101 - How To Be Brilliant
Frozen Yogurt Entrepreneur,
"Business is trouble,"
a wise grandfather used to say. "And if you don't like
trouble, don't get into business." His advice is as down
to earth as home plate. After all, what's more
troublesome and perplexing in business than customer
service? And conversely, what's more beneficial to a
company's bottom line? So let's review the fundamentals
of revenue-generating customer care. Read 'em and reap:
Remember who really owns your business.
Everything you will ever have is currently in the hands
of someone else: your customers. In fact, most
businesses fail when they lose sight of that reality,
and start focusing more on marketing and the stock
market than customer maintenance. We'd all be wise to
heed a sign I saw in a Wichita, KS restaurant (Angelo's)
10 years ago: "Our business is run for the enjoyment
and pleasure of our customers, not for the convenience
of the staff or the owners."
sell is to serve.
As surely as service is your invisible product, its
sales that feeds the bulldog. Improve service all you
want, but if your service strategies are not DNA-ed to
sales growth, your profits will surely shrink as small
as the period that ends this sentence. There's a lot of
ways to say it, but maybe notable 19th century raconteur
and restaurateur "Diamond" Jim Brady put it best in
1899: "You can have the best product in the world, but
if you can't sell it, you've still got it!"
customer is anyone who isn't me.
Your employees are your first market, and the best
supervisors manage with an attitude of gratitude,
knowing to never treat a customer better than they treat
Training is a philosophy, not a department.
If service is the nail, training is the hammer. The more
you spend on training, the less you spend on
advertising. And if you think training is expensive, try
Brains, like hearts, go where they are appreciated.
was right: all behavior is the result of consequences.
What you reinforce is what you get. Smart supervisors
recognize their performers daily with small, unexpected
rewards for jobs well done. Little things like a simple
thank you in front of peers, Payday candy bars for team
efforts, letting them off early or a "get out of work
free" card pays off with employee loyalty and retention.
And by the way, you don't have to recognize all your
employees; just the ones you want to keep.
from the middle.
supervisors direct, manage and instigate team energy,
not just "productivity". A leader is never "energy-neutral"; you are either giving people energy or
draining it from them. Choose: are you (or your
managers) a fountain or a drain? Hire nice people. Why?
Because training people to be nice is tough. Hire the
attitude, train the skill. We've always preached that
every time you hire someone you're adding to your
marketing team. So next time you're considering a new
candidate, ask yourself: "am I hiring to fill a slot, or
to make a difference?" It's only logical that the best
way to both improve service and tame turnover is to hire
the right person in the first place.
Today's consumers are choice-rich and service-poor,
so here's your niche for the 21st century: abundant
customer care. In summary: Keep it fresh, keep it
focused and keep it fun.
and remember to say thank you.