It’s official I’m a switcher — lessons to learn from an Imac

14 01 2008

It is no secret that I have been a Mac fan for years. Well for christmas I was finally given my dream — a get out of jail free card from PC hell. My new Imac is so great I should have done this along time ago. The one thing I have always loved about Apple is their ability to take technology and make it MORE valuable to you than anybody else. See creating new technology isn’t the same as it was 10 where if you had the next cool idea people would flock to it. Today with so many products on  the market its about convergence — products are about making your life easier and making thing work together. The philosophy in the tech industry has to be the same with your business which is this. What can you do to make your customers lives easier and more value from using what you sell?The greatest part of my new Imac is the same as my ipod — the technology gives me more time by using my computer.Let me give you my 1st case in point my digital camera. I got a Cannon ELPH for christmas a few years ago and of course I had to get the software for my PC loaded, then the PC had to recognize the device, then I had to open the Cannon program, then hit a button on the camera to let the PC know that it had pictures to upload on it, I then had to hit acquire to get the program to pull them off, after 3 minutes I closed the program because I could never find the pictures I just uploaded and finally go to the my pictures folder under todays date to see the pics in windows preview. I thought thats what you had to do all of those steps to get your pictures until 2 weeks ago. After setting up my Imac which literally took 4 minutes the system asked me if I wanted to see tutorials on Leopard OS I said yes. I was okay until I saw iphoto then I almost had a heart attack. All I needed to do to get photos off my camera was to plug it in to the USB in my Imac and then photos appeared INSTANTLY. No software, buttons to hit , recognizing devices just my photos on my computer. Hell I didn’t even launch Iphoto it did it for me. Now I thought my Ipod was easy but this blew it away. Now my life and learning this new OS is mostly realizing that Apple has made Leopard much simpler than I’m used to which is what we all need. My new Imac saves me a TON of time with the steps I no longer need to take doing routine tasks(more on this in later posts)My lesson for today is this look at the ways that your customer expect their lives to be hard what can you do to make it easier. A great example is this when people need customer service treat them better than you treat new or potential customers. Send them a Thank you letter or a discount certificate when anybody has a problem. Tell them you are GRATEFUL they brought this to your attention so you can make sure it doesn’t happen to future customers. Reinforce that you are truly sorry that they have had this challenge and do what it takes in their eyes to resolve it. Basically be HAPPY when people have challenges because they are giving you the opportunity to make your company stronger and probably more PROFITABLE for future interactions. I’m going to be posting on this next question in detail soon but ask yourself this everyday.WHAT CAN YOU DO RIGHT NOW THAT WILL ADD MORE VALUE IN YOUR CUSTOMERS LIFE?     

5 steps to the BEST customer service EVER!!!

1 01 2008

Do these SIMPLE things and customers will rave about your business to their friends.1. DON’T make them wait AT ALL — people that already own your product take precedence over everything because they have the most to gain from your expertise in solving their problem and you have the most to lose if they aren’t happy(that sale, customer and risk anybody they talk to about it). When you are agitated already WAITING just makes it worse.2. Understand how they are feeling because of this complaint. Identify then empathize with how they are feeling now. NEVER EVER act , say or think that it is their fault(unless you really want to lose a customer without any chance EVER of getting them back and a badly bruised reputation too). Remember the more they feel YOU APPRECIATE what they are going through the more willing they will be toward letting you solve their problem3. Your goal is to build the trust that has been destroy as quickly and STRONGLY as possible. You want them to feel GLAD for having this complaint because it make them a better more informed customer of yours. You want the customer to see you as a friend that is trying to help you instead of connected to the product they are having an issue with. Here’s a simple way to build trust — be humble enough to take the blame (whether your wrong or not) while giving the customer all the credit for all the right decisions. People trust those who allow themselves to be willing to take on fault and don’t to those who always act like it’s never their fault but yours. The next part is your can never genuinely build peoples worth in themselves without them inherently trusting you. In both cases your putting the customers first and yourself second which is rule#1 for earning trust in any area of business.4.Separate out their emotions and the actual challenge that you are both facing. Should be mostly done if you did the last two steps correctly. Ask them specifically what the problem is. Ask if its okay if so your both clear if you can repeat your understanding of it back to them. It’s unbelievable how many complaints remain unresolved just because of mis-communication. Remember if the customer feels like you don’t understand they can’t and won’t let you resolve their issue(s). 5. Solve the problem to the customers expectation not yours. Give them something above and beyond they don’t expect for their inconvenience. Call them to make sure that they have made the right decision. A week afterwards send them a gift certificate or exclusive coupon for them to use the next time they make a purchase. The most important thing is to give them a great reason for them to comeback into your store so that they can remember again why it is that they love doing business with you. If you have the ability to go out of your way to make them feel special when they make that next trip in.