Thursday, December 20, 2007
Ten sins you can control with customer relationship management:
- "I don't know." Customers expect you to know something about the products and services you sell. If you really can't answer a customer's questions, instead of saying, "I don't know," adding four essential words to the sentence, 'but, I'll find out' will make a huge difference.
- "I don't care." When your attitude, conversation, or appearance makes it clear you'd rather be somewhere else, they'll find themselves wishing the same thing.
- "I can't be bothered." Actions really do speak louder than words. Believe it. If your conversation with a co-worker or an obviously personal phone call takes precedence over a customer, your customer will be annoyed and rightfully so.
- "I don't like you." Customers are sensitive to attitudes that subtly or overtly say, "You're a nuisance, please go away." The more aggressively obnoxious your behavior, the more memorable it will be for your customer, for all the wrong reasons.
- "I know it all." When you jump in with a solution or comment before a customer has finished explaining his or her problem or questions, that's being pushy.
- "You don't know anything." There are no dumb questions only dumb answers. When you rudely or insensitively cut off, put down or demean customers for having a confused or wrong idea, you slam the door in their face.
- "We don't want your kind here." Every customer is an individual who deserves to be treated with courtesy and respect. Your attitudes show in ways you may never even suspect.
- "Don't come back." The purpose of serving customers well is to convince them to come back again and again. The easiest way to discourage that is t o make it clear in words or actions that they're an inconvenience in your day that you'd just as soon be rid of once and for all. Thanking customers for their patronage and loyalty builds a relationship that can grow and mature.
- "I'm right and you're wrong." One of the easiest traps to fall into is arguing with a customer over something that really is more a point of personal pride than professional service. Customers are not always right, of course, but it doesn't cost you anything to give them the benefit of the doubt.
- "Hurry up and wait." More than any other variable, time, and the lack of it, is the number one obsession for people today. Everyone starts with only twenty-four hours a day; no on wants to waste a minute of it, whether waiting for something to take place or being forced into a hasty decision that they'll sooner or later come to regret. Respect your customer's time and you'll find they respect you in return.