3 Companies that Make Their Clients #1 – and Why You Should be Doing the Same…

So often we hear about the Customer Service Hall of Shame – but what about companies that top the Hall of Fame list instead?

Here are three top companies that make customer satisfaction a main priority:

  1. Best Customer Service | Superior ServiceRitz-Carlton doesn’t just wait for the unexpected to happen – they plan for accidents and mistakes to help employees prepare for a variety of situations. This is a win-win since customer complaints are a reality, especially in the hospitality industry.
    Planning ahead gives employees a chance to turn a bad situation into a positive customer experience. “If-then planning” is a great way for companies of all sizes to be proactive. For example, if a customer has been waiting for over 15 minutes, then offer them a free item like a coffee or small appetizer.
  2. Amazon’s Jeff Bezos is pretty passionate when it comes to customer experience. It shows, because Amazon consistently makes the top of the list when it comes to quality customer service. Headquartered in Seattle, Washington, Amazon is the world’s largest online retailer. Once an online bookstore, it expanded its inventory to include the plethora of offerings you see today. And its customer service doesn’t disappoint – pretty much anyone who has ever returned a purchase knows how helpful their reps are.
  3. Zappos has become strongly associated with excellent customer service, and for good reason. Many companies today can’t wait to get their customers off the phone – in fact, some companies would rather not talk to their customers at all. Not Zappos. Instead, Zappos sees the importance in developing an emotional connection with their customers. Employees are even encouraged to wow customers by addressing unstated needs. Now that’s quality customer service!

You don’t have to be a big-name company to wow your clients – if you’re a small business owner, make client experience one of your top priorities.

Best Customer Service | Superior ServiceSwitch roles for a moment with your client – what would you want to experience? Use this quick role-playing game to find out what you can do to give your client an unforgettably positive experience. Remember how good it felt when someone went the extra mile for you? Do the same for your customers.

Don’t worry about being perfect there – shoot for excellence instead. In reality, nothing is ever “perfect”. Show your clients you really care by giving them an excellent experience that will keep them coming back for more. Maybe they’ll even send their friends and family your way, too!

For more tips on how to retain your best clients, please visit my recent article, “Love ‘Em or Lose’ Em: How to Get Your Best Clients to Stay”, on the Huffington Post.

What do you do to show your customers they are #1? Please share below.

5 Key Strategies Small Businesses Can Learn From the Corporate World, Part II

Do you want to generate more revenue and manage your business like a pro? In this two-part series, Kim Pisolkar shares five simple yet powerful strategies that today’s small business owners can learn from the corporate world.

Strategy 4: Observation and Measurement

Corporate Strategy | Small Business StrategyIn big business, there are metrics and goals. Revenue, sales, marketing, effectiveness, human capital and technology are all measured and monitored to ensure that deficiencies are quickly spotted and corrected.

It’s important not only to see what’s working, but also to learn from what isn’t working. All businesses should be using observation and measurement tools to understand where they’re at and to measure how well they’re doing. Tools like performance appraisals and SWOT analysis are great for doing this.

These same concepts can be applied in any small business setting. In my Big Breakthrough System, we use the concept of a mini performance appraisal to help business owners maximize their productivity.

Every month my clients look at their goals -what was achieved, what was learned, and what needs to change or happen for the next month. This includes looking at financials (which isn’t always fun for people), looking at revenue projections and corresponding results, and looking at how money and time were invested.

Clients ask questions like “Are we breaking even?” andHow did the time and money we invested translate into results?” When you run your business this way, there won’t be any surprises the next time you’re getting ready for tax season! You’ll know exactly where you stand and what you need to adjust along the way.

Strategy 5: Talent Engagement

Corporate Strategy | Small Business StrategyIn a successful corporation, tasks are clearly defined and the right people with the appropriate talents and skills for specific roles are hired. The CFO in a company doesn’t handle R&D, too. People are not one size fits all.

In contrast, here’s what I see happen in a lot of small businesses: Many business owners make a list of all the work to outsource and then try to hire one person to do all the stuff they don’t like to do, don’t know how to do, or maybe aren’t even wired to do. This is a mistake that leads to a waste of time, money and energy because one person simply cannot handle a myriad of specialized tasks.

Another mistake small business owners make is hiring people who are just like them. It’s natural to want to work with people who are similar to you. However, some tasks that you don’t want to do – accounting, copywriting, etc. – may be best handled by someone who is very different than you. Carefully consider the personality of each person you are giving work to – and find people who genuinely enjoy the things you hate to do.

If you’re a small business owner, resist the urge to make do with what there is in the context of talent engagement. Your VA may not be the best person to do your copywriting and editing – plus do your bookwork, too. Suzy from IT should not be made to handle the marketing in her spare time.

Stop trying to fit the work to the people at hand. Look at tasks objectively, and then go find the best people to tackle them.

Finally, thoughtfully consider and write down your job description as the CEO of your company. This will help you clearly see what you need to be doing on a daily basis so that you can stay focused. For everything else outside your job description, you’ll need to find other people to do those tasks as soon as possible.

For more ideas, tips and tools to help you run your small business like a big business CEO, go to www.SmallBizBigBreakthrough.com


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