customer service

Without great customer service, you have no customers… so treat them like royalty

To master the delivery of your business, you must have control over the supply, quality and ease of purchase of your product or service. But most of all, Delivery Mastery refers to customer service. Strangely, many business owners don’t realise their level of dependency on their customers. I am here to tell you that no matter what you sell, no matter what your business does…

…you are in the customer service industry.

This means that you must pay extra attention to the little things that may not mean so much to you, but mean a lot to your customers. When your customer service is outstanding, you can be sure your customers will tell some of their friends. When your customer service is bad, you can be sure they’ll tell even more of their friends!

As Dr Paddi Lund calls them, the ‘Critical Non-Essentials’ in your business must be systemised and executed well in order to deliver an incredible experience about which customers will rave! Although the ‘little things’ in your business, such as a new coffee machine or a nice fragrance at the entrance for your customers, don’t mean much to you, they are of critical importance to your overall success. Once you discover this, you will understand that being good at your job does not automatically mean customers will beat a path to your door. Your customers judge the quality of your work differently than you do, and base their opinions on many things.  Your specific service or product is just one of those.

A good example of this is a dentistry clinic. Many business owners, including Dr Lund at a point in time, choose technical perfection over the comfort or happiness of their patients. They believe that this is how they will gain raving fans. But let me ask you this question; if you are sitting in a dentist chair, and notice cobwebs on the ceiling, cigarette buds in the waiting room ash trays, and un-dusted furniture, how confident would you be that the utensils, that are currently being used in your mouth, are clean? Not very confident at all I would assume.

Dr Lund understood that customers judge your expertise in areas they do not understand by your excellence in areas which they do, so he put more effort into making his waiting room an experience that would wow his customers and gain their trust. It wasn’t long afterwards that Dr Lung overheard two of his patients raving about how much they love coming to his clinic due to the clean waiting room, the new books that replaced the old magazines, and the beautiful china offered when enjoying a cup of tea. Cleaning and polishing confirm technical competence.

Great customer service is the root from which profitability grows. This is because it is through word of mouth (far more than advertising) that new customers find you. It doesn’t just happen by accident. In the long run it’s the product of team building and training. Early on in business, it’s about making products and services easy to purchase and delivering what you say you will. It’s about simply being polite, friendly and helpful. Give your customers a reason to say “WOW!”.

Do you want to give your customers exactly what they want to keep coming back? Click here to book a FREE 1-on-1 business coaching session and turn your customers into raging fans today!

Keep your eye out for my next blog on Time Mastery. Here, I will give you a few good tips on how to claw back some more time from your schedule. Till then, here is a thought to keep in mind…

…“Your customers don’t care about how much you know, until they know how much you care.”

4 Steps to generate sales leads that will multiply your business

Even if your business has an outstanding service or in-demand product; without new sales leads, there is a good chance that your business success will be short term. So how do you future-proof your business? The answer lies in the ability to consistently find, develop and cultivate new sales leads, so they actualise into sales for your business.

There are many time-consuming and costly ways to generate new sales leads. We’ve seen all the mistakes that businesses make time and time again which stop them from thriving. Let’s take a look at how businesses are doing it well, so we can help your business gain quality sales leads.

Step 1 –Ensure that your Customer service delivers “WOW!”

Too many businesses forget about customer service, instead focusing on discounts and incentives to generate sales leads that end up costing them in the long run. If you concentrate on the way each customer feels after they’ve done business with you and that’s its now just positive for them but makes them think “wow!”, you will see more repeat business and they’ll start talking about you with others. Sound simple? It’s a simple concept, but you need to take a good hard look at internal processes to improve customer service. For example, look at the telephone and email scripts that your sales staff use, and see where the customer experience could be enhanced. Re-write the scripts or rules if needed… it could be the most valuable hour you’ll ever spend on your business!

Step 2 –Create referrals and make the most of your customers

Your Number 1 source of new leads is right under your nose… it’s your existing customers! No doubt if you have managed to get repeat business from one or more customers, they will have something great to say about your business.  Ask them who else they know that is in a similar position or has similar needs to them?  Would they be willing to introduce you?  Be proactive about asking for referrals!

