Sales Moves

Serving memorably: Ordinary service is not acceptable

October 18, 2013
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The following is an excerpt of Law 12: Serve Memorably, from my new book, “21.5 Unbreakable Laws of Selling.”

Think about the most memorable service you have ever received. Ever tell anyone about it?

Now think about the service you provide to your customers. How many people are talking about you?

Answer: Not enough.

Every time a customer calls, it’s an opportunity. The only question is: How are you taking advantage of it?

Don’t answer phone calls with a “thank you for the call,” telling me how important my call is while you put me on hold for the next available agent. Or,to “serve me better,” ask me to select from among the following eight options.

Selecting from among the following eight options is not one of my options — and I have the money — and you want the money — and you need the money, so wise up.

The last things employers should cut are sales, service and training. The first thing to cut is executive pay, then management pay, then eliminate middle management as needed, or make them salespeople and have them contribute to the effort.

Meanwhile, customers need help, service and answers. Your ability to help them in a timely manner, and serve them memorably, determines your reputation and your fate.

What actions are you willing to take? What investment are you willing to make? Do you understand it’s all about customer loyalty (not customer satisfaction)?

Major clue:Keep in mind that no company ever cut its way to success.

Reality:You cut your way to safety. You have to sell your way to success.

How ready are you?

If you want to win in this or any economy, you must be ready to win — ready with the right attitude, the right information and the right service heart.

If you break the serve memorably law: If a computer answers your phone, you have broken the law. If you use the word “policy,” you have broken the law. Start there.

The penalty for breaking this law is two-fold: loss of reputation AND loss of customer. There are very few laws that have a higher penalty, and very few laws that are easier to fix.

You don’t have to worry about monitoring your bad service. Your customers will do it for you, on Facebook and on Twitter. Your job is to fix it and continually improve it.

If you follow the serve memorably law: Your business reputation, both online and person-to-person, will soar! You’ll become known for taking ordinary daily business actions and turning them into pleasant customer surprises. The result is not just more business — it’s more loyal customers, more referrals, greater reputation and more profit.

Think about that the next time you ask me to “select from among the following eight options.”

Caution: Ordinary, even polite, service is unacceptable. It will not give you the competitive edge or the business advantage that memorable service will.

At the end of any transaction, that’s when the customer starts talking about you.

They will say one of five things about what transpired:

  • Something great.
  • Something good.
  • Nothing.
  • Something bad.
  • Something real bad.

And whatever they say leads to the next sale — either at your place, or your competition’s place.

The cool part is: You choose.

Aha! My “memorable mantra”: Find something personal; do something memorable.

Aha! Grow from good, to great, to memorable.

Key to implementation:Start with smart, happy people. Then define what is memorable and how everyone can achieve memorability with daily interactions. (Southwest Airlines does it with friendly people and humor.)

Meet with all senior people and staff to create the ideas that wow, and gain the permission to wow at the same time. Then train and empower everyone with specific phrases and actions they can take on behalf of customers.

Jeffrey Gitomer’s website has information about training and seminars. Visit gitomer.com or email Jeffrey personally at salesman@gitomer.com.

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