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Pampering Your Clients Using Your Client Database

The Internet has radically changed the process companies conduct business in the last decade. Shopping can now be done all hours day and night through the internet. You can now electronically order, deliver and consume products and services in an a snap . Customers take hold of their goods within hours of being ordered. While more and more people switch to online shopping, businesses need to translate the other elements that make up a good buyer experience into the online channel. Live chat, online phones or interactive voice response systems are now the norm.

Unfortunately, if you’re not making use of a client database to connect your clients online, you are undoubtedly lagging behind. Read More…

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Customer Complaints Make or Break Your Online Business Reputation

If you’ve got customer complaints, sing “Hallelujah!” because they are telling you how to fix your business model.  The way you handle them will determine in large part your business reputation, and with online chatter harder to control than at any time in human history, your success starts with your customer complaint response.

As my business expands I am re-engaging e-commerce, at least my miniscule version of it, by selling my tapes (now downloads) and books on my website along with standard services to help small businesses.  Years ago this process was more complex, and involved setting up what’s called a merchant account, and to do this you need information from the bank; basic stuff—routing numbers, federal taxpayer ID number, et al.  This is where today’s little tale of woe begins.  Read More…

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Customer Service Starts on the Phone: Telephone Training for Customer Service

“Hello!  Is anyone there?  Hello!”

“CCRRRSSSHHHH…ur order please.”

“Yeah, I’ll have the two cheeseburgers value meal , Dr. Pepper, no super size.”

(long pause)  “CCRRRSSSHHHH…thirty eight.  Please drive arou…”

“What?!”

“CCRRRSSSHHHH…thirty eight.  Next window plea…CCRRRSSSHHHH”

Although I was at a McDonalds, I could have sworn that clown head from Jack-In-The-Box was laughing at me.  This fast food drive-through experience may be familiar to you too.  Did you feel like an important cog in that establishment’s machine, or like a nameless, faceless number?  If you said the latter, you’re in good company.  I’ve got another question for you.  How would you like your customers and prospects to feel that way when they call your company?

Well, you know what?  In many companies, telephone answering skills are clearly lacking among those people paid to—you guessed it—speak to customers on the phone.  Many have never taken any formal telephone training for Customer Service.  Read More…

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How to Recover When You Drop the Customer Service Ball: Service Recovery Practices that Work

If you’re like me, you make a study out of the customer service you receive on a daily basis.  You study it, analyze what’s happening, and try and learn from the good, and especially the bad.  You see, poor service allows us to say to ourselves, “Wow!  I’ll never do that with my business.”  The best part is that some of the time, that statement turns out to be true.  Your recovery from bad customer service escapades is a cornerstone of your online Business Reputation Management.  What about customer service recovery procedures? Read More…

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The Fire Your Customers Myth: How to Fire a Customer the Right Way

The Customer is Always Right.  Isn’t that what we’ve been told?  If you’re in business, you know how preposterous that statement is.  The customer isn’t always right, the customer is often wrong.  Worse yet, you know it, he knows it, and he knows you know it.  This mantra was ramrodded down the throat of American business in the eighties (nineteen-eighties, that is) and early nineties that we became sick of living the lie.  So what happened?  Well, for the past five or six years it has become vogue to fire your customers—that is, those customers who are not profitable or are a pain in the…neck.  The worm has truly turned.  Sweet emotional release is achieved when you can stand proudly before your support group, chin high and twinkle in your eye, and utter, “I just fired a customer!”  A hearty round of applause is bestowed upon you, as if you just announced you have been alcohol and drug free for six months.

Watch out!  There is a need for caution and I’ll tell you why.  Read More…

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