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
SKILL #1: PATIENCE
They say “patience is a virtue“. They’re right! While we sometimes wish our customers would be more patient, it is important that WE understand that OUR patience with our customer is what really matters. Because without it, good customer service simply isn’t possible.
Your customers come in, or call, often when they are frustrated. Recognize and empathize with this frustration. You may have handled 5 calls about the same problem today but this person doesn’t know that and needs your assistance. This is their first interaction with you and possibly the first with your company. Keep that in mind and be mindful of your tone.
Ensure they feel your interested in – and focused on – what they are saying; and be sure to address their individual concerns. Don’t presume you know what they want when they start talking and either tune out or cut them off.
CUSTOMER TIP: Walk the walk. It’s unfair to expect a positive attitude and a good work ethic from your staff, if you complain about your customers or goof off at work. You may feel you’ve ‘paid your dues’ but you may have to pay far more if you can’t be the example your staff needs to see. We all hated it as kids “do as I say, not as I do”. As owners and management we must lead by example.
Is it anyone’s business what kind of car you drive or when you walk into work some days? No. You probably saved for years to get that car and maybe you didn’t leave the office until hours after your last employee did. But you want staff representing you and your business in a positive way. The choices we make have consequences. No matter who we are or how hard we work to get where we are.
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.
CUSTOMER TIP: Educate! Whether you provide a product or service, educating your customers on the process of working with you helps them feel more comfortable with you and more confident in your company.
Selling a product: Don’t just hand them an owner’s manual, go over as many features as you can, personally. Your product, be it a car, a house, a set of tires or a new air conditioner, could be the best on the planet; if your customer doesn’t understand how to make it function properly, they are frustrated – and YOU lose in the end.
Providing a service: Help your customer know what to expect. Will they receive a call, something in the mail? Are there things that might help them feel more at ease? Whether it is a surgery, a pending court appearance, new hair style or tune up, verbally take them through the process and share any information that someone receiving this service for the first time, might not anticipate.
Follow up, updates and quick communication help your customers know you care. And of course, industry specific holiday cards and thank you cards are a great way to show your appreciation and to stay in touch with your customers during times they may not be doing business with you.
For other tips check back here or like us on Facebook . We’ll be adding new tips on how to keep your customers throughout the rest of the year.