Friday, December 19, 2008

A Holiday Greeting That Worked

OK. I know that the holidays are coming. It isn't a suprise. I know who I am giving to and what I am giving. So why do I wait until the last minute? Well that is probably unanswerable. However, it is clear that I am NOT the only one waiting to the last minute to order for their loved ones. So, as a business servicing these late-comers how do you greet them in a way that is personal and fun?

I think Harry and David succeeded in greeting me in a appropriate and fun way. An automated message came on and said "Thanks for calling Harry and David, we make your holidays easy." At the end of the automated message he said "relax." It wasn't so much a command as an invitation. Then the warm welcoming voice of the sales representative came on "Happy holidays How may I help you?"

Having just laughed at the request to "relax" which was the last thing on my mind I was pleased to hear her voice offering help. In minutes I was off the phone having sent my gifts. You know what? I am more relaxed!

Think of ways you can greet your customers in a way that acknowledges their situation and feels personal even if it is an automated message.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Stop Telling Us it's Our Policy!

Unbelievable. In this dire economy companies are still telling customers "Sorry, I can't do that, it's our policy." Can you really afford to push your customers away because of some stupid misguided policy? Really?

Last Saturday I went to a local dim sum restaurant to celebrate my friend Mary's birthday. There were 10 of us dining and we ordered A LOT of food. One of the guests asked for low sodium soy sauce. He was told "Sorry, that is only for people who are eating sushi." We were stunned. "Really?" he asked. "We can't have low sodium soy sauce if we don't order sushi?" "Right" our waitress said. We did the only sane thing we could do and ordered sushi we DIDN'T want so that we could have the low sodium soy sauce.

So, we got what we wanted. But did the restaurant get what they wanted? If their only concern was preservation of a condiment, then yes they did. But if their goal was pleasing their customer and making loyal customers, no they did not.

I know for a fact that most of us will choose the other dim sum restaurant that doesn't have this crazy rule next time we want dim sum.

Before you start feeling superior, check yourself. Have you or your employees, ever uttered the words " Sorry, that is not our policy" for ANY reason? If you, or they have, then you are as guilty as the restaurant. I am sure you think you have a more substantial reason for saying this. But, it still has the same effect on your customer's opinion of you.

Stop telling your customers that you have a policy that thwarts their desires. Make your policy "Customer Satisfaction" Try it today!