Customer Service: The New Marketing
the issues that really comes up is customer service. And I know that some of you are probably thinking, Oh, God, I don't really want to talk about customer service because to me, customer service is just the cost centre or I could never do. Customer service is gonna Zappos does or Amazon does. You know, I have no choice, Chris, but the talk about customer service because you see, I have bad customer service dreams, actually, no. Ah, lot of people you. Actually, what I do is I'm sitting there. I'm dreaming. I'm in a restaurant and everybody's getting served except for me. And I wake up in this whole sweat, you know, kind of screaming and yelling. Well, I'm not really sure what it says when a 54 year old guy like me dreams about customer service rather than mawr. Interesting fantasies. But it does make me realize how important I believe customer service is to any small business owner. In fact, I used to have these buttons that said, Just give me good customer service and nobody gets hurt...
, and I used to wear these buttons every single time I went into a retail store. It was kind of like I was firing a warning shot across the bow of my shopping cart. Ah, lot of people will say that the golden age of customer service is over now. This shot was taken when I visited Thailand. I always wanted to stay at the Manion or Mandarin Oriental Hotel, and I want to speak. We stay that could. I love how the guys air dressed, you know, the bellhops. But the question is, Is the golden age of customers serve really over? Ah, lot of people say, Well, yo, customer service is in great, despite the fact that if you look at a lot of people's business cards or mission statements or visions, they always say that customer service is number one. Well, I always say, if it's number one, why mostly in the United States, do we have such poor customer service? I think that one of symptoms is we talked about it yesterday is when I go into a store and I buy something instead of them saying thank you, they say simply. No problem. I think the other problem is, and we discussed it a little early in the day. Is that the smartphone. We've allowed it to invade all the customer service environments, and it really does get in the way. And then, of course, you have cable companies that have monopolies that don't need to offer great customer service, right? And so I always say, this picture was taken in front of my beach house in Michigan and says, What's right with this picture? Well, because the cable guy actually showed up on the fourth time. So why doesn't the cable company have to offer great customer service and we as business owners and occupiers? Why don't we have to offer great customer service? What's the reason right is because for the cable, coming doesn't have much competition. In fact, during the recession of 2008 I saw a lot of credit card companies actually reduced their customer service personnel for taking questions from the credit card providers. And you know why they did that? Because there was no other place to get credit, and so they could have you wait for 20 minutes or half hour. In fact, I'm trying to get something resolved by one the state motor vehicle places, and when you call them up, they say the average whole time is 63 minutes. What will they could do that? Because there's not many places, well, many legal places where I can get my driver's license renewed. So the biggest enemy to customer service and you'll see I take a lot of pictures around. Customer service guy try a lot is really again. I believe the smartphone. You see a picture here of American Airlines, one of their ground crew, and he has a headset on. But what he's done is in. This is where the arrows are. He's put his cell phone in between his headset in this year, and he's wrapped it with duct tape. And I don't think he's doing duct tape marketing our duct tape selling like John does. But it's a way for him to talk free on his personal cell phone and do his job. When I saw this, I didn't feel very comfortable about that. Now, sometimes people get upset about customer service, and they take it into their own hands so that anybody ever hear about Mona the Hammer, the famous story about motor, the hammer Mona is, ah, wonderful store. Here's a woman who's 83 years old and, you know, she wanted something simple out of life. She wanted cable TV, and I don't think that's really too much to ask to you. So she made a time for the cable company to come by into putting her cable. And they still, of course, they gave the home a four hour window. It's really maximize their time and not hurt time. And I know you're gonna be surprised at this. That cable company didn't show up. Are you shocked by that? So So Mona was pretty obsessed that you call the cable company. The next day, he said, Listen, who is scheduled on the time they scheduled later in the week. The gentleman did show up this time, but only finished half the job and never came back. So Mona was pretty upset. She decided that she was gonna go down to our local cable company office and she was gonna talk to the manager, go right to the top. So she gets started. 