Sandra Yancey's Must-Read Customer Service Tips

By Sandra Yancey

The Two Most Common Mistakes People Make When Dealing with Their Customers


1) Entitlement: Many business owners feel entitled to have customers. Just being in business doesn’t give you the right to get the business. You must find the niche you want to deliver to and remember it is best to be needed not just wanted. You need to understand – giving service is only part of it. The easiest and cheapest thing to do is keep your customers once you get them. Some people throw up a single roof title and hand out a couple of fliers and think they are owed business and customers – it doesn’t work that way.

2) Notion of Assumptions: Many business owners make changes but they don’t even KNOW why. They are guessing at why their business isn’t growing. They change processes in their business without asking the customer, “Why aren’t you coming back? Or why aren’t you buying my product?” They make changes without asking what the problem is. Tell people you are learning and ask them why they didn’t buy from me? If you know the answer to this, then you have the power and you will win in the end. With this knowledge, you will now know where you are missing the mark and where you are falling short.

Four Key Rules to Keep a Customer Coming Back for More

1) Appreciation: Show your customer and TELL them you appreciate their business. Make it known to them so they will want to come back.

2) Apologize: Customers will forgive you when you make a mistake but you have to admit when there is a screw up. If you acknowledge what went wrong and say, “Your next lunch is on me!” or “We will give you a month of free membership because we caused your this inconvenience.”

3) Introduce new benefits: We are always looking for a new concept, so even if you are on the right track you will get run over if you are just sitting there. I say to my employees “You have to look at the whole picture and create the ‘Wow’”. You can’t take for granted that today will equal tomorrow’s success. You always need to be looking for the new concept, the new benefit. You have to create the new “I Love You” song. There are 1,000 songs released each year – Jazz, Country, Pop - and they all say the same thing – I can’t live without you - but we all want a new melody even if the song says the same thing.

4) Language: Don’t change your message or your tagline but you may need to rewrite the same script. You have to constantly look at how to inspire people. After you got the words down, you lose interest in the song a bit. Customers constantly want to know “Why should they follow you? Why should I buy from you?” A big part of having good customer service is how you communicate and inspire others.

Outsourcing Your Customer Service: Helpful or Hurtful?

It is a risk not worth taking. During these economic times, you need to know how your customers are being treated. We are still having an incredible growth because women are getting out there to network. For us right now, getting the customer is the “easy” part; the hard part is keeping them. What I consider the “opportunity” in business is how to keep the customer.

1) Personally, I would not outsource our consumer service. It is not all about the message, but the connection with your customer. You have to really know the culture of the business to help the customer and answer things fully. I would never outsource our customer service

2) I can always tell when I am being outsourced and I am always surprised at level of training these individuals are getting. I am constantly disappointed. You may be able to fix this with training.