Are You Really Listening to Your Customers?

When you travel you get the best chance to observe good customer service firsthand. A hotel is your home away from home, and you have many places to choose from. It’s the customer service that makes the difference between a great experience or a lousy one. So, on my recent trip to NY I got to see some of both.

listen to your customers

listen to your customers

I got to the hotel quite late and was just ready to get to sleep. I quickly found out that the heat had two settings, boiling hot or freezing cold. There was a draft so bad it blew the curtains. And the heating system was so noisy I couldn’t even hear the TV. When I checked in, the only thing I asked for was a quiet room with temperature control. I didn’t care if it was the size of a closet with no frills.

An employee came up to see if he could fix the heat and said he would have to call the maintenance guy in the morning. Really? So, I would have to freeze all night? They offered me a free breakfast and a foot rub to make up for it. Okay, so they didn’t offer a foot rub, but a free breakfast wouldn’t save me from hyperthermia and lack of sleep. They finally moved me to a bigger room which was slightly better, but still very noisy. The whole time I was there I felt like I was talking to a brick wall. No warmth or friendliness. And they definitely weren’t listening. I couldn’t help thinking that the place could have been run better by robots.  [Read more…]

3 Ways to Thank Your Customers

"thank your customers"

thank your customers

The two most important words in the English language are “please” and “thank you”. You should be using them every single day. So on Thanksgiving weekend not only am I grateful for friends and family, but for all of the customers and clients I’ve had through the years.

It should go without saying that as a business owner you should have great customer service, but you should also make a point of thanking your customers personally. It really goes a long way. The Journal of Marketing conducted a study about the positive reinforcement of customers. They found that customers from one retail store who were called and thanked showed a 70% increase in sales. There was only a 30% increase when they were also told about a sale. [Read more…]

Are You Creating Customers For Life?

The other day I had an urgent swiggies order for a kid’s birthday party on the other side of the country. So I packaged up the box and headed down to the shipping company I normally use. You have to print everything up online and put the shipping label on the package before getting to the distribution station.

customers for life

customers for life

For some reason I couldn’t remember which log in and password I used, so I went down in person. The people there weren’t very helpful and just told me to go back home and call the company for help. So I did. And I waited and waited on the phone for what seemed like an eternity. When I finally got someone on the phone I was told to jump through some more hoops online, but it still didn’t work. I went back down and they basically told me there was nothing they could do.

So, I went to the competition. They both charge about the same thing, only the other company lets you walk in and just fill out the paperwork. You can do it online if you want to save time, but it’s not mandatory. By now you probably know which companies I’m talking about if you do a lot of shipping. [Read more…]

Are Your Customers Getting the Red Carpet Treatment?

Have you ever called someone, and as soon as you say who you are you hear a letdown in their voice, like they were expecting the lottery committee, but instead they got a telemarketer? What if it had been Brad Pitt or… fill in the blank with your favorite celebrity. Which way do you treat your customers? Are your customers getting the red carpet treatment?

red carpet

red carpet

After working in the entertainment industry for many years I’ve seen the lowliest nobody suddenly being hounded by everybody once they make it to a certain level. And the same people turn on a dime when they are no longer in that position. And it’s happened to me twice. The first time I was hosting a TV show and working behind the scenes in the role of producer. Saturday Night Live was at its peak and we had some of their writers writing the show. Broadway dancers doing the introduction. And Billy Joel’s arranger writing the music for my segment.

It was great. I was fielding calls from people I never imagined I would even be able to get on the phone. And they wanted to be in our TV pilot. I also got tickets to just about anything I wanted to see on Broadway. Shows I could never afford on an actor/waiter’s salary. Tickets to the hottest parties in town and dinners in the nicest restaurants. People were thrilled when I called, or at least they acted like they were. [Read more…]