8 30 She talks the receptionist, the reception, says the manager, be right with you. She waits an hour, two hours. She goes away for lunch. She comes back at two o'clock the receptionist says, I'm sorry. The manager has left for the day now. Modem being 83 expecting better customer service. She didn't really like this kind of thing, right? So she goes home the next day and she comes out a three in the morning and she brings her hammer and she proceeds to smash every piece of equipment that is there. Now, I don't support violence, but this just shows that some people get very, very upset. And now my local cable company. In fact, this is what it looks like. It looks more like a bank where you really can't get in there. And so we do many times in our businesses, we treat the the customer service like the ugly step child, right? You always can call 1 800 number for a business, right? That is a pretty ugly step. Child isn't way treat customer service like the ugly stepchild. Think about that. You call into a company, right? And they say they had to have one of those automatic attendance, right? And so to reach sales would usually press press one right to reach customer service. What do you press it uses like number 29 right? So we definitely treated like the step child. We have to understand that now, with the Internet and social media, customer service has become the new marketing in all of your businesses. You have to deliver an outstanding customer service experience or your business gonna die. And so let's talk about how we actually produce that experience. We produce it either through great products, great people, great systems and technology. The smartphone has really changed the entire customer service experience and technology really has been changing customer service for a long time. I think about it. How long is the A T. M been around for? Take a guess no longer than that. How long they had 10 been around for It's actually around for about 50 50 years, right? A really long time. You know, before that, we had auto mats. They may know what an automat is, where you actually went to a machining, got your food in Philadelphia and New York trivia point. But the day doesn't go by now where we service ourselves a lot of different things, right? Who does self service gas? We all do. Except if you live in Where is going to states You can't pump your own gas organ in New Jersey. God, we got smart people at Creativelive. It is un unbelievable. When I go into an airport, right, I'll check in through the automatic attendant. When I go to a hotel, perhaps I'm gonna check in, although that hasn't taken on too much because people want to be greeted by someone when you go into a hotel or or their home rental cars. Grocery stores are big. Over 50% of grocery checkouts these days are all done through scanners. How many people like the auto check out? Let's just take a very short pole of the six. You mean like the auto check out? You know, it's usually about 50 50 because customers really are different. There's so many scan and buy things out. There is some pictures I took. You can actually go into a store and scan all your stuff before check out right? I was actually up in Spokane, Washington, and you actually get self service art from a machine, right? And, of course, the best part about self service customer services. I said before that I have diabetes, so every three months. I have to go and I actually have to take some tests. So I thought this was interesting. I walk up to a lab and there's nobody at reception. There's just these touch screens. So you go in there and you say, OK, what do you want? You want lab E K G Lab, E K G. Or get this one specimen drop off. So I always wanted Press step in to drop off something like some arm or something comes out there. But listen. Self service and social media really make customer service actually easier and harder right, because in some ways it makes it easier because we can respond more easily. Sometimes it makes it harder because the customer can respond more easily. So let's talk about this whole idea of getting on the wheel. It starts with a B L t. This idea of believe, like and trust Or, as John Janse would say, no. Like trust tried by refer. It all really starts with customer service, and we said before on the outset that customers love to complain and those of you that weren't able to Now, on the first day, there's some great Harvard Business School research that really says that people, unfortunately are more likely speak negative about you than positive about you. If someone does tell someone about your company, they're more likely to tell more people if it's negative and that's just the way it is. Reputation becomes of critical importance. We talked about yesterday, the fourth book I wrote called Small Town Rules. Since every customer can talk to every other customer over the Internet now, your reputation is really key. Now. What makes customers really mad when it comes to their customer service experience? Some more research from Harvard Business Real 56% report that they have to explain the same situation over and over and over again. How many of us had that right? That happens all the time, 62% reportedly saying they have to contact the company back to repeat the issue. Remember, and this is very important. The customer will only remember their last experience or their peak experience. So it's what really have you done lately. So why is customer service so hard? Why is this so hard in the music business? Why is offering a great customer experience so hard Tiana. Um, well, just like when you play an instrument, if you're not in tune and you play an instrument that's out of tune, it could be really difficult to interpret that. So when you're dealing with a customer, you have to be really aware of your tone of voice and the way that your body posture is. You know, if you're like this with look on your face, they're gonna interpret that the same way that you would when you play a really bad chord on the guitar. So if you have a positive face and a positive tone of voice, they're much more likely to listen and accept what you have to say versus put up a Wall and disagree with you are, you know, not be accepting to what you're tryingto fact. An excellent point. Anybody else? Why know why customers are is so difficult? Yeah, Arena. It's like acting. You're on stage all the time. You know when when Shakespeare says all the world's a stage, at least I think he said that all the