You Can Be an Ambassador or An Assassin
By Christine Corelli
This article has been featured in numerous publications.
Competition is getting tougher every minute. In fact, your competition is vying for YOUR customers and plotting ways to get them as you're reading!
To achieve long-term profitability your company must offer much more than a great product or service. You must ADD VALUE to what you offer by providing your customers with outstanding service and doing all you can to help them to help solve their problems. They need to rely on YOU to act as an AMBASSADOR who has the ability to develop strong customer relationships that will enhance customer loyalty, and provide cutting-edge solutions to any product or service problems that may exist. If you are committed to these efforts, you will indeed become a valuable ambassador for your business and obtain a competitive advantage in today's tough economy.
Below are three techniques to help win new business, increase customer retention and establish CUSTOMER LOYALTY.
1. Focus on the Voice of the Customer and LISTEN
How are your listening skills? It's the only means by which you can learn what customers' needs really are. Customers need you to listen to THEIR concerns. They want to make sure that you understand THEIR problems, needs, priorities and expectations. If you don't listen, they'll find someone else who doesat your competitor's business. ASK what is important to them. Ask how they are doing. Ask how their experience was with you. Ask WHAT MORE you can do for them. And, be sure to ASK if they have any suggestions that might improve your product or service.
Perhaps you've heard a customer say "WHY don't you..." Whenever you hear these words from your customer, be sure to LISTEN so you can learn what your company needs to simplify, improve or change so you cannot only satisfy them, but KEEP them. Take action immediately to be better in every way.
2. Realize that "YOU ARE in Sales"
No matter what your position or job-role may be, you are a salesperson. You must have that mind-set with every interaction and every decision you make. Customers are constantly evaluating you and whether or not they will continue to do business with you. Anytime they have contact with you for any reason it is imperative that you demonstrate care and concern. What kind of answers do you give? How's your tone of voice? Do you sound absolutely professional as if you are HAPPY to be servicing themeven though you may not feel like it? It would be wise to do so, as they will decide whether you will be successful in the future.
Everything you say and do has an effect on business and customer loyalty. If you don't say and do the right things you can destroy the relationship with the customer as well as the reputation of your company. My colleague Sam Geist says, "You can be an ambassador or an assassin of your company." You must have an awareness of the importance of customer service in today's tough economy and consistently act as an ambassador who promotes goodwill. Every current and potential customer, regardless of whether they are a "one-shot" deal, or a regular account, should be treated as if they were Stradivarius violinsvaluable, priceless, to be cherished and handled with delicacy.
3. Establish a Quality Service Culture
A Quality Service Culture must exist throughout your entire organization where you and everyone in your operation recognizes every opportunity to exceed customer expectations and provides ADDED VALUE before, during and after the customer experience. Everyone in your organization must commit to this and have total dedication to customers by portraying a higher level of service in every aspect of working with them. When you do, you will help your company be in a better position to maintain strength as a profitable enterprise.
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