customer feel like an old friend. If you can offer them a place to sit or a beverage they will feel acknowledged.
  • Connect with them in other ways. Complement them when you say hello, notice their smart phone of tablet.
  • Be proactive. Can you reach out to your customer before they get to your store?

I know these may seem simple but they are common courtesies that are often forgotten but go a long way in building a customer relationship.

Lisbeth has been helping businesses build positive customer experiences for the past 20 years. To speak with her about your business, call her at 518-495-5380.

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27 07, 2015

Why do Businesses say Stupid Things to Their Customers?

By |2017-03-03T12:06:52-05:00July 27th, 2015|Categories: Blog, Customer Retention Strategies, Customer Satisfaction, Customer Service, Marketing, Reaching the Consumer|Tags: , , , , |4 Comments

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no cookingOn my way to the gym I pass this restaurant; today the sign outside says “No Cook.” I’m assuming that means they’re not open. Why would you put that sign up? This is just a ridiculous thing to post for your customers. What’s the point? What kind of customer service can a restaurant deliver without a cook?

It brings up all kinds of thoughts for me.

  1. They don’t pay their help very much or why would the cook leave?
  2. There will be no food until they get a new cook; will the new cook be good? Should I even try it?
  3. When the new cook comes, will there be a sign that says, “New Cook?”
  4. They don’t sound very resourceful, why not just start cooking? There must be someone who works or owns the place that knows how.
  5. Why do we care about your cook? It’s your problem now it’s mine.

Why would you share any of your misfortune with your customers? Consumers don’t care about your problems only that you make them feel good.

Actually, I would have liked it better if the sign says, ‘cook quit or cook fired.’ At least, I can get a laugh about it. It reminds me of the nursery that had the sign, ‘closed during the winter,’ of course; we know that. Why not the sign that says, ‘can’t wait for spring?’

There was another sign on a restaurant door that said, ‘closed because of lack of customers.’ I guess that’s my fault; nasty implications with that sign.

Why not be positive with your customers? Why not close because you’re giving your business a face lift, or you’re having a face lift? My friend had a sign on her restaurant that said ‘owner taking a cruise; she needs it. Thanks for being my customers see you on July 1.’ Those of us, who know Carmella knows she works really hard and deserves a vacation.  We were all excited to welcome her back and ask about the cruise. She even came with gifts for her ‘regulars.’

Customers always want to know, ‘what’s in it for me?’  There’s nothing in it for me when the cook leaves. We all listen to the radio station, ‘what’s in it for me.’ WIIFM. If you do something that inconveniences the customer you can be sure they won’t be happy.

If you can’t make the customer happy, at least make them laugh, or  hold their hands to improve the customer experience.

 

Lisbeth Calandrino has been helping businesses build sales and customer service strategies for over twenty years. To have Lisbeth consult with you, reach her at Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com.

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5 01, 2015

6 Ways to Insult An Old Customer

By |2017-03-03T12:06:54-05:00January 5th, 2015|Categories: Advertising, Customer Experience, Customer Retention Strategies, Customer Service, Reaching the Consumer|Tags: , |0 Comments

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Old people driving.

Old people driving.

We find old people annoying because they walk slow, talk slow and spend time counting out the exact change for you.  Old people know they’re old and don’t need or want to be reminded. I notice that clerks look annoyed when the older person takes more time to get out their credit card or are looking for their glasses.

Age is just a number; it only becomes more when you choose to make it so or someone reminds you of it.

The other day I was in the gas station and heard the clerk tell the owner that the elderly lady from down the street said she thinks you undercharged her for the oil change. He’s my age; does she call him old too?

Why are we reluctant to deal with the process of aging? You can either get old or drop dead, which to you prefer? If it scares you learn more about it.

The Tibetans have a saying, “to get over your fears, bring closer to you that which frightens you the most.”

Here are my top 10 things that really make me hate you. Feel free to add a few of your own.