world is a stage, no matter whether you're on camera or when you're off camera, especially when you're in business when you walk out the door, you always want to put, you know your your best face forward. That's right, because we have to understand that when you're in business, every action you take or every action you don't take really adds to your brand and asked your reputation. I mean, I remember that I was staying in the hotel last night local here in San Francisco, and I was really pretty tired, and I was on my I was multitasking, waiting for the waiting for the elevator and also looking at my smartphone. And the person is cleaning around the elevator and they didn't notice my elevator had come and the person says, Sir, your elevator is here. That was really nice. Don't you think that adds to the brand? Can we say Marriott? Right? It adds to the brand, and that wasn't really part of that person's job. But it added to the customer service experience. So the reason that it's so hard is really that what people define as a great customer service experience is never the same from customer to customer, and what makes it worse is it's never the same from time to time. That's that's the hard part. Also, the Internet has made what you do replaceable. So if you don't offer a great customer service experience there really gonna go someplace else. So in a sense, customer service is a constantly changing, perpetually moving target, so it is really difficult. So as we're talking about before, I actually wrote a book several years ago called Bam! Bust The Myth. Delivering customer service in a self service world. Because I think there's some things that really hold us back from offering great customer service, and I go through several me here. First of all, many of us say, Well, I pay a lot of my customer service people minimum wage you can't expect for them to offer great customer service. Another one really is the computer system that I use. My company just thinks I know some of you saying, Yeah, that's right. It really does think customer service just be common sense. Why do I have to train people I don't have? I don't have time to train my staff. We know that one's wrong because then we have the whole circle. Yes, they on train, train, train, train. I'm just use voice mail to keep expenses down. And finally, my employees just don't do what they tell them. The other issue is that we grow up with all of these customer service myths that we think are true but really aren't so. What is the biggest customer service myth is out there. What's the biggest one? Yes, the customer is always right. Of course, this is the biggest one. The customer is always right, right? So the belief goes that no matter what, we the customer does there always right. And this got started with that famous story with Nordstrom's. I'm sure everyone's heard that urban myth and the story goes like this. Someone came back the North Stones because they want to return a tire that was so weird about that that they wanted to turn a tired. Nordstrom's Nordstrom doesn't sell tires, right, And the amazing part was that Nordstrom, the story goes that actually took the tire back because the customer is always right. Now again, it's an urban myth. I don't know how true it is, but this again all starts with Cesar Ritz back in France, where he said the client is never wrong and that translate the clients. All right, I will tell you the client is always the client but is a myth. If the client was always right, I'm the 1st 1 to tell you we would be out of business if they were always right. That's the first miss that we gotta drop. The next Smith we have to drop is unhappy. Customers are just part of doing business. And so the story goes, Well, I could be reactionary because when people tell me that something's wrong, I'll just fix it and become more loyal than before. But what happens to most people are unhappy. What do they do? But Karen, what do they do? They say, Listen, I'm really unhappy where they do tell other people they're unhappy, them going to love you, but they almost never tell you they just kind of sulk away. Remember my bagel story? Right? I've told that story over times. I'm getting a lot for my 60 cents for those cup bagels. So unhappy customer, just part of doing business. And another myth is that surveys accurately tell us what people think we think. And if we put out comment cars, we just do a survey. I'm here to tell you they don't. There's only three kinds of people that actually felt surveys. What are they? Three kinds of people I felt surveys. The people that are really happy happy that people that are really mad and the people that you pay to felt the survey. So if you've got the pet going some, these other places, they say, felt this survey, get $2 off on your next. What I'm here to say is that doing a survey are common card is not gonna be representative of what your customers really think. So I believe that you have to come up with what I call is a bam Good bam stands for bust the myth. Ah bam! Good manifesto. And this is a Siris of values. Ah, statement that you make publicly that you're gonna live by for your customers. So what kinds of things should they really include? The first thing is that we're going to deliver on what we promised. We're gonna deliver on what we promise. Now we all have that intention, but unfortunately most of us don't do it. And why is this important when you're working with other people? you have to have a standard that we all get judged by right. We have to train to that standard, and we have to make sure that there's a feedback loop. The next thing is that you've got to make sure that to tell them if you're dissatisfied, we're actually gonna listen to what you're saying. Surveys show that the survey say anything, but surveys show that what a customer