Winning with Leslie Groene October 2014
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Customer Service: Good, Bad, and Ugly- Part 2
P Don't make mistakes.
Mistakes degrade a company's integrity.
Whether it's a simple invoicing mistake, or a service failure, it's better to just not make them if at all possible.
That s one of the reasons so many companies put so much emphasis on TQM (Total Quality Management) and TQC (Total Quality Control).
If you don't have a quality control plan in place, you might want to give that some thought.
If you do make a mistake or a problem arises, admit it immediately, resolve the issue and make restitution.

Keep your promises.
Remember when a person's word was his bond?
For whatever reasons, that just doesn't seem as big a deal as it did 30 or 40 years ago. But it should be.
Customers expect you to do what you say you're going to do.
Become someone known for keeping her word, and for running a business that does so as well.

Emphasize value, not price.
Unless you're Walmart, chances are good you're not going to be able to consistently compete on price.
But you can compete on value.
Value is as much about quality of products for a fair price, innovative solutions that deliver a ROI, as it is about customer service before, during and after a sale.

Be responsive.
Respond to requests in a timely manner. Clients need to know that you value them and their business.
If you keep them waiting or forget about something you were supposed to do for them, you won't keep your clients for very long.

Follow up with your customers.
Contact your customers after the job is finished, or after the purchase is complete and ask them what their experience was like, and if they were satisfied.
If they were happy with everything, great. . .ask for a referral. If not, try to make things right.
When you build a business that will define good customer service, you are laying the foundation of a company that will also define success.

Focus Point
42. Don't dwell on the past. Live in the now and the future.
This is a very important concept. Please make sure you think about it. Most people who've been in business for a few years must deal with projects and clients who have disappointed them. We need to get past these experiences so we don't carry baggage into new relationships. And we usually learn more from failures than victories. So don't dwell on a loss, learn to move on!

Also, if we've had some outstanding years at a company, we might start to rest on our laurels a bit. We can fool ourselves into believing that we're special because of our past achievements, even if now we're below our expected sales levels. As all of us know, we need to be outstanding every year. The saying, "What have you done for us lately?" does apply to our sales careers. Get used to this and deal with it! This is just the way it is.

One of Tom's coping tools is to set his own expectations and goals higher than the stated objectives of his clients. That way, he'll always be reaching above and beyond what they might expect.

Now you can follow me on Twitter @leslielgroene

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