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Customer_Service_--_Customer_Loyalty_Wins_Sales

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					Customer Service -- Customer Loyalty Wins Sales

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Summary:
Batteries not included.   Three of the dumbest words.

      Your Company spent millions of dollars to develop this wonderful
product. Engineers spent countless hours creating and refining it. You
spent additional millions of dollars in advertising to get me to buy it.

      I bought it. I took it home and now it won't work because YOU
neglected to include the only part that WILL make it work. For a couple
of extra bucks, your cost and mine, I'm frustrated and angry with you
an...


Keywords:
customer service, customer care, customer loyalty, sell, sales, selling


Article Body:
Batteries not included.   Three of the dumbest words.

      Your Company spent millions of dollars to develop this wonderful
product. Engineers spent countless hours creating and refining it. You
spent additional millions of dollars in advertising to get me to buy it.

      I bought it. I took it home and now it won't work because YOU
neglected to include the only part that WILL make it work. For a couple
of extra bucks, your cost and mine, I'm frustrated and angry with you and
your Company.

     It's the same with customer service.

      No matter what you sell; whether it's goods or services, big ticket
or small, sales and customer service are not two separate pieces. Every
sale must come with the customer service built in.

      Exceptional customer service is NOT an extra cost of doing
business. It is an investment in your own future success.

      In the early 1950s,   my uncle had a very small clothing store in
Miami, Florida. In those    days, Miami was a major entertainment center,
with the biggest names in   show business appearing at the major hotels,
very similar to Las Vegas   today.

      One evening, as he was leaving the stage at the end of the early
show, a young singer ripped his tuxedo jacket on a nail sticking out of
the wall. It was after 8 P.M., all the clothing stores were closed.
      The hotel management called the major stores and owners because the
singer didn't want to go on stage with a torn jacket or worse, no jacket.

      None of the fancy clothing shop owners would leave their homes to
accommodate the young man. Finally, in desperation, my uncle got the
call. Would he come downtown with a couple of tuxedos?

      Within an hour my uncle was at the hotel with 4 tuxedos.   He did
the fitting and tailoring right on the spot.

      The young singer and the big hotel management were ecstatic. The
singer tried to shove a few extra hundred dollar bills into my uncle's
hand, but he wouldn't take the money, explaining that he was honored to
have the opportunity to earn the business.

      The singer promised that he would never forget my uncle's kindness
and would tell his show biz friends about my uncle. True to his word,
the singer continued to tell his friends about my uncle, even as his
singing career skyrocketed.

     The young singer - Frank Sinatra.

      My uncle - went from a tiny clothing store on the edges of oblivion
to "Mickey Hayes - Clothier to the Stars"; his walls covered with
hundreds of photographs of the biggest names in show business.

      On the other side of the coin is INTEL, the major manufacturer of
computer chips, and, a great company.

      Some years ago, Intel's newest chip had a design flaw that caused a
problem in only the tiniest number of calculations, and only in highly
complex situations. As this problem began to get reported in the press,
owners of computers built with these new chips wanted replacements.

      Intel's management stated that these customers were somewhat stupid
since only highly complex calculations in specialized situations would
experience that problem and then, only on the rarest occasions. They
said that they would replace the chip if the customer could substantiate
the claim that their chip was flawed.

      How stupid. If it only goes bad once in a zillion times, why not
give a lifetime guarantee? Most of the customers would never run into
that problem. If they had immediately offered the lifetime replacement
guarantee, ALL of the customers would have had a very high degree of
confidence that they would never need to take Intel up on their offer.

      Intel finally did offer lifetime replacement - after worrying,
offending and insulting millions of their customers.

      We can all learn a valuable lesson from Nordstroms; the department
store famous for customer service. Their service to customers is so
incredible, that people go out of their way to shop there.
      Mr. Nordstrom calls it 'customer heroics'. "We do it because we
want more business - NOT simply because we're nice guys."

      I've always told my employees - "don't save me 'MY' money. If it
helps the customer, SPEND my money. Even if they make a mistake, they
won't be criticized if it helped the customer".

      Nordstrom, over a period of many years, has developed a corporate
culture of service to the customer. Any corporate culture, if it is
going to endure successfully, MUST take on a life of its own, apart from
the wishes of management. It has to be adopted by every employee,
because THEY each think that it's a good idea.

      Whether you are a 1 person operation or the largest company, you
know what good customer service is. It's the Golden Rule applied to
business - "Do unto others".

      Listen to your customers' spoken requests - and unspoken. They'll
tell you what they want. Add a large portion of your own good common
sense. Make a commitment to yourself that you will give your customers,
service beyond their highest expectations

      If you will do these few simple things, I can guarantee you success
beyond YOUR expectations.