  1. Call me “dearie “when the hot chick next to me gets lots of smiles and jokes.
  2. Ask me if you can help me carry the quart of milk to my car. Do I look that frail?
  3. Do you need to sit down? I just walked in and now I need a chair. You don’t mind if the girly girl walks around because she has nice legs.
  4. “Take your time with it.” Can I first open my purse?
  5. If I say, “Prices seem high,” it’s not necessary for you to say, “Compared to what they were in your day I’m sure they are.”
  6. “You look tired.” Don’t ever say this to anyone unless you want a swat.
  7. “Shall I give these to your son to carry?” Could that “son” be my boyfriend? You probably don’t know about the famous artist, Georgia O’Keeffe and her companion who was 48 years her junior.
  8. Tell the customer after looking at her license, “I just saw your birth date; I can’t believe you’re that old! Or, you really look good for your age.
  9. Ask me for my license to prove I’m 21 when I want a drink.
  10. Give me the “Yes and No Mam” treatment.
  11. Just because I need to get my glasses doesn’t mean you need to read it to me. Everyone I know wears glasses.

If you would like more ideas for insulting old companies, take a look at Stan Goldberg’s blog,http://stangoldbergwriter.com/about/top-10-insults-for-old-people/.

Give us a break, one day you might be old.

Lisbeth has been helping businesses be more profitable for over 20 years. To have a consultation with her or have her speak to your employees, reach her at Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com. To read her Success Blog on the Albany Times Union, go to,http://blog.timesunion.com/success/author/lisbethcalandrino/.

She lives in Albany, New York, in Historic Hudson Park with her cat, Rainyday. When not in her office she can be found at the gym.

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3 11, 2014

5 Ways To Get Your Salespeople Connected To Customers

By |2017-03-03T12:06:54-05:00November 3rd, 2014|Categories: Customer Experience, Customer Retention Strategies, Customer Service, Motivation, Reaching the Consumer, Sales, Training|Tags: , , , , , , , , |0 Comments

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connecting-with-customer-service-advisorI have been doing sales training for over 25 years, and I am always amazed when I see a salesperson having trouble building rapport. Here’s what Wikipedia has to say on the subject:

 “Rapport is one of the most important features or characteristics of subconscious communication. It is commonality of perspective: being ‘in sync’ with, or being ‘on the same wavelength’ as the person with whom you are talking.”

In other words, rapport is when we ‘get each other’. It’s as simple as that, but it becomes complicated when we believe that everyone should think like us. Not only do we think it, we spend time trying to convince the other person of our position. If you’re spending your time convincing, it shows a lack of understanding of communication. Building rapport is part of customer service and the customer experience.

In order to be a good salesperson, you have to give up your position of having to be right and hand it over to your customer. Remember, if you want to be right to win, that means the customer has to be wrong. In any transaction or relationship, no one wants to be wrong.

  1. Before conducting any type of sales training, I always suggest we do a standard sales training inventory – a test that will show the person how they communicate, who they communicate best with and what gets in their way. The one I like the best comes from BEST Instruments. It is short but conveys lots of information.
  2. Learning about your communication style makes it easier for you to absorb new information and understand how it will help you. This is why school is so difficult for many; they can’t understand why they need the information and how it will help them. Once you do some communication testing, people will open up and want to learn.
  3. Building rapport is the concept of connecting to your customer. Instinctively, we know how to communicate with people like ourselves. If you ask people why it works, they often say, “We just click.”
  4. You can click with anyone. Isn’t that amazing? Instead of passing on a customer because you don’t like them or just don’t get them, once you learn about yourself you can make adjustments in your communication style.
  5. Great salespeople are in control of their communication. They know why they connect and what makes it work. On the other hand, amateurs leave it up to fate. Another great line is, “The customer just wasn’t ready to buy.” Building good rapport has little to do with the customer buying your product; it has a lot to do with whether the customer buys you!

Give a gift to your salespeople: the ability to understand their communication and sales skills. It will benefit them and your business many times over.

To schedule Lisbeth to speak to your employees or schedule a consultation, reach her at Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com.

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