Posts Tagged ‘customer service’

Bankruptcy By Yes

Tuesday, July 5th, 2011

bankruptcy by yesThere’s a tailor I’ve been dealing with for years. She’s always made my alterations with a smile and with speed. Then something happened. A hip clothing store opened up next door. Before she knew it, she was busier than she could handle. And the customer care she used to deliver to me fell apart. The main reason? She kept saying yes.

When I politely suggested that she not take on every new request, she was shocked. “I couldn’t do that Robin.” And so she’s stretched herself to the limits. And her long-standing and loyal customers now experience mediocre service-at best.

I hope her business lasts. But in a world with so much choice, I’ll try a new place. One that’s fast and efficient. And one that gets that most business fail, not because there wasn’t enough opportunity. Most businesses fail because there were too many good opportunities. And they didn’t have the discipline to say no.

Keep Leading Without A Title.

Robin Sharma

Please add your comments below so we all can learn from you.

How To Build A Movement Around Your Business

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

Build A MovementIn 10 years, we’ll look back at this time as one of the greatest periods in history to be in business. It’s never been so easy to deliver original value for massive amounts of people. It’s never been so important to show leadership in all that you do. And there’s never been a better time to grow a full-blown movement around the products and services that you offer to the people who put food on your table every night.

Smart entrepreneurs (and even people working in companies need to think and perform like entrepreneurs within their jobs if they want to excel) do the following 4 things to grow communities of fanatical followers around their brands:

1. They understand that every moment in front of a customer is a moment of truth. You either live the values your advertising sells. Or you don’t.

2. They avoid “Copycat Syndrome”. Starbucks and NIKE and Zappos and Google became iconic because they were unique. Not because they tried to be a better clone of a successful competitior.

3. The best entrepreneurs never lose the human touch. Yes, technology’s an awesome lever to build relationships and scale your business. But ultimately, people do business with human beings – not companies.

4. The best entrepreneurs grow movements by asing themselves “how may I best serve the most people” vs “how may I make the quickest money doing the least effort.” Helping people get to their dreams via the superb product you offer still remains the single best marketing strategy in this uncertain work of business we play in.

Grow a fantastic business!

Robin Sharma

P.S. If these ideas have been helpful to you, then you really cannot afford to miss The Remarkable Entrepreneurâ„¢ SuperConference in June. We only have a few seats left so act now. Details here: http://www.TheRemarkableEntrepreneur.com

Make It Personal

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

Make It PersonalLast week I spoke for the 300 leaders of a major department store chain. They were smart+passionate+dedicated. The kind of people I love being around.

One of the leaders gave a brief presentation before me. He spoke of the organization’s mission. It’s values. And it’s authentic commitment to being Merchants of Wow. Then he mentioned something that struck me. Every Sunday night, he personally calls customers who have given negative feedback. He picks up the phone and makes a connection. He does what the best leaders do: he listens. He explained why he carves out time to do this on Sunday nights: “it’s personal to me.” His devotion to the mission matters that much.

Here’s my point: in a world filled with people who are bored+apathetic+looking for the latest way to escape the doldrums of their work, this leader cared. He understood that even one unhappy customer was one too many. And that feedback is how the best become better. So he made it personal.

Make Your Business Great!

Robin Sharma

P.S. If you want to discover a system used by the best small businesses in the world to double profits within 16 months as well as how to do this while you enjoy your life a lot more, here’s the information – click here.

P.P.S. In case you missed it, here’s a training video where I share “The 11 Obsessions of Remarkable Entrepreneurs”, thousands of business-builders from across the world have found it very valuable: click here to watch.

The Rare Art of Customer Delight

Monday, March 7th, 2011

Customer DelightThe Vanishingly Rare Art of Customer Delight

Was ready for a flight destined to Houston, en route to my home. I had a tight connection. But I’m an optimist by default. So I was in strong spirits. And set to fly.

The initial delay was 30 minutes. Something about the plane having to be towed from another area to the gate (not sure why someone didn’t tow it over earlier but no worries; there are worse things happening in the world). 30 minutes stretched to an hour. Nearly zero communication nor explanation. The gate agents just typed frenetically on the keyboards as in one of the final scenes of the pretty-much-hilarious “Meet The Parents” movie.

Finally, we boarded. The captain then came on the PA and advised us of a “minor mechanical problem that should be fixed in 15 minutes.” Four hours later we were still on the runway.

When we eventually took off, I’d missed my connection and resigned myself to the adventure of an unexpected evening in Houston (great city). Through it all, no one from the airline said “Sorry”, the gate agents promised at the arrival gate were invisible and no plans were made for hotel accomodations or ground transport. No one seemed to care (when a business treats its people poorly, its people treat their customers poorly – except for the one in one hundred soul who rises above it all because of their personal belief system and Leads Without a Title).

Look, I’m not complaining. Not at all. Delays and disruption are the price of admission for a professional traveler. I had books to read, water to drink and my iPod with hundreds of audiobooks just begging to be consumed. I’m not so special (and certainly no different from you) but I was able to maintain a sense of perspective about the whole thing. But the experience did fine tune and bring into clearer focus the gorgeous opportunity every business has to breed customer loyalty and all -new levels of trust when things don’t go as planned.

Here are some of my thoughts on what a truly world-class airline that really cared about their customers would have done:

4 Keys To Delighting Your Customers

1. Talk To Your Customers: A problem is nothing more than an opportunity to engage and wow the people who keep you in business. The gate agents and personnel could have quickly and regularly explained the situation and assured us all possible progress was being made.

2. Say You’re Sorry: I’m a fanatic about leadership language. Words have such power. The captain talked a lot about “some more bad news”. Better to just give us the facts – and hold off on the emotion. But even more importantly, say “sorry” when you need to say sorry. Many of us missed our connections and were caused inconvenience because of this mechanical issue. Yet no one took responsibility.

3. Show Your Customers a Little Humanity: While we waited, the agents could have handed out bottles of water. Or had some protocol that would make a challenging situation easier (or even fun). Maybe the Plan B could have been a boxed sandwich. Or some special chocolates. Or just walking around checking in with as many passengers as possible to make human connections (I saw one passenger buy Chinese food and share it with people around him…shared decency amidst adversity).

4. Go Beyond Expectations: Most businesses don’t even deliver on what they promise in their advertising and sloganeering. Imagine, when we arrived in Houston (it was nearly midnight), if we were provided with transport to a hotel, a healthy meal, and a letter on check in wishing us a great night, while thanking us for giving the airline our business.

Business brilliance is pretty simple. Maybe not easy.  But pretty simple. And it begins with caring about the people who keep you going.

Keep Leading Without A Title!

Robin Sharma

Please add your comments below so we all can learn from you.