Also be diligent to collect positive experiences from these customers as you go. When you’re ready, you can use these words or stories as content to help generate sales leads.Did you know that people trust their peers more than they trust brand advertising? Research shows that more than 8-in-10 global respondents (83%) say they completely or somewhat trust the recommendations of friends and family. But trust isn’t confined only to those in our inner circle. In fact, two-thirds (66%) say they trust consumer opinions posted online—the third-most-trusted format. (Nielsen Poll 2015).

Your referral resources don’t have to be strictly word of mouth. Consumer reviews, testimonials, online ratings and social media following will all help boost the chances of a cold sales lead developing trust in your business without even seeing any paid advertising.

If you can turn your top customers into raving fans of your business you have gone a long way to ensure the long term viability of your business. For more great tips on impactful sales and marketing techniques, download our eBook.

Step 3 – Understand your customer acquisition costs

Do you look at your marketing as an expense or an investment? It is vital for businesses to understand that you don’t just get customers, you buy them. When you have that mind-set, you can begin to understand just what you need to spend on your marketing to generate new leads.

One of the cheapest ways to buy customers is through social media, and probably the most expensive is traditional major media advertising like television or radio. But you don’t necessarily just go with the cheaper option. First, find out what will work to attract your ideal customer. If television advertising costs $5,000 for 30 seconds, but it brings you 500 customers who spend an average of $100 each, that media could be a great investment for your business. Ask the person responsible for selling you the media spot (online, event, TV, radio etc.) to help you to determine what sales lead outcomes you are likely to generate. Of course you know your business best, so trust your judgement as well as their advice.  Then be sure to track the results of all marketing activities so that you understand how well and how cost-effectively each one brings you leads.

Step 4 – Use strategic alliances

One of the greatest resources for generating leads for your business is other businesses. Working in strategic alliances with other businesses that sell to the same group you target as customers, but sell a different product, can be incredibly beneficial to all parties, including the customer. Consider how much easier would it be to get customers if you were using the database of a company that your potential customers had already done business with?

When McDonald’s has a new toy in its Happy Meal that relates to the latest summer movie, it’s a strategic alliance. The world’s biggest companies do it and their new sales grow because of it.

Strategic alliances also give you a sense of working in a team, rather that alone. You have another business owner, who is dealing with the same group of customers you are. You can discuss sale strategies, work on them together and profit together. If you need some help choosing a strategic alliance for your business, contact ActionCOACH for advice.

Using our proven 4 strategies for generating sales leads will ensure your business can generate enough new leads to keep your business moving forward. For advice unique to your business circumstances, book in a free first consultation with ActionCOACH, or call us on 02 9146 4439.

For more tips on sales and marketing download a copy of “Working with your niche so you don’t have to compete on price.”

5 simple tips for building more “Raving Fans” for your Business

Raving fanDo you have a list of your Best Customers?  Those customers who are not only loyal users of your product and service, not only willing to recommend you, but can’t stop talking about you?  Your Raving Fans?  The kind of customer who leads your Word-of-Mouth marketing, without being asked?

Studies show that, of all the reasons customers stop buying from someone, by far the most common reason is perceived indifference.  On average, 68% of customers who leave, do so because they feel that they’re not recognized nor made to feel special.  This compares with the second most common reason – issues with your product or price, at 14% and the third most common reason – that they’re sold to by a competitor, at just 9%.

Ironically, getting good customers to stay, return and grow should be far easier and cheaper than finding new ones.

Furthermore, raving fans refer other clients to you and, typically, those other clients can be turned into raving fans too.

So what has to happen in your business to have more raving fans?  Here are five simple tips:

  1. Make sure you knowing exactly who your Raving Fans are;
  2. Ensure everyone in your business knows who those customers are;
  3. Deliver services to them in a way that makes them say “WOW!”
  4. Introduce a loyalty program, a VIP program or an awards program; and
  5. Implement a systematized way of recognizing your top customers and delivering ‘little extras’ to them.

Do these five things well and enjoy watching your Raving Fans drive your business forward!