Category Archives: Customer Care

It’s never too early to greet your customers.

Have you said hello to your customers-2

The best social media practices for the Age of the Customer

BLASINGAME'S LAW OF SOCIAL MEDIA FOR-2

Value is the threshold of your relationship with Customers; values are the foundation.

tranquility-3

A message from Jim Blasingame

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It’s yours.

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VIDEO: Your future and customer paradigms

 

 

 

Award-winning author Jim Blasingame lists the top three primary shifts of the new age that a small business must monitor constantly in order to be successful in the Age of the Customer. You can purchase his new book The Age of the Customer here .

Click the image to start the video.

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Celebrate your customers this week

This week is National Customer Service Week.  It’s always the first full week of October, which this year is October 6 – 10. Started by the International Customer Service Association (ICSA) in 1988, it has become a national event as proclaimed by the U.S. Congress.
Photo courtesy of Lifecare-Edinburgh       According to the ICSA, the purpose of National Customer Service Week is “to create a positive message that lasts all year long and to provide a productive opportunity to generate an even stronger commitment to customer service excellence.”
      This week, I challenge all small businesses — including my own — to rededicate our businesses, our thinking, our training, and especially the execution of our business activity, to focusing on delivering customer service excellence.
      As we strive for this noble goal, let’s not forget that you and I don’t get to be the judges of how effective we are at customer service excellence. Only our customers can have that role.
      And if your customers aren’t telling you that you’re doing an excellent job, either you aren’t, or you aren’t asking. If this is the case, perhaps we’ve just identified a good place to start in your quest for customer service excellence.

You should never have “a customer from hell”

“This is one of those customers from hell.”

That’s what a small business owner said to me during one of my road trips across the country to check on how things are going out on Main Street.

“Ann” was responding to my query about her business. Her full quote was closer to, “Business is good. But right now I’ve got to spend most of the day dealing with this customer from hell.”

Photo courtesy of Blue Wolf Consulting

Photo courtesy of Blue Wolf Consulting

When I was a pup commission salesman right out of high school working in big ticket retail, I quickly realized all customers aren’t created equal; there are cool ones, high maintenance ones and impossible ones, like the one Ann was fuming about. My initial reaction was I didn’t like the latter two types and would try to avoid them. But upon more mature reflection I realized that if I was going to be successful selling on commission, I would have to do business with all kinds of customers, not just the easy ones. Honing this perspective over time, I developed the twin pillars of Blasingame’s Difficult Customer Strategy.

Pillar One: Make an extra effort to understand what troubles and/or motivates difficult customers and serve them within an inch of their lives. Most difficult customers will give you points for the effort and very likely their business in the bargain. And here’s an extra effort bonus: When a difficult customer likes you, you’ll have a customer for life, and the most valuable referral source.

Pillar Two: The hellish behavior of some customers typically manifests as excessive demands. When dealing with such people, charge them for their behavior. As I told Ann, charge difficult customers enough so that regardless of their level of maintenance, you hope they come back and ask for everything again. The key is to ask enough questions about their expectations before you set your price. Or at least remember the next time.

One former consulting client of mine could be difficult. Whenever we were face-to-face and he showed me his hellish side, I would exaggerate making a mark on my note pad, which he knew was to remind me to add a difficulty factor fee on his next invoice (he had a different name for it that can’t be used here). Eventually we joked about it, but he knew his behavior impacted his bill. He was a client for years and, difficult or not, I always liked his business.

Write this on a rock … You should never have a customer from hell.

Jim Blasingame is the author of the award-winning book, “The Age of the Customer: Prepare for the Moment of Relevance.”

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