Favorite Customer Service Strategies from Amazement Expert Shep Hyken

Shep Hyken, CSP, CPAE, is truly, a Chief Amazement Officer!  As a customer service speaker and expert, Shep works with franchise companies and non-franchise companies alike who want to build loyal relationships with their customers and employees.

At SPEAK!, we have embraced many of Shep’s simple, yet profound, strategies and thought we’d share some of Shep’s favorites with you.  And if you have been reading our blog, you know I love checklists – this one is well worth printing and as Shep suggests, bringing to your next meeting.

The Amazement Revolution:
Seven customer Service Strategies to Create an
Amazing Customer (and Employee) Experience

Shep Hyken The Amazement Revolution book jacket

Some Favorite Customer Service Strategies
From Amazement Master, Shep Hyken

If you have been reading my articles, you know how I love lists.  This is a list of some of my favorite customer service strategies.  At any given time I’ll change the list, but as of today, here are ten of my favorites.  By the way, I chose the following as they could be accepted by just about any organization and easily put into action.  

    1. Be better than average.  That, by the way, is my definition of “Amazement.”  Amazing companies don’t always deliver “Wow!” type experiences.  No, they are just a little better than average – all of the time.  All of the time is the secret.  Anyone can be good or great once in a while.  It’s the consistency that makes them amazing.
    2. Analyze when things go right.  When a company receives a complaint people usually have discussions to find out what went wrong and how to prevent it from happening again.  Next time you receive a letter of praise, meet to find out what went right and how it can be repeated.  Don’t, as the cliché goes, just learn from mistakes.
    3. Pay attention to details.  Sometimes it’s the little things that make the biggest impact.  Figure out the most important details that your customers enjoy and make them a regular way of doing business with you. 
    4. Focus on 100% wallet share.  A loyal customer is a repeat customer, but may still buy from your competition.  The ultimate loyal customer will give you 100% of their business.  That means they are a repeat customer that buy only from you, and not your competition.  So, what are you doing right now that is going to make sure the customer, the next time they need what you sell, will come back, every time?
    5. Experience your own customer service.  If possible, personally mystery shop your own company.  Find out how easy you are to do business with through your own experience.  Sure, you can hire a company to do surveys and mystery shopping, but learning through your own experience can be an eye opening experience.  You can start with a phone call.  What impression do your employees give when they answer the phone? 
    6. Use social media to enhance your customer service by sending value added messages, creating users groups and monitoring what others are saying about you.  This is a great way to build your “community.”
    7. Create a consistent experience.  One sure way to erode loyalty is inconsistency.  One time it’s great.  The next time it is barely average.  And, the next time it’s back to great.  Inconsistency creates uncertainty.  Uncertainty diminishes confidence.  And, a lack of confidence leads to a lack of trust.  And that gives your customer a reason to consider your competition.
    8. “Peoplize” your business.  (I made that word up.)  People do business with people.  Make it personal.  Customers should want to do business with you because of you and your employees.   Make your customers “feel at home.”  You may have a great location, cool displays, great signage, etc.  That’s all great, but if your people can’t make your customers feel welcome and appreciated, all of the other “stuff” doesn’t matter. 
    9. You may not be the owner, but you should care like you’re the owner.  Not all owners or executives make great leaders, but the ones that are should be emulated.  Watch how they take pride in how they deal with customers and employees.  Then copy them.  Act and care like you are the owner.
    10. Create a customer service culture, and it starts by setting an example and practicing what I call, “The Employee Golden Rule” which is: Treat your employees the way you want the customer treated – maybe even better.  By the way, everybody should practice this as when it comes to customer service, everyone is a leader.

Bonus: Don’t forget to say, “Thank you!”  It would be remiss of me not to remind you of those powerful words of appreciation.  You can thank a customer in person, on the phone, with a thank you note, an email…  You get the idea. 

Now it’s up to you to implement any and all of the above.  Start with choosing your favorite one from the list.  Hold a meeting around it.  Discuss how to implement it.  Then, do it! 

Shep Hyken, CSP, CPAE is a professional speaker and New York Times bestselling business author who helps companies develop loyal relationships with their customers and employees. 

Copyright © 2003-2012 Shep Hyken, Shepard Presentations (Used with permission.)

Shep’s philosophy as a speaker is that it is all about you – your meeting, your people and your success. His style is energetic and entertaining, and mixes important information and entertainment (humor and magic). The content is relevant and useful, and franchise audiences leave with tools, ideas and concepts they can use immediately.

Let us know if you might be interested in bringing Shep’s dynamic message to your franchisees.  We’re here to help!

And in keeping with Shep’s message, can I just say, ‘THANK YOU!’ to the many franchisors reading this post who have helped SPEAK! flourish.  We love what we do and are grateful to have your ongoing support and your business!

More soon…

Katrina

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