Good customer service is more than good PR. It is the best way to increase sales from the same customers and also earn recommendations.
At a time when every customer counts we must never forget how our customers see us. One single negative contact can ruin your reputation in the eyes of not only that one customer – but everyone he or she knows as well. After all, word of mouth works both for or against you.
Make sure every person in your organization understands that they have a role to play in providing good customer service. Each department depends and dovetails into the other to produce quality in service or product. Everyone makes a difference – the sales force, the service technicians, the clerical staff, the PR department all work together toward the same goal… keeping the customers satisfied.
A perfect example of how everyone makes a difference in customer service happened when I was in a Nashville hotel attending a Board of Directors meeting for the National Speakers Association. After the meeting, several of us went to the coffee shop to continue our deliberations. Each of us asked for exceptions or additions to the menu items, we wanted separate checks, and, to make things even more confusing, being speakers, we talked to each other continuously as the waitress patiently took our orders.
“My dear, all this confusion is going to be worthwhile. These guys are big tippers,” I said. She said, “I’m not being nice for a tip. It doesn’t even matter if I get a tip or not. If we give you good service, your group will bring back its business here and not to the competition.”
Isn’t that a marvelous attitude from someone on the front lines? I was so impressed that I wrote a letter to the hotel General Manager, congratulating him on his staff and especially the waitress at the coffee shop.
I never received a reply. That waitress wowed me with her service and her attitude, but the manager’s lack of response almost nullified her customer service savvy. Everyone makes a difference. I think the manager and the waitress should change places for a couple of weeks. She knows more about good PR than he does.
Recently, I checked into a wonderful hotel in Southern California for a conference. As I got out of my taxi with two large suitcases and two smaller bags, I called to the only doorman, “Is there anyone to help me, please?” He was busy chatting to his two buddies, the valet parking attendants. He finally ran over and asked, “Are you checking in?”
A second hotel example… My delayed flight arrived at the airport after 10 pm. I called my hotel and asked the desk clerk, “Can you send your hotel shuttle to pick me up?” He replied, “I will try to get it for you.” I said, “I would rather hear a ‘Yes’ or a ‘No,’ not ‘I’ll try.’ I am very happy to get a taxi, however, if you have a shuttle I won’t bill my client for the taxi.” His reply was, “Our shuttle only runs until 10:00 pm.”
Am I the only traveler who just wants a straightforward answer? Lesson learned: “I will try” means “Please take a taxi.”
As the late great radio personality Paul Harvey said when we spoke at a convention in Las Vegas, “For a company’s advertising strategy to work it has to be handled corporately and also individually.” Make sure each person in your organization knows how essential they are to good customer service. Good customer service is the best PR.
Why not have a conversation with Patricia Fripp to discuss how you can gain a competitive advantage by improving your presentations?
“Your presentations on storytelling and superstar sales presentations, and executive speech coaching have had a tremendous impact on our business.”
– Tom Esposito, Director Channel Marketing, Zebra Technologies
Companies hire Patricia Fripp to help them gain the competitive edge that comes from perfecting their important conversations and presentations.