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SEO and SMM Alert- 8/24/12 Edition

While we prepare for our annual Best-Seller’s Summit and Gala in September, my team and I are working on getting all the "SWAG" (stuff we all get) together.

To make a long story short, I was reminded (again) last night the difference between good customer service and terrible customer service. And while no business is perfect and mistakes will happen (they certainly have in ours), it’s how you deal with the customer when the mistakes happen that is truly important.

In this case, the vendor I was dealing with lost a repete customer (me) over a couple hundred dollars… I quickly thought of two great companies with impeccable customer service that I try to always keep in the back of my mind.

The first is Nordstrom’s famous "tire story." If you don’t know the story, Newsweek summed it up as "A customer wanted to return a tire. Never mind that the Nordstrom department-store chain sells upscale clothing, not automotive parts. According to company lore, the clerk accepted the tire because that’s what the customer wanted."

The second, of course, is Disney. Their Eight Customer Service Rules are all so true…

  1. The front-line is the bottom line. – The employees in front of the customer are the ones they see – look after them, teach them well, support them. Every face to face interaction is a moment of truth. If a customer interacts with 60 cast members per day there are 60 moments of truth. If there are 59 great moments and 1 bad, which do you think the customer will remember? We need all moments of truth to be great. They are how your company will be judged.
  2. When you find out what a customer’s "wow" moment was. – Make sure to share that with other employees and celebrate it with the employee who provided it. Then they’ll be only too happy to make more magic!
  3. "What time is the three o’clock parade?" – It may be the most common question from Disney’s customers, to you it may be a cliché, to them it is just a question they’d like answered.
  4. One of the keys to customer service is holding staff accountable. – Make them aware of what is expected prior to hiring and during orientation. Then they will know what is expected of them, what is and what is not acceptable. People work better if they know the rules.
  5. Separate on-stage and back-stage presence. – to maintain the setting. Snow White may smoke and fight with her Prince Charming but not when she is "on-stage."
  6. Safety is not negotiable. – End of story. If it is too expensive, too time consuming or too complex to carry out a project safely – scrap the project and move on.
  7. When you have to say no, turn it into a wow moment. – At Disney if a child waits in line for a ride only to find he is not tall enough for the ride, he is presented with a certificate that allows him and his family to go immediately to the front of the line when he is tall enough. A potentially bad moment turned into a wow moment.
  8. Two Ears, two eyes and one mouth, use them in that ratio. – listen to your customer, they are trying to tell you something. It is only when they have told you what they want that you can give them the help they need.

Have a great weekend and enjoy this week’s alerts!

Lindsay

Lindsay’s FAV SEO and SMM Alerts- 8/24/12 Edition

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