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Two secrets of plain old customer service

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Don’t miss Hal Becker at the 2010 Senior Market Advisor Expo in Las Vegas. Register today and attend Hal Becker’s closing keynote speech, “Attract New Clients and Keep the Clients You Have!”

What usually passes for “customer service” is long lines, the phone that is never answered, and the voicemail Bermuda Triangle, aka “telephonic hell.” This to me is called “customer aggravation.”

Most companies really do believe that they are customer-focused, but no one ever really asks the customers what they think. Great customer service is so simple, but we’d rather talk about it than implement it. Let’s consider the “secrets” of great customer service.

1. Rely on non-stop training. Find good people with good attitudes and just reinforce it every day. The policies must always be in favor of the customer.

2. Empower employees and have fun. Imagine you are at Disney World and you just spent $3 for an ice cream cone, and 10 seconds after you hand it to your child, they drop it. But instead of them crying all the way back to the hotel, a Disney cast member notices and, without any hesitation or you even asking for assistance gets you a new one, and you see that the one that hit the ground has already been cleaned up.

How does Disney do this? Committing to on-going training and empowering employees to do the right thing. Supervisors are on the park grounds and not in their offices 65 percent of their day.

With the right strategy, on-going training, and easy but effective implementation, any company can provide award-winning customer service and get its customers not only to come back but to talk about how great the company is.

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