Top 4 ways to get your holiday cards noticed:
#1: Order industry specific cards so your customers visualize your company when they get your card.
#2: Add holiday graphics to your envelope imprint to make it festive and ensure the receiver recognizes it as a holiday card.
#3: Personalize equipment color to match what you use (blue trash truck, dark green portable, etc.).
#4: Add your company name or logo to the front of the card
Each letter within the title provides a clue to help improve our skills!
C U S T O M E R
C – Communicate regularly. Out of site; out of mind.
U- Understand your product or service. Your knowledge is a tool to ensure your effectiveness for customers.
S – Stay focused. Time management is key. Be kind but not chatty. Ensure your customer is heard and helped and then leave them be.
T – Terminology can be confusing. Be sure you speak using language that is clear and understandable for everyone.
O – Offer an apology. A sincere apology for your error, the error of your company or just a misunderstanding or frustrating experience lowers customer tension.
M – Make sure customers feel important and appreciated. Simply saying the phrase “thank you” or “welcome to…” is of no value if it’s obvious that you sound like it’s part of a script.
E – Everything you do or say is a reflection on your organization. Always be professional.
R – Review your tone, body language and the words you use. Be clear and positive.
S E R V I C E…
S – Smile – even if your customer isn’t physically in front of you. Your voice reflects this non-verbal communication and makes a big difference in your interaction.
E – Every customer deserves your undivided attention. Leave home at home and keep distractions at bay.
R – Respect your customers’ time: answer phones promptly. Don’t make customers explain a problem more than once or to more than one person; offer both automatic and “real people” avenues for callers when possible.
V – Value feedback. Encourage and welcome suggestions and be willing to grow as a person and a company.
I – Identify common ground or common interests with your customer to humanize the relationship and improve interactions overall. Deep down, we’re all the same. We want to be understood and we want to be treated with respect.
C – Clarify and rephrase what customers say to ensure you understand their needs. Don’t make this sound scripted; do it so they know you are listening and will help manage their concern.
E – Empathy, patience and consistency. Provide the same high level of service to everyone.
CUSTOMER TIP: Words have meaning. At least, they should. Unfortunately more often than not, in this new age of slogans and gimmicks, mission statements and goal setting, companies forget to “say what they mean, and mean what they say”.
Just because your receptionist SAYS ‘thank you for calling’ to each customer before she speeds through the company name and the other phrase she’s required to say… doesn’t mean she’s actually appreciative for that customer’s call. It’s obvious in the robotic, memorized cadence in how the words are delivered with each call. Making someone say something doesn’t force them to feel it.
The real key is to help employees understand why customers are important. Our purpose for coming to work each day must be more than to get a paycheck at the end of the week. Employees need to understand that it is a customer that actually pays our checks, keeps the lights on and truly holds the cards for any given business.
Without our customers coming back, we face the harsh reality facing many companies these days – the doors closing, families losing jobs, owners losing even more.