Why is it so hard to get good service?

It’s certainly easy enough to provide it! It seems that poor service is an active choice that most businesses make. And it’s not just their customer interaction. It extends to their websites and even their business cards.

Did you read my post on Nine Things To Do NOW To Save Your Customer Service (And Generate Customer Loyalty Next Year)?  If you haven’t read it, click over to it now and then come back…I’ll wait for you. I’ve got a little filing I can work on.

Who doesn't love fans?
Who doesn’t love fans?

Back? Some of those would go a long way toward turning a customer into a brand advocate for you. Did you take a few notes?

It’s really all about putting yourself in the customer’s position. When you’re a customer, what’s important to you? I mean, a free cup of coffee probably isn’t on your list. But it’s not the coffee, it’s about a business understanding that it’s cold outside, and when you come in, they want you to feel comfortable and welcome.

That kind of mindset is what the other side of your business has to reflect, too. It’s not hard to create a boring, generic business card:

Dreadful. Just awful, really.
Dreadful. Just awful, really.

But that doesn’t give customers a reason to call you. Don’t forget, they want service. Which really means, they want a reason to do business with you. What’s in it for them? Focus on the benefits and value. How about a line explaing how what you do actually helps customers? It could even be your tagline! Walmart’s is great (if untrue): “Save money. Live better.” Short, sweet, simple.

Super-Secret:  Business Psychology Trick
Business Psychology Trick

You want more?

If you really want to go hardcore, try this not-very-secret-but-rarely-seen trick: give a positive benefit associated with a feature, product, or service you offer. Then give the customer a (negative) cost associated with not doing it. And wrap up with another positive benefit. It’s a simple formula: Benefit + Cost + Benefit.

I know, I know, all the business rules of sales say you should never use negatives or costs when you’re selling. You don’t still follow the old rules, do you? Of course not, you rebel, you!

Here’s why it works. First, you offer a benefit, according to expectation. Then you offer the equivalent of a warning. Oh my! And who wouldn’t want to avoid the negative? Now you’ve created some mental distress. This heightens the interest because it raises the stakes. But that last benefit – that’s the reassurance that the decision to buy what you’re selling is going to protect them from the unpleasantness. And you’re the hero for offering not one, but two benefits to relieve that mental distress.

By the way, you could also be a hero right now if you like and share this post! Sorry, I can’t give you a cape or anything, but I’ll still appreciate it! Plus, I know that you know at least one business you’d be a customer of if they started focusing on you.

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