Debbie Mayo-Smith international inspirational motivational how-to speaker technology, time management, improving business performance
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Quick Business Tips 18 December 2006 Vol 2 No# 19

Helping you get more done in less time and improve your business success

1. Two Ways To Add Value To Your Customer Service

2. More Referral Top Tips

1. Two Ways To Add Value To Your Customer Service

If you were a speaker, you'd probably do the same as I do. Spend time at the conferences you speak at, schmooze with attendees and listen to/learn from the diverse range of presentations given by other motivational and business speakers.

A recurring theme you would have heard (mainly in Australia) is the importance of:
differentiation by adding value to your customer service rather than competing on price.

In my humble opinion, in addition to improving your 'face to face' service, loads can be accomplished through improved /increased communication with customers.

The mechanics of this is easy: calling, visiting, emails, letters. I've given you the how-to through tips and ideas in this newsletter, books (as above) and my subscription program IIY. Let's turn the tables around to you.

If you were to scan the information you hold in your customer and / or marketing database, I'd be willing to bet on one thing:

It's egocentric

What do you mean Debbie?
Beyond the obvious contact details, is the information you keep about them relate only to the business they have done with you? Beyond basics, you can't really add value with this.

The way to add value to your customer service through communication is to:
1. Send them information that will make them more successful.

The way to really mess it up royally is to send them irrelevant information.

With good data, you can:

  • Pinpoint, target and profit:
    By sending the right information to the right person at the right time.
  • Take up opportunities:
    In NZ KiwiSaver (an employer focused superannuation plan) is being actively discussed in the press. Eight financial institutions have been selected. How many financial planners do you think would have the information in their database of which clients run companies so they can do an immediate mail or email merge to the relevant clients and start a "I'll help you" conversation? How many of the institutions do?
  • Carry on conversations with prospects.
    Not everyone is able to do business with you immediately. So what can you write/ email to them to carry on a conversation until they're ready to do business with you? If it's only about you, you, you - do you think they'll read it and care?
  • Bring retail clients back
    Why would someone be loyal to your business? Why send sales flyers at the beginning of children's soccer or rugby season to people who don't have kids?

The road to success is for you to step into their shoes and think "if I were x, what would I be interested in? What makes me more successful? What will make me want to do business with them".

By answering these questions and then addressing them to your clients - well then you're on the road to adding value.

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2. More Referral Top Tips

Last month everyone loved this tip: The next time you telephone someone that you've been referred to say: "Hi, This is {FIRST} and I promised (referee name) that I would call you".

This tip was originally from the Telephone Man. I couldn't find his details in November - but many loyal supporters wrote in! It was Matthew Mewse

Here's two more from our subscribers:
1. Instead ask the referee to email their recommended contact and cc you in on the introduction.  This does two things.  Firstly, confirms that they really are intent on assisting you (not just a casual pass-off or misinterpretation of a referral).  Secondly, you have a legitimate right to follow-up the email soon afterwards. A bit more complex but this is a better pre-qualification approach.

2. When phoning a manager in a company where you are unknown say "I understand you are the best person in the company who can help me with...."  If not they always pass the ball to who can.


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