really wants is not for you to come up with a solution. But really, if you just listen to what their problems are, and that's where a lot of customer service and a special area where the airline industry since I travel so much really falls down. Another thing that should be in your manifesto is that when things go wrong, we're gonna be easy to reach. If you something is bad with a company and you call them, you can't reach them. How does it make you feel? Makes you feel worse, Sally. It just starts building up and building up and building up another thing that should be in your manifesto that we're gonna resolve the issue in a reasonable period of time and compensate you impossible and reasonable is different, depending what happens. So if my air conditioning is out in the middle of the winter, reasonable could be a month or someone fixes it. But if I'm stuck on the highway and waiting for a tow truck, I don't want to wait three hours to get that tow truck. And believe it or not, when you compensate people when they're dissatisfied, it turns them all around. And so I believe it doesn't make sense to keep someone's money if they're really dissatisfied. Number five is. We're going to admit when we've made a mistake. I know it's very difficult for us to do many time, but if you admit that you screwed up it, really, this arms them. And Number six is that we're going to empower our employees to solve your issues. When they come up, your employees should be able to make 95% of the calls on what happens with a customer. They don't all need to come to you. The worst thing that someone who's calling your company complaining they want to say is, Well, I have to talk to my manager about that, and then you have to re explain the whole thing to the manager. People really don't like that. So it's very important that a company goes out there and develops their own manifesto. And where you start is who are your customers? What are three personal customer service principles that you would like to see in your company? And by the way, you can get all this in the workbook. If you sign up for the class and all these questions will be there, what are three personal three company customer service principles and which service principles in your company? People just pay lip service to, but they really practice now thinking about a customer. You have to understand what the value of a customer is. And we talked about this yesterday. How do we value a customer? So what things do we value besides how much revenue they bring? Remember we were discussing yesterday he'll go what things do with a value for what, 34 0 power. That they have their referral power. So there for other people, it multiplies them, right? What else at this action? Well, not satisfied if they give you a good reference. But how else though I value a customer they repeat, repeat the business? Or would you rather do business with me or Oprah Winfrey? Right there? Brand. So here's some of things that we have to keep in mind. And the reason I mention these again is that I do not believe that we should treat every single customer the same. The great companies, this world. They don't treat every customer. Same. Do they exhibit a frequent flier programs? Probably one of the best loyalty programs ever created. Who gets on the airplane? First, you'll fly a lot. Who sits in first class? Me darn right, the people that fly a lot right? And so that What does that make you do? I realize that they treat me better because I've flown two million miles on American Airlines, right? And that's why I keep flying with them, because I get the perks now. I could easily, sometimes take a flight this little more convenient, but I actually do wait for American Airlines. So I get my miles in my points, so we should be treating other companies, other best customers, really the best. Let's go next to how the customer service rules have really changed. We all realize that the world really has no boundaries anymore. So now that Karen is starting yoga stream, she realizes, and let's be perfectly capable. I'm sorry. Perfectly clear. Yoga stream dot tv Right? There is no boundaries for the services if you talk to me, Yoko. She could do business here in San Francisco with a customer, but she calls do business in New York with a customer, right? It doesn't matter. Geographic boundaries is no longer a limitation for your business. Every action you take every single day subtracts and adds to your customers. Brandon reputation. So the Onley sustainable, competitive and you really have is customer service. That's why people keep coming back because you are totally replaceable. There's a lot of people that can do photography right. There's a lot of people that can do photo shop what's going to separate you out from everybody else When the key thing is gonna be the experience that customer has when they work with with you? Let's talk about some of the better phrases in customer service here. Something's welcome. Thank you for coming. People love to hear that. How can I make your day better? I don't like the words. How can I help you? But think about if you came into a store or or you called up a company, they didn't say, How can I help you? But they say, How can I make your day better? Wow, that would really kind of stand out, wouldn't it? What about? I understand how you can feel that way. That's pretty important because you're not saying you're right or someone's wrong. I can empathize with you. In fact, American Express survey showed that customer servers people the ones that best that that are folks who have been the hospitality industry because they can empathize with their customer or with their guest. Another one is I am sorry. Now you can't say I'm sorry too much because then it gets annoying. But every once in a while, please come back again.