Tag Archives: customer

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Perfect customer service

Delivering Perfect Customer Service

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Is perfect realistic? Can you deliver the perfect product, service, and experience? What is required to deliver perfect customer service?

Beauty may exist in the eye of the beholder and the same is likely true for the customer experience.

Moments of Customer Service

Most of our experiences are the result of moments. The moment you hold the newest smartphone, the moment you look in the mirror wearing the new outfit, or that moment when you test-drive the new car. All of our experiences are about emotions. Some feel perfect, at least for that moment.

Therefore, the customer service that we deliver, the things that delight and inspire customers, they are all about the moment. Those moments are often connected to people, places, circumstances, situations, and timing.

What is perfect right now, in this moment, may be a one-time experience. What is happening now probably isn’t the exact thing that will happen next.

Perfect customer service is situational. It is like leadership, communication, and delegation. What is perfect in this moment, for this person, in this situation won’t hold true for very long.

Circumstances Define Perfection

If you are insisting on delivering perfect customer service every time, you may want to think about the circumstances before planning for the outcomes.

Having an umbrella at the right moment may be perfect, holding an umbrella all the time, perhaps not so much.

Rules, policies and procedures are necessary, but they seldom consider every possible circumstance.

Perfect Customer Service

If you’re looking for perfection, you’re going to have to have truth. The truth is perfection is a moving target. Consequently, rules and policies are guidelines.

Organizational culture will shape the flexibility around the circumstances that will lead to the perfect moment.

What happens the next time, in the next circumstance is only perfect for that moment.

Your culture won’t define the moments, but the outcomes of the moment are defined by your culture.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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vendor abuse

Have You Heard of Vendor Abuse?

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Vendor abuse isn’t a joke, it is a real thing. While I like to position most of my writing with a swing towards the positive, I feel this is an important issue.

Let me start by providing a little background about a situation I recently witnessed.

Background

I was at a local printing and office supply superstore. Unfortunately, I was behind the counter, working on my order from the day before. That is another story, which I will address in a minute.

While I was behind the counter a gentleman approached the store personnel expressing the urgency of some documents he needed printed and bound. My back was towards him but I overheard the exchange. He expressed that he needed these documents and that they were court ordered.

The store personnel were very courteous and respectful. I was listening. I had my customer service antenna tuned in. They expressed that they were operating under an extreme overload and couldn’t promise his work to be completed within three hours which was his request.

After some back and forth discussion he handed over materials for copying and the understanding was that they couldn’t promise binding but they could provide the duplication. They moved his order to the front of the line (ignoring an already existing backlog) and he walked away.

Work In Progress

They started his copy order and their high speed machines were happily spitting out lots of paper. About five minutes later, he returned to the counter and asked for his original copies back. Once again, although my back was turned my customer service ears were on.

The personnel somewhat surprised said that his order was running and as I looked over my shoulder that person pointed to a now three to four inch high stack of paper, it was the output from his order. Long story short, he demanded his originals, and left the store. He never paid a dime.

Apparently, during his five minute absence he walked out of the store and telephoned a competing business. They must have offered to meet his deadline.

I’m not an attorney, but guess what? He is an attorney. The court ordered documents he needed were connected with his professional work. Now, although I’m not an attorney I would like to suggest that there was a contract. The moment he agreed to the printing and handed over the documents he was on the hook for the order.

Vendor Abuse

I’m a person who believes in doing the right thing. I believe in living up to what I promised. No, the customer isn’t always right. Yes, this is an inappropriate way to treat a vendor. I call it vendor abuse and his behavior, multiplied, is exactly why you and I have to pay more.

Perhaps needless to say, the store had to throw away in my estimate 750 to 1000 sheets of paper. It was not their fault. They were actually going out of their way to help.

Behind the Counter

What was I doing behind the counter? My order from the day before which had some very specific instructions connected with the binding was not assembled correctly. I could have stomped up and down or I could have pitched a fit. I also could have walked out and called a competitor.

Instead, I was behind the counter helping to make an unintentional mistake better. Starting over, especially with another vendor would have cost me much more. This store has good people. They are hard working and are part of the community. They shouldn’t be abused or intentionally misused.

I wonder how Mr. Attorney treated the next vendor, and what about the clients he represents.

Hash tag – shaking my head. Hash tag – vendor abuse!

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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Leading Sales Across Generations – Boomers to Millennials to Gen Z and Back.

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Are you responsible to sell across the five generations active in our workforce today? Surprising to some, nearly every professional has some sales responsibility, from selling themselves, to selling project ideas, and of course to include those who occupy full time sales positions. It is important to keep in mind that a one size fits all model created by a boomer without consideration for gen Z buyers will struggle just like a smartphone app developed by gen Z may not be ever be downloaded by a traditional.

Diverse-Business-Team-Shaking-Hands-1090857

I don’t want to confuse medium with message, brand promise with value proposition, or the nature of transactional sales as compared to consultative sales. What I am offering are three general characteristics to keep in mind when reaching across any of the five active workforce generations.

Anticipate conditions of satisfaction: To suggest you “put yourself in their shoes” may seem to be over simplifying things, but that should probably be one of your first objectives. Assuming what you are selling reaches across all generations, consider what differences will exist and what will reduce concerns or refusals. Make every attempt to view your product or service through their lens. Think gen Z selling a tablet computer to a just retired traditional.

Understand relationship parameters: Connecting with the customer and building relationships will vary. Gen Z may be thrilled to explore communicating through a follow-up text message while earlier generations may believe in eye-to-eye, face-to-face, handshakes and hard copy signatures. Always consider every customer touch point from brick and mortar buildings, to websites, to personal interactions. The value of touch points are critical, a gen Z will expect to see your website on mobile, while a traditional may expect a personal visit. Build the relationship their way, not yours.

Never waste their time: What constitutes a waste of time? It may depend on the generation. A meeting with a traditional that incorporates background and theory of the goods and services (which takes more time) may feel like a very appropriate and well invested use of time. On the other hand a 30 second elevator pitch may be all a millennial or gen Z needs to hear. This doesn’t suggest who is correct or who makes better decisions but it does suggest there are differences. Seek commonalities by considering how time is valued across the generational continuum.

A boomers satisfaction in an automobile purchase may be very different from gen Z. A real estate (home) purchase by traditionals may be very different as compared to millennials. Methods for consultative sales versus transactional sales should be carefully considered and will definitely impact your approach. Mediums, branding, and value propositions also need careful consideration and if you’re spanning all generations be sure to seek commonalities not just develop a focus on differences.

As with everything related to selling, communicating, or working across the generations there are variances in personal style regardless of the generation and in many cases there are variances from day-to-day, or even across weeks or months since schedules, job pressures, and even amounts of sleep may condition both personal and professional interactions.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker, and coach that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is the author of the newly released book, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at DennisEGilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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