Category: Education

Stellar Service Is Vital To Your Success (“Same As It Ever Was”)

Recently, we came across an excellent inventory of Customer Service Quotes from legendary business leaders, past and present.  Thank you to Salesforce for capturing and compiling these quotes.  It’s rare to find so many solid quotes consolidated together on a business strategy so near and dear to our hearts.

As CRM strategists and customer experience improvement and innovation experts, the RevSherpas consulting practice is passionate about delivering optimal service to our clients.  Moreover, during our client engagements, we always underscore the importance of providing unrivaled customer service to reduce churn, increase satisfaction and loyalty, and ultimately grow revenues.

While other consultants and coaches typically try to convince you to utilize the latest social media shiny object tactic of the day, we’re far more into cultivating deeper relationships with your prospects, clients, and referral sources. 

It’s much more effective and just makes more business sense.  After all, our motto in our logo does say, “Client Focused.  Elevated Results.”

What’s interesting is that many of the quotes and points of view that were established in the 1800s are still valid today.  In fact, they are so legit that they serve as the fundamentals of how to effectively grow and scale a business even now.

To begin, let’s take a look at some of our favorite quotes from the pioneers of Retail.

“THE OLD SCHOOL”

Marshal Field, founder of Marshall Field and Company, the Chicago-based department stores:

“The customer is always right.”

“Assume that the customer is right until it is plain beyond all question he is not.”

“Give the lady what she wants.”

“Goodwill is the one and only asset that competition cannot undersell or destroy.”

Harry Gordon Selfridge, American-British retail magnate who founded the London-based department store Selfridges:

“Honesty always pays.”

“People will sit up and take notice of you if you will sit up and take notice of what makes them sit up and take notice.”

“Get the confidence of the public and you will have no difficulty in getting their patronage.”

“Treat [the customer] as guests when they come and when they go, whether or not they buy.”

John Wanamaker, founder of department stores, including Philadelphia-based Wanamaker’s; Also, invented the price tag and was the first merchant to utilize advertising agencies:

“When a customer enters my store, forget me. He is king.”

“Courtesy is the one coin you can never have too much of or be stingy with.”

“Courtesies cannot be borrowed like snow shovels; you must have some of your own.”

Again, many of the above quotes were declared by individuals born in the 1830s and 1850s!  Yet, their philosophies still hold up and are applicable in the present environment…they’re really the “SAME AS IT EVER WAS!”

https://www.amazon.com/Same-Ever-Was-Talking-Heads/dp/B0028G1OU4

To balance out the “old school” perspectives, we also wanted to share some fascinating quotes on the importance of customer service from current CEOs and business leaders representing the “new school” as seen below.

“THE NEW SCHOOL”

Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft and philanthropist:

“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.”

Dr. Gary P. Hamel, founder of Strategos, a management consulting firm:

“Most of us understand that innovation is enormously important. It’s the only insurance against irrelevance. It’s the only guarantee of long-term customer loyalty…It doesn’t matter much where your company sits in its industry ecosystem, nor how vertically or horizontally integrated it is—what matters is its relative ‘share of customer value’ in the final product or solution, and its cost of producing that value.”

Elon Musk, founder/CEO of Tesla, SpaceX, and The Boring Company, among many other companies (does he ever sleep?):

“I think it’s very important to have a feedback loop, where you’re constantly thinking about what you’ve done and how you could be doing it better.”

Jeff Bezos, founder/CEO of Amazon:

“We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.”

Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos; Previously was co-founder of LinkExchange:

“We take most of the money that we could have spent on paid advertising and instead put it back into the customer experience. Then we let the customers be our marketing.”

Joseph Jaffe, consultant and thought leader on growth, marketing, and innovation:

“Customer Service is everything and anything that touches a customer – directly or indirectly. Customer service means servicing customers, and it’s so much more than just solving problems or addressing complaints. Customer service is part of a holistic customer experience that is capable of providing a critical competitive advantage in today’s increasingly cluttered and commoditized marketplace.”

Larry Page, co-founder of Google:

“We have a mantra: don’t be evil, which is to do the best things we know how for our users, for our customers, for everyone.”

Marc Benioff, founder/Chairman/CEO of Salesforce:

“The future of communicating with customers rests in engaging with them through every possible channel: phone, e-mail, chat, Web, and social networks. Customers are discussing a company’s products and brand in real time. Companies need to join the conversation.”

Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group:

“Setting customer expectations at a level that is aligned with consistently deliverable levels of customer service requires that your whole staff, from product development to marketing, works in harmony with your brand image.”

Sam Walton, founder of Walmart and Sam’s Club:

“There is only one boss – the customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.”

Seymour Fine, marketing expert:

“When a customer complains, he is doing you a special favor; he is giving you another chance to serve him to his satisfaction. You will appreciate the importance of this opportunity when you consider that the customer’s alternative option was to desert you for a competitor.”

Shep Hyken, customer service expert:

“True loyalty doesn’t come because of an app. It doesn’t come because you have a punch card where after ten punches you get a free sandwich. It is about the relationship. Take away those “perks” and would the customer still be loyal?”

Steve Jobs, co-founder/Chairman/CEO of Apple:

“Get closer than ever to your customers. So close that you tell them what they need well before they realize it themselves.”

Walt Disney, founder of The Disney Company, animation pioneer, and film producer:

“Whatever you do, do it well. Do it so well that when people see you do it, they will want to come back and see you do it again, and they will want to bring others and show them how well you do what you do.”

Zig Ziglar, motivational speaker and sales trainer:

“Statistics suggest that when customers complain, business owners and managers ought to get excited about it. The complaining customer represents a huge opportunity for more business.”

These customer service philosophies are truly time-tested and they should be at the cornerstone of your digital customer experience transformation strategic initiatives. Any company in the midst of becoming more client-focused and shifting from a product-centric to a client-centric mindset to better serve its customer base can likely utilize many of these famous quotes as the guiding principles for the changing of their company culture.

As for your company, are you in need of assistance in designing and revamping your customer experience and CRM strategy?

Have your service levels been declining and running into frequent bottlenecks and backlogs lately?

Have you been experiencing high customer turnover of late?

If so, it’s probably time to simplify, standardize, and improve your client service operations!  Please email Hello@RevSherpas.com to request an initial discovery and strategy consultation.

Lastly, we encourage you to leave a comment below to let us know what your most-liked quote in this article is or if you have another favorite customer service, CRM, or customer experience management quote not listed here. 

Thanks!

If Time Were Money, How Would You Manage Yours?

Business owners often equate being busy with being successful. 

Newsflash:  they’re not the same thing!

Time is more precious and has a more limited supply than money. There are only a finite number of days that you will spend on this earth.  Therefore, time is gone forever, if you waste it.  On the other hand, money is something you can usually get more of.  That is, you have the ability to make money back after losing it.  

Photo by Aron Visuals on Unsplash

The fact is that many business owners, such as yourself, actually manage their money as though it is more precious than their time. They started the business to choose their own hours, spend more time with their family, and be their own boss. Somewhere along the way, though, the only goals that mattered became the financial ones. Over time, the only item worth measuring and managing was money.

Your time will never be managed for you – you have to make a decision to commit to spending your time wisely, taking ownership of your own schedule, and using the power you have to change what isn’t working. 

When you focus more on time management, the goal is to get more done in less time, and thus increase your hourly worth (among other benefits, of course!).

There are five major things that drain your time. But don’t worry, it’s really easy to fix the leaks.

  1. Email – Your email is a constant distraction!  With you email program(s) running all the time, emails can distract you as they arrive. Or, you’ll find yourself checking for new messages every five, 10, or 15 minutes. Writing, reading, and responding to emails can easily monopolize your time because they seem like an ever urgent and important task.
  2. Smart Phone – Your iPhone or Android device has likely given you increased freedom from your workplace, but they seem to have also taken away your freedom to choose when you work. You can work outside of the office, but this often means you also work evenings and weekends when spending time with your family and friends.
  3. Open Door Policies – While you want to be open and accessible to your staff, sometimes you can make yourself too accessible. Open door policies have the potential to create a daily mass of employees lined up at your door seeking immediate answers for non-emergency issues.
  4. Meetings – Unstructured, unnecessary, run-on meetings can gobble up hours for no reason at all. Especially as a business owner, your presence may be requested at a variety of meetings, but it’s not always required. Days spent in back-to-back meetings often mean that your workday starts at 5 pm instead of 7 or 8 am.
  5. You (yes, You!) Since effective time management is a choice, everyone is guilty of letting themselves sabotage their ability to work productively and efficiently at all times. It’s easy for business owners to avoid separating business hours from leisure time and let the two run together. We all have distractions that we fall into from time to time.

Now you need to take some time to figure out where your time actually goes, so you can see what leaks need to be repaired.

You’re going to take a good long look at how you spend your time so you can paint a clear picture of your current situation. Once you understand your own personal habits and patterns, you can start making changes that will have the greatest impact on your own schedule. You’ll learn how to be a better time manager.

Complete a Time Audit for three working days in a row.

First, record how you spend your time in detail for three working days.  Be honest with yourself, and be as specific as possible. If you notice something about what you’re doing, or which distractions have the greatest negative impact, log these notes as well. The more information you can record, the better.  This is not the easiest or most exciting exercise in the world, but the data captured will be eye-opening and transformational!

Take a look at your time records, and categorize the different ways you spend your time.

Next, use different colored markers or highlighters to shade the blocks of time you spent on various activities. You can create your own categories, or use the ones below:

  • Client work and follow-up
  • Prospecting/Business Development
  • Networking
  • Business Strategy Planning
  • Branding/Advertising
  • Training
  • Compliance
  • Emailing (checking, reading, returning messages)
  • Telephone(checking and returning messages)
  • Administrative work
  • Internal meetings
  • External meetings
  • Being with Family and Friends
  • Eating, including preparation
  • Personal Errands
  • Exercise
  • Watching TV/Netflix
  • Internet browsing
  • Social Media
  • Sleeping, including naps
  • Travel

Based on the categories you created, go through each of your days and decide if you have spent enough, too much, or too little time on each main task.

Based on your observations, answer the following questions:

  1. What patterns do you notice about how you spend your time during the day? When are you most productive? Least productive? Most or least interrupted?
  2. Write down the three highest priorities in your life right now. Does your timesheet reflect these priorities? (Show me your schedule and I will show you your priorities!)
  3. If you have more time, what would you do?
  4. If you had less time, what wouldn’t you do?
  5. Could you remove the items in question four and add the items in question three? Why or why not?
  6. Is procrastination a problem for you? How much?

Here are a series of effective strategies for improving your time management skills, and for doing more in less time.

The strategies described below will help you take charge of your schedule and use your time in a more effective manner. Grab your pad of paper and start by choosing five or six strategies to try.  Take some notes as you read through this list and decide which you will try first.

Remember, this is an individual process – everyone works differently – so if you have to try a few different things to get some meaningful results, that’s okay and it’s completely normal!

Prioritize Your Tasks > You can’t do everything, so you need to decide what is most deserving of your time investment.
> Choose what needs to be completed now, what can be completed later, and what can be delegated to someone else.
> Focus on your top three priorities at any one time, and consistently revise your list so that the highest priority items are on the top, and the lowest priority items are at the bottom.
Delegate > You can’t do everything, so you need to decide what you absolutely need to do, and what others can finish.
> You also need to accept that while it may seem “faster” for you to complete a task initially, spending the time to teach someone to complete the task will save you hours later on.
> Delegation is a vital skill that you need to refine, practice, and master as a manager.
Focus On Your Skills > If you have a good understanding of your own strengths and weaknesses, you can use this to your advantage.
> An effective way to manage your time is to only do the things that you know you are good at, or required for, and delegate or outsource the areas where you are not as strong.
Just Say No > Learn how to say “no,” and you will reclaim dozens of hours every week.
> It’s so easy to say “yes” to something in the moment, and later feel overwhelmed when that task is added to your to-do list. You may feel pressure to say “yes” to everything as a business owner, but you do have a choice.
Keep A Strict Schedule > Create and keep a strict schedule for yourself that supports your productivity, and minimizes distractions.
> Include personal and work time in your schedule.
> Schedule time for things like closed-door work, work planning, email and phone responses, internal and external meetings, “me time”, family, and exercise.
Make Decisions > As a successful business owner, you will need to learn to make good decisions quickly and efficiently, without wasting time with deliberations.
> You can only make the best decisions with the information you have, in the time frame you have to make it. No one expects you to be able to see the future – be decisive, make some mistakes, and learn from them.
Manage Interruptions > Establish which hours of the day you are most productive, and set those hours aside for yourself to finish important tasks, uninterrupted.
> Schedule open door hours, and closed-door hours.
> Schedule windows of time for reading and replying to emails, and for answering and replying to phone calls.
Avoid Duplicating Efforts > Take note of how many tasks are completed more than once, or by more people than necessary.
> Establish clear communication systems and procedures to minimize this, and make sure all your employees have a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities.
> Use tools like checklists, meeting minutes, and individual task assignments to minimize miscommunication and duplication in tasks.
Stop Procrastinating > If you are a seasoned procrastinator, the idea of “just stopping” is usually much easier in principle than in practice.
> The best way to overcome procrastination is to use your willpower to stop. Refining this skill will help to prevent you from procrastinating in the future.
> Try working in blocks of focused time, with breaks or rewards at the end, and break down big tasks into small manageable ones.

Effective time management is just a formal way of saying that you make good choices about how you spend your valuable time.

Remember that time management is a personal investigation that will look different for everyone. Some people can work in the middle of a loud, crowded room, and others need absolute silence to function at a high level. Respect your own needs.

It really just boils down to making choices and setting up a structure that enables you to succeed. You have to try a few different strategies and structures to see what works best for you.

Let us know your favorite time management tips in the comments below.

CONTACT US to learn more about how our “Profitable Time Management for Top Producers” training can help your business be more efficient, get more done, and spend more time on cash-flow generating activities.

Good luck!

 

Focus First On Your Current Customers

Though many businesses focus solely on attracting new customers, you NEED to spend a good chunk of your time retaining current and former customers. After all, these are people you already know to be a good sales potential…they’ve already bought from you!

Take the time to market and sell new products to your old customers and less time trying to sell old products to new customers and you will see a drastic change in your sales, customer quality and branding position.

Here are a couple of key elements to use to retain your current customers:

  1. Stay in contact: This means by phone, email, e-newsletter, in person-by pigeon if you have too!
  2. Post-Purchase Assurance: This means you need to follow up with customers. Your customers need to feel like they are being supported for their purchase and with the item they purchased. How many times have you purchased a product, then felt completely abandoned? Something as simple as a Thank You note with your contact or customer service information can go along way in retaining a great customer.
  3. Deals & Guarantees: Always offer your current customers the best deals and guarantees you have. Show them you appreciate their business or even come up with a club specifically to reward loyal customers. You can also do this with a preferred pricing option.
  4. Integrity: Using good business practices and simply upholding integrity, dignity and honesty go along way with customers. Let’s face it, there’s a lot of swindling and junk out there and the safer and more confident you make your customers feel, the more they will trust you and that makes for an amazingly supportive and loyal customer.

There are three cornerstone ideas to a successful business:

  • Quality product/service
  • Offering useful products/services that solve a problem for or enhance the life of a customer
  • Offer subjects your customers find interesting

Use this approach of educating your customers and offering them real information and insight and you will be rewarded with loyalty and success.

Stop wasting all your time on new prospects while your current customers fall by the wayside!

As Jay Abraham says, “Your best prospects are your existing customers. If you’ve been putting all your marketing efforts into acquiring new customers, stop and divert some of your resources into reselling, upselling, cross-selling to those same customers. In every way possible – through package inserts, regular mailings, special offers – stay in touch with those customers and get them used to buying from you.”

So, there it is! Remember, our FREE test drive can help you put together the resources and tools to do exactly that. We can help you educate your customers and you can watch the benefits pay off many-fold.