What does a Seinfeld episode have to do with customer service?

7 Secrets to creating "just customers"

(and doing more work)

If you’re a Seinfeld fan (like I am), you probably remember the episode at the car rental counter where Jerry was picking up his rental car, except it wasn’t there. He said something like, “You can take the reservation, but you can’t hold the reservation. And holding the reservation is the key”!

That’s the same with getting new customers. It’s easy to get new customers, right? Almost any business can do it. The key is, can you keep them and turn them into your Brand Ambassadors? If so, they become your loyal and raving fans who can’t wait to tell your story about how you are making them feel.

After years of research, (through my own business and observing others), here are 7 secrets to creating those just satisfied customers. Of course, if you are not careful, and you follow these secrets you may not have any customers left at all! (Or you may not have your car ready for you the next time you go to pick one up at the rental counter!)

Are there more secrets? Sure there are, and I invite you to tell me your stories when you were just treated as just another customer.

Seven Secrets to “Not so Great” Service (in no particular order)

  1. Create a “blah” first impression with either your company, your products, or your people. This could be in-person, online, or on the phone. We have precious seconds to get it right and to start the experience on the right foot. Make sure your team knows this!

  2. Take your time returning phone calls and emails. As I am writing this, I am still waiting for a return call from a possible vendor who I was going to give the business! But that was three days ago. Now, I am not. I know we are all busy, but this is common sense (but not common practice).

  3. Create a transaction, not an experience. I know that every opportunity to get new business may not be an experience, but we could smile more, be friendlier, and show that we care about the person on the other end of the transaction, right?

  4. Spend more time talking rather than listening. Do you want to make a sale or create a potential relationship? The latter means you are listening more and trying to find ways to solve your customers’ challenges.

  5. Always be reactive with your customers, not proactive. Would you rather apologize or anticipate? Be one step ahead of your customers, not two steps behind.

  6. Over promise and under deliver. How many times have you been promised the “moon” by a vendor, and you barely get the sky, let alone the stars? Customers rarely forget if you underperform or underdeliver. If you are going to "talk the talk", make sure you "walk the walk."