business situations

The Customer Experience Series: Real Alignment






  Fourth on our list of the 5 Simple Strategies that guarantee you never have customer issues in the first place is dubbed Real Alignment (like “wheel alignment,” get it?).  The alignment I’m referring to here is getting your customers’ expectations aligned with your realities. In other words, we are going to manage their expectations(…)






The Customer Experience Series: Convenience Store






  The third simple strategy of the 5 Simple Strategies that keep you from ever having customer services issues in the first place is called Convenience Store… as in 7-11; Circle K; QuikTrip; Wawa; RaceTrac; Speedway; Sheetz. You know, convenience stores; stores that are convenient. To prevent customer service issues from occurring in your business,(…)






The Customer Experience Series: Expect the Unexpected






  Any real fan of Road House (1989) knows that when Dalton gives his famous “Three Simple Rules” speech, he actually combines two rules into the first rule, giving his bouncer team four rules: “All you have to do is follow three simple rubies. One: never underestimate your opponent. Expect the unexpected. Two: take it(…)






The Customer Experience Series: Prevention is 100% of the Cure






As we learned in The Customer is Not Always Right, good customer service means never having to say you’re sorry. In other words, if we want the customer experience to always be a positive one, then our customer service efforts cannot be focused on solving issues, but instead on preventing customer service issues before they(…)






The Customer Experience Series: How You Say It Matters More Than What You Say






Enough about leadership with this series for a while; let’s jump back onto the front lines. Great customer service from a frontline employee comes from being aware: aware of your surroundings; aware of the rules; aware of your strengths; and, especially, aware of your customer. What do you mean, aware? Great poker players, salespeople and(…)






The Customer Experience Series: “Show Me” Leadership






Leaders who like being snowed about how their customers are being treated ask single, closed-ended questions like “Did your team institute the customer service policy we discussed?” or “Did you satisfactorily solve that customer issue that arose last week?” The answers to questions like these always match what the leader wants to hear; “Yep.” Conversely,(…)






The Customer Experience Series: Jerks Beget Jerks






As we learned in the previous post in this series, creating great customer experiences are a top-down proposition. In simple terms, this means how you treat your frontline employees is likely how they will treat your customers. So, if you’re fair, thoughtful, and respectful with your frontline teams; then you can expect they will be(…)






The Customer Experience Series: Beware the Dog & Pony Shows






Let’s recap a few of the things we’ve agreed to so far in this series: that is, that good customer service is not about solving issues, it’s about not having issues in the first place. Furthermore, if we can provide good customer service, this leads to higher customer retention, a willingness for people to spend(…)






The Customer Experience Series: The Customer Experience Is What They Say It Is






Think what you will, but the customer experience is exactly what your customer says it is. Their perception is their reality, and their perception is all that matters. To put it more succinctly: the perceived experience is what matters. How is the experience with your frontline team perceived by your customers? Would customers say that(…)






The Customer Experience Series: Tiny Hurdles & Miniature Hassles






As we learned in the previous post, little things like eagerness can have a huge impact on how your company’s service is perceived. At Chick-fil-A, for example, having eager employees who serve decent fast food with manners makes all the difference. Conversely, little inconveniences I call Tiny Hurdles and Miniature Hassles can have an adverse(…)






All Hail The Good Ol’ Boys’ Network!






Have you noticed what I’ve noticed about the American workforce over the years? I’ve worked closely with literally hundreds of people since leaving the Marine Corps in 1985, and an overwhelming majority of my coworkers simply hated their jobs. It’s not that any one of them had a particularly lousy job, per se; it’s just(…)






The Customer Experience Series: Are You Eager?






Wanting to serve the customer – being downright eager about it – is easily projected. Customers feel this and they appreciate it. Moreover, the more eager you are to serve, the more likely customers are to forgive mistakes. You cannot hide genuine eagerness. Likewise, you cannot hide a lack of genuine eagerness. Being eager, I(…)






The Customer Experience Series: The Customer Is Not Always Right.






You’ve probably heard (more than once) that the customer is always right. They are not. Of course, they don’t have to be right. They are your boss’ boss. They pay the bills. The customer is not always right, but they are always the customer. Now that we understand that, let’s talk about what we mean(…)






The Customer Experience Series: Why Does Good Customer Service Matter?






Over the years, I’ve met a number of department managers (even those making their living in the sales arena) that will openly question why the customer experience matters? Why, they’ll ask, do we need to focus so heavily on doing more than just delivering a good product at a good price? Why isn’t ‘good enough’(…)






Millennial Studies are Stupid






Car Dealers Want to Know How to Attract and Sell the Millennial Buyer In 2015, I attended a meeting where I observed an “expert” on Millennial Buyers as he addressed a gathering of dealer principals. This “expert” was himself a Millennial, so the OEM who paid five figures to arrange for this “training” felt as(…)






That One Thing That Just Might Save Your Local Newspaper






  Attention All Digital Marketing Snobs: local newspapers are still doing a good job of driving value for local businesses looking to get their messages in front of local consumers. Yes, ad revenue is down, but so are ad rates. And it’s these lower rates that now make it attractive for everyone from car dealers(…)






How to Sell Cars on Craigslist – A Primer for Car Dealers






Craigslist Posting Basics for Car Dealers I’ve shared versions of these Craigslist best practices with clients and on the various industry discussion forums over the years, yet never thought of organizing these into an article until someone asked me recently if I had these tips all in one place. Hmm, good idea… so, here they(…)






8 Easy-to-Fix Website Mistakes Car Dealers Make That Are Killing Their Conversions






  As I’ve written before, your website has just two goals: Attract and Convert. Your site should be constructed in a way that is search-friendly so as to attract visitors; and then once they’re on your website, your only goal is to convert those visitors into buyers. That’s it; the only two goals.  Unfortunately, while(…)






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