When it comes to customer service strategies, Jeff didn't just read the book - he wrote it! He's the author of the best-selling business books, Becoming a Service Icon in 90 Minutes a Month and Influence with Ease. He is a Hall of Fame motivational speaker and has produced several training tools. His Influence with Ease® column has been syndicated and featured in over 200 business and on-line publications.
There may be times when your job is… well, let’s just say less than fun. Repetitive tasks stretched resources, or dealing with customers or coworkers who are rarely satisfied can lead to occasions where work feels like… just a job. Unfortunately, when we feel a lack of motivation, customers can sense it, which can lead to things worsening. While there’s no magic solution – especially if you don’t control overall corporate strategy – I do have one suggestion for getting out of a rut. If you’re in management, spend the first 90 minutes of your day focused on projects that will address systemic challenges in your department. If you work frontline, invest your first 15 minutes studying tips to improve your job skills; especially your customer communication skills. Starting your day fresh by focusing on something you can control – that moves you in a positive direction – is one of the easiest, most powerful ways to help put the spring back in your step.
Under the Influence thought leader, Master Marketer
That’s right – the Terry O’Reilly! Star of CBC radio’s Under the Influence, bestselling author, and podcaster to over 7 million downloads per year will be taking you on a journey of how to use customer service creatively to differentiate your brand, without breaking the bank.
Customer Service IS Marketing
Terry believes customer service equals profits. Too many companies either don’t understand this rule, or need help implementing it. Great companies know it’s not enough to have customers leave satisfied – the key is to have them leave happy. That is a step beyond service. Superb customer service creates intense customer loyalty and fuels referrals.
You’ll discover how to:
- Create emotional connections with customers to generate feelings of fierce loyalty.
- Capitalize on the tendency of customers to remember people over products.
- Review customer touch-points in your company to provide more consistent service.
- Exploit hidden opportunities to enhance customer experience.
- Position your team’s customer service as a competitive advantage.
- Harvest customer service stories to advertise and promote your uniqueness.
- Use customer service as a powerful form of low-cost marketing
Take advantage of the unique opportunity to hear from one of the country’s foremost authorities on why customers buy. Terry and his team have done the research for you. He’ll share inspiring stories from around the world, revealing examples of unexpected customer service ideas your team can immediately implement.
Terry’s presentation will be followed by a Q & A enabling you to get behind the scenes and ask your own questions of this master marketer.
Bonus! All Summit registrants will receive a copy of Terry’s hot-off-the-presses new book, “My Best Mistake: Epic Fails and Silver Linings”
To check out the entire 6 speaker program, go to 2021 Customer Service Leadership Summit
Here’s an interesting tidbit that may change the way you interact with customers. I interviewed a respected manager about things she’s learned over years of running her business (when I speak for various groups I typically interview several leaders in advance to get their input). She explained she wished she had realized sooner that following-up with potential customers a few days after they first contact you is not bothering them. You’re doing them a favour. Unfortunately, we often avoid following-up for fear of being considered a pest. The truth is customers may have every intention of contacting you anyway, but they have a full inbox and are distracted. Next time you’re wondering if you should contact the customer, go ahead and phone. You’re not being bothersome; you’re being helpful.
Staging Virtual Customer Buying Conversations
Using virtual meetings to convert customer inquiries into sales
with Jeff Mowatt
The end of the pandemic doesn’t mean the end of virtual meetings with customers and prospects. Many customers will still resist in-person meetings; especially if they continue working from home. Fortunately, that presents an opportunity to shift from the old practice of responding to customer inquiries by sending price sheets, quotes, and estimates, to instead hosting virtual ‘face to face’ conversations to establish your unique value and why it’s worth a premium. The key is gaining agreement for a virtual meeting and then making the most of it.
You’ll discover how to:
- Reply to customer inquiries with a compelling reason for them to opt for a virtual conversation over phone, email, or text communications.
- Set the stage for more engaging virtual conversations to help customers clarify their needs.
- Use the P.U.P.© method to narrow the information you provide customers down to the three key elements they need to make faster, easier buying decisions.
- Differentiate your products and services to make your prices become less relevant.
- Wrap-up your meeting with a compelling call to action to move the purchase forward.
To check out the entire 6 speaker program, go to 2021 Customer Service Leadership Summit
Plan now to join us at the fourth annual virtual Customer Service Leadership Summit. Here's an overview of the program and registration details...
Terry O'Reilly is speaking at this year's Summit!!
I’m delighted to announce that after taking a year hiatus due to covid, this October 6th we are going ahead with the fourth annual virtual Customer Service Leadership Summit! Check out this year’s line-up of speakers, including special guest, CBC’s Under the Influence, Terry O’Reilly!
If you read business books you may recall the popularity of Sun Tzu’s book, The Art of War. Even though it was written in the fifth century BC, many interpret it in modern times as a primer on how to defeat your organization’s competition. Which raises my question, “How do you view your competitors?”
Enemy to be defeated? Company who’s products and services are to be disparaged, particularly to your customers? Outfit that’s trying to steal your secrets, employees, and customers? In other words, you’re at war with the competition.
What if we held a different perspective? What if we actually collaborated with our competitors to grow everyone’s business? Professional trade associations for example, are composed of competitors who may:
- Agree upon industry safety standards and ethical business practices to the benefit of all.
- Lobby governments to create regulations that protect the interests of the country and the industry.
- Share best practices with one another. The idea being you aren’t slicing the pie into smaller pieces for each business. Instead, you’re collectively baking a bigger pie, creating more business for everyone.
- Do business with one another, collaborating on large projects, and referring business to one another when we may not have the capacity or expertise.
- Create personal bonds and friendships with people with whom you share common interests and challenges.
My view - labelling the competition as the enemy is short sighted and small minded. Today’s competitor may become tomorrow’s business partner. Focus more on satisfying your customers than on slamming your competitors. I can attest firsthand to the significant amount of business I’ve received from and referred to my competitors in the training industry. I’m also a long term active member in my association, the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers (CAPS). On a personal level, some of my closest friends are my competitors.
Even if you aren’t part of a formal trade association, if your customer has a need you can’t satisfy, then I believe it still makes sense to recommend a competitor. Not recommending a competitor is tantamount to leaving a customer high and dry and admitting that you don’t know your industry. There’s little probability the customer will ever give you another chance. On the other hand, when you help your customer find a supplier that can assist them, they recognize your service as being helpful, and in future they may give you another shot. So, you have nothing to lose and potentially something to gain by recommending a competitor.
We all have a choice on how to compete in today’s marketplace. We can take cover behind a shield of scarcity and adversity. Or we can take action and embrace a mindset of abundance and collaboration. Both have risks. But one is certainly more fun, and in my experience significantly more profitable.
As a manager, would you consider yourself to be more focused on your organization’s day-to-day operations, or are you more focused on long-term strategies? Put another way, how much time do you spend working in the business vs working on your business?
If you’re a manager in a small to medium-sized organization, you don’t have the time to exclusively focusing on strategy. There are customer projects that need your attention, people issues that arise, and proverbial fires to put out. Often we get so caught up in operations that we neglect to step back and see if that particular operation is taking us in the right direction.
That’s why in my upcoming seminar for leaders and supervisors we invite you to take one day from working in your business to instead focusing on your business. You’ll discover a turnkey system that when you incorporate it, ensures your team will consistently be aligned with your customer's changing needs and service expectations. The bonus is it only take 90 minutes a month. Details are at Leading a Customer-Focused Team .
Ever borrow something and then realize weeks or months later that you forgot to return it? Since they haven’t mentioned it, you might assume they’ve probably forgotten about it. So, you decide to hang on to it. If they do bring it up, you can feign innocence, claim that it completely slipped your mind, and offer to return it right away. No harm done, right?
Actually… if you’ve attended one of my Trusted Advisor seminars or are a regular reader of these tips, you’re likely thinking, “Of course there’s harm done! Why would that person ever trust you or loan you anything again?” There’s the rub - most people are not stupid, and they do remember obligations. Even if they’re too polite to mention them.
Consider how often this happens with customers. To gain the business, we might offer a slight extra, “We’ll also throw in such and such.” Or the customer asks for some slight change which we assure them won’t be a problem. Later – maybe even weeks or months later – we are delivering the service and conveniently “forget” about the little extra. We assume the customer probably forgot about it. So, the customer needs to either remind us about it or overlook the shortfall. Either way, we lose trust. No harm done?
My fellow professional speaking colleague, Peter Legg once told me about a time he wrote a cheque to a client for a $14 sandwich. The speaking contract stipulated the client would cover sleeping room expenses. Peter had charged a sandwich to his room. He said, “When the client is paying thousands of dollars for my presentation, they likely won’t baulk at a $14 charge. But when they receive the cheque and realize I paid attention, it builds trust. It’s another reason to make them want to bring you back.”
That lesson stuck with me. Customers don't forget agreements. And if they do forget, we shouldn't. It's your reputation. Your brand. Your word. Never assume they’ll likely forget about it. Keep your promises, no matter what it costs you.
You’ve heard the expression: Give someone a fish, feed them for a day. Teach them how to fish, and feed them for a lifetime. Turns out this ‘wisdom’ violates human nature. Most people don’t want to be taught how to fish, we’d rather be given fish every day.
By the same principle, having been in the business of training teams for the last 29 years, I’ve discovered that most leaders would rather not have to learn how to train and motivate their team members. Most leaders would rather be given a turnkey system to strengthen internal and external customer relationships, along with the actual training content that they can pass along to their teams.
That’s exactly what you’ll be receiving at my upcoming live-stream seminar for leaders. Plus, this turnkey system holds employees accountable for implementing the practices. Check it out at Leading a Customer-Focused Team
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