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Customers Have Long Memories

Posted April 28, 2005, 08:53 AM | Ideas For Life | Comments (1)

My good friend and best-selling author, Harvey Mackay wrote the following column and sent it to me this morning via email. I thought you'd enjoy it.

Customers have long memories

By Harvey Mackay

Remember me? I'm the person who goes into a restaurant, sits down patiently and waits while the servers do everything but take my order. I'm the person who goes into a department store and stands quietly while the sales people finish their little chitchat.

I'm the person who goes into a reception area on time for a business appointment, and stands by the desk while the receptionist finishes her personal phone call.

You might say I'm a patient person. But do you know who else I am?

I'm the person who never comes back!

It amuses me to see you spending money on advertising to try and get me to visit your establishment again. When I was there in the first place, and all you had to do was show me a little courtesy.

Over the years, I've written, I've spoken and I've even shouted hundreds of times from the tallest tree about customer service. Plenty of others have done the same. So why does it continue to be such an issue?

The statistics remain quite constant: Ninety percent of those who are dissatisfied with the service they receive never return to the place of business that disappointed them. Only four percent of unhappy customers actually bother to complain to the company. The response they receive dictates where their next buck goes. The other ninety-six percent complain to their friends, a.k.a. former potential customers. Disgruntled customers have very long memories.

We can all relate to lousy treatment. But when you're the one in charge, how do you prevent it? The answer is so simple: set your standards high, and don't accept anything less from yourself or your employees. And remember that the way you treat your employees is often transferred to the customer.

Everyone's favorite neighbor, Mister Rogers, boiled it down to this: "The thing I remember best about successful people I've met all through the years is their obvious delight in what they're doing...and it seems to have very little to do with worldly success. They just love what they're doing, and they love it in front of others."

And yes, he said "successful people." Customers can tell when you love what you're doing, because it generally translates to an enthusiasm that is shared with customers.

The late Mary Kay Ash, who founded the phenomenally successful cosmetics company, Mary Kay, Inc., said, "We must remember that people will continue to do business with those who give good service, and certainly there is never a traffic jam on that extra mile."

The fact is, most customers who complain don't really want their money back. They just want products or services that work the way they're supposed to. They want someone who will listen to them and fix any problem that arises. Is that asking so much? Is that an unreasonable request?

Rather than looking at complaining customers as a pain in the neck, reset your mindset and see a golden opportunity: the chance to improve your service, product and image, all in one fell swoop. Those customers who take the time to tell you when something is wrong are blessings in disguise. They're really doing you a favor. Listen carefully to their concerns and go the extra mile to satisfy them. It isn't enough that you think you've done all you can … it's when the customer thinks you've done all you can.

The customer is always right. The customer who isn't always right is also not your customer. I've yet to see a business that can survive without customers.

Elephants never forget, or so they say. The classic story of memory is about the man who had gone to the circus as a small boy and didn't make a return visit until years later. He was sitting in a cheap seat when an elephant came along, reached up into the stand, wrapped his trunk gently about the man, and carried him over to deposit him gