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Perfecting Service Management
Top Tips for Improving Customer Relations 
  1. Prior to meeting with the customer, always hold a dry-run. Items will come up requiring several hours, or days, to address for a positive outcome with the customer.

  2. Being customer-focused does not mean that you become a door-mat for your customer. It means creating mutually profitable relationships between you and the customer – as priority #1.

  3. Always remember: Some day you may be calling for service.

  4. Anticipate the customer’s needs.

  5. Become a tri-athlete: Determine which one of the following you will excel at, and at which two you will be a strong contender (Customer Intimacy, Operational Excellence, Product Leadership)

  6. The customer is not an interruption it is the reason we are in business.

  7. Ensure that every customer-facing person can detect up-sell / cross-sell opportunities, and has methods to initiate the sales process.

  8. Always present a single face to the customer. Ensure your people speak the same “language” and leverage common methods of serving the customer.

  9. Work expands to fill the time allotted. The first step in becoming more cost-effective is setting challenging goals requiring your team to focus on what is most important and eliminating time spent on “polishing bullets.”

  10. Help make the customer smarter with each interaction.

  11. You've promised your customer a status call, but don't have an answer yet from Tier 2, Call them anyway - They are expecting you to.

  12. The customer is not always right, but let them come to that understanding as a product of their own conclusion.

  13. When you are on the phone with the customer, sit up straight and smile. The customer will feel the difference.

  14. Ensure your customer interactions are not just individual transactions, but building on the “relationship.”

  15. Ensure a closed-loop communications process between sales, service and marketing. By doing so, you will fire-up a powerful engine for continuously meeting and exceeding your customer’s expectations.

  16. Status updates to your customer should include the “who, what, where, when, why and how”.

  17. What is the WOW factor in your customer service?

  18. Bad news does not get better with age.

  19. Every customer interaction is critical to your business. Don’t be casual about it.

  20. Understand the job. Learn the technology, procedures, and lingo of the field you are dealing with.

  21. Ensure that every customer-facing person can detect product and service trends, and has methods to initiate a proactive response.

  22. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is not a technical problem.

  23. Leverage customer input (e.g. surveys) as a catalyst for continuous improvement.

  24. It is not what you say but how you say it.

  25. Consider yourself a partner with your customer: a mutually profitable relationship.

  26. Be friendly! No one wants to send a check to people who seem to be bothered by their call.

  27. Ask permission before putting a caller on hold. If a customer is greeted with “Hold, please,” what the customer really hears is “Hang on! Someone much more important than you just called in.”

  28. Keep it professional. Smoking cigarettes, slurping a drink, and playing the drums on your desk makes callers feel like they are getting advice from a guy in a bar.

  29. Make sure that callers don’t have to repeat themselves. Someone who has explained a problem three times to three different people hangs up angry, whether or not the problem is solved.

  30. Create a positive image to attract business. Remember that squirrels are just rats with good publicity.

  31. Display compassion for people who are upset. People who don’t think you care won’t value your solution.

  32. Be very clear when you explain a process. When customers don’t know what you’re talking about, they assume you don’t either.

  33. Do what you say you’re going to do. When you don’t follow through, people don’t think you have forgotten. They think you don’t care.

  34. Know when to bring in someone else. When it becomes clear that the customer thinks you are the problem, set your ego aside and send in a fresh face.

  35. Establish a simple, easy-to-implement, customer service plan. When something is really complicated, it’s hard to tell if it’s working.

    Do you have other favorite tips?  Let us know.  We'd love your input.

Meet our founder. View Customer Centricity President and Founder Craig Bailey in a recent video interview.

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