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Customer Service Toolkit

By: Drew Stevens

Sales / Service It was approximately 54 years ago, but Peter Drucker was correct about the past, the present and most certainly the future. In his award winning book "The Practice of Management" Mr. Drucker wrote, "The only valid definition of business purpose: to create a customer. ...It is the customer who determines what a business is". Unfortunately for many businesses, their focus is not on the customer but on greed- how foolish.

All businesses make money, yet those that are customer focused are more profitable. Untrue you say, seek avatars such as Harley- Davidson and Southwest Airlines. The extreme loyalty factor from both firms enables them to remain profitable even in these poor economic times. In fact, both refer to customers more as family rather than clients.

There are several reasons why many firms seemingly do not follow the exemplars, these include:

1. Misalignment of the organization - We find that organizations today lack strategic focus. Organizations must research their motives and align them with their client needs. The client determines value and vision and management must not even guess the answer, the customer should systematically provide the response.

2. Lack of focus - Organizations typically loss focus on where they are and where they need to be. Diversification is for hedge funds; product and service companies should follow the shortest path to customer needs and profitability.

3. Greed - A famous line from the 1984 blockbuster movie Wall Street, "Greed is good", was a mantra during crazed economic prowess. When organizations get greedy they lose focus with stakeholders with employees and more importantly clients. It is better to provide minimum service to clients rather than great service only to lower it during poor earnings.

So what is a CEO/Business Owner or Client Manager to do to augment the gyrations of client loyalty? We provide our clients with Split Second Loyalty - Tools for Success©.

- Culture - The benefit of loyalty to any organization is gaining the "buy in" from the top officers. Harley Davidson's CEO uses the importance of the Value Proposition to rationally and irrationally build client loyalty. At Southwest, Barrett exemplifies 23 years of service experience. The leader must be the exemplar for all to follow. During Herb Kelleher's tenure he placed bags in storage.

- Rump Rule - Call it what you will but the best example of customer service is simply walking around and speaking with clients. Apple, Enterprise, and a host of others remain not only profitable but maintain an enthusiastic customer base because they meet with clients and understand the issues. Stop administering and get off your backside.

- Passion - This begins with the hiring process. Talent is innate. Refrain from hiring anyone to fill a seat, employ those that are passionate about service, support and development for the client. All at FedEx and Disney are passionate about delivering to the client.

- Proactive Problem Solving - Give employees the power to make decisions. For one it provides better productivity and morale and it streamlines customer support. Allow staff to work hard and make something optimistic of each situation is, make the client feel good. A cognitive dissonance occurs with most service issues, yet it is instantly avoidable.

Return in a few days, when I will post additional tools to aid your customer service issues that allow for a better experience and a loyal fan base.

Copyright (c) 2008 Drew Stevens PhD

Drew assists organizations to dramatically accelerate business growth. Download a FREE copy of Drew's White Paper on "Selling Effectiveness" or "Business Building" e-book at http://www.drewstevensconsulting.com
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