Customer Service, Are you Serious

Customer Service, Are you Serious Apple

I like to listen to music, podcasts, and audio books.  The iPod is such a cool device for this but I recall an issue my daughter had with hers a year or so ago and what it took to engage the Apple Store. So, we take the iPod into the Apple Store so that they can tell us that it is in fact dead.
Now, I’m 58 at the time and the thought  of going into the Apple Store where I am twice (maybe three times) everyone’s age, is not overly exciting, but that’s how it goes.
I’m greeted by the concierge.  As she introduces herself, I start to chuckle.  Concierge, really?  She advises me that I need to jump on-line and make a reservation with the Genius Bar.
I look at the back of the store and there is the Genius Bar (nice name).  Moreover, there is no one at the Genius Bar (the tech is there but no customers).
So, I jump on-line and make my appointment.  Two days later, I’m reminded via email to go to the Genius Bar and take in my iPod.  I jump in the car for the 30 minute drive to South Park Mall and I am once again greeted by the Concierge (ugh).  She logs in my appointment (like the store is the size of a football field) and suggests I walk around the store until they are ready for me (nice sales technique).  My name gets called (getting exciting) and I head to the Genius Bar to meet the enlightened guy behind the counter.
He takes one look at her iPod and tells me it’s dead.
All in all, took less than a minute.  Come on.
So let’s recap my experience with Apple.  Even though I was already in the store and the “Genius Bar” (glorified help desk) was available, I had to go on-line, make an appointment, drive back a few days later and find out what I already believed to be true.
So how easy is it to work with your company?  Rate yourself on a scale of 1 to 5 on the following:
· I respond to customer questions the same day they are received
· I have a special number for my key customers to call when they have a question (the old fashioned bat phone)
· I have trained my team to consistently answer the  routine questions in a manner that doesn’t make the customer feel stupid
· I have a Q&A section on my website that actually is useful (people can find what they are looking for)
· I’ve educated my team on the life time value of a customer and how that is where profitability comes from
· I make it easy for clients to return or exchange things
· I record customer challenges and modify the system to keep them from happening in the future
· I continually improve my product and service to deliver properly
· I have a check list to ensure the team has followed all of the steps when providing  a service or shipping a product
· As the owner, I take ownership to ensure great delivery by my company
Keep a record of your score and re-grade yourself quarterly or sooner. Develop a feedback questionnaire for your customers. Feedback is your Friend….then work to improve the experience that will bring people back.

Action Tip of the Day
So you’ve invested a significant amount of time in marketing.  You’ve met prospects, made presentations, asked for the sale—the whole nine yards. Some of them bought, some of them didn’t.  That’s how sales goes.
My question for you is how are you managing your database?  For example:
· Are you sending your entire database a monthly newsletter?
· Are you sending your database special offers?
· Are you sending your database birthday cards?
· Are you letting them know why they need you?
If you’ve invested in building your database, make sure you are using it in 2016. Keeping up the level of engagement is crucial to building the relationships that cause folks to buy from you instead of someone else. You’ve invested already in the marketing to puts you in front of these folks; stay consistent to win their business.

Take Action on this today and then go run a lap. Business is Fun.

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