When you take time to treat your customers as you want to be treated, you are involved in what we call Goodwill. Goodwill is so important that many companies put it on their balance sheets as an asset. It is the value they feel they have earned over the years by providing customers with quality goods and services. The two key words are earned and years. Goodwill is earned in ways that go beyond just keeping customers satisfied. Goodwill must be earned through careful customer cultivation. It is important to sell the right product in the right amounts, to make sure the customer knows how to use and care for the product, and to give all the service and time necessary to maintain a high level of satisfaction. If you do this, the following benefits will come your way.
■ You will gain repeat business.
■ You will gain new prospect leads.
■ You will create friendship, trust, and confidence with the customer.
■ Your orders will increase in size.
■ You will increase overall sales and the net profit for you and the company.
Every year, trade publications like Sales and Marketing Management, and Personal Selling Power, select top sales professionals in the United States. There are some clearly identifiable common threads that run through these sales professional’s stories about their success. The first is putting their customer’s needs above their own. This may sound as if they are at their customer’s beck and call, but while they do view their role as doing whatever needs to be done to keep the customer happy, their relationship is such that customers usually do not make unreasonable requests at unusual hours.
The second common thread is their ability to help customers define their needs. Successful sales professionals are looked to for advice and counsel in solving problems. The third area is their long-term outlook when servicing customers. They are able to identify what efforts will have the best payoff one to five years into the future, rather than just meeting this current month’s sales quota. They see a closed sale as just one additional step in the building process leading to higher sales further down the road. The fourth common thread of successful sales professionals is the knowledge that most customers need a consistent level of performance over a long time period from their sales professionals. Not just isolated instances of service, but service on a high level day after day, year after year basis. If you can incorporate these four ideas into your daily selling activities, plant them in your heart and mind, customer service will bring increased sales and long-term relationships with your customers.
Characteristics of Top Sales professionals
➫They put their customer’s needs above their own.
➫They have the ability to help customers define their needs.
➫They have a long-term outlook when servicing customers.
➫The have the knowledge that most customers need a consistent level of performance over a long time period from their sales professionals.
In closing, excellent customer service is like the Chinese Bamboo Tree. The Chinese Bamboo Tree shows no sign of growth for five years. You can water and fertilize the tree every year, but you will not see any growth. During the fifth year, the tree will grow approximately 90 feet in a six-week period. The years of watering and fertilizing are like good customer service. After a while, you will eventually see repeat business and referred business. Don’t become discouraged providing day by day service to your customers. In one way or another, tremendous results will come your way.
THE CUSTOMER WHO NEVER CAME BACK
I’m the nice customer. You know me. I’m the one who never complains no matter what kind of service I get.
I’ll go into a restaurant, and I’ll sit while the waitress gossips with her boyfriend, never bothering to see if my hamburger is ready. Sometimes a party who came in after I did gets my order. But, I don’t say a word in complaint when the girl tells me, “Oh, I’m sorry. I’ll order another hamburger for you.” I just wait.
It’s the same when I go to have my car serviced and oil change. I don’t throw my weight around. I try to be thoughtful of the other person. If the mechanic isn’t courteous and leaves a mess in my car, I don’t make a scene. I’m as polite as can be. I don’t believe in rudeness.
The other day I bought a toaster that burned out two weeks after I purchased it. I certainly hated to take it back, but I thought maybe they would know where to send it and, that I could pay for having it repaired. But I didn’t get a chance to tell them this. They were so busy telling me that I had burned it out on purpose, and I couldn’t think of anything to do but leave. I smiled and said, “Thank you and goodbye.”
I never kick, I never nag, I never criticize, and I wouldn’t dream of making a scene as I have seen people do in public places. I think that’s uncalled for. No, I’m the nice customer, and I’ll tell you who else I am. I’M THE CUSTOMER WHO NEVER COMES BACK!
That is my answer for getting pushed around too much. That is why I take whatever is handed out, because I know I’m not coming back. It’s true that this doesn’t relieve my feelings as quickly as telling what I think at the time. However, in the long run it’s far more deadly than “blowing my top.”
In fact, a nice customer like myself, multiplied by others of my kind, can just about ruin a business if we’re pushed around. And there are lot of nice people in the world just like me. When we get rude treatment, we go down the street to another store and eat our hamburgers and buy our goods where they are smart enough to hire help who appreciates nice customers.I don’t care what business you’re in. Maybe you live in a different town. Maybe I’ve never heard of you. But, if you are going for broke or your business is bad, maybe there are enough people like me who do know you. Who am I? I’M THE CUSTOMER WHO NEVER CAME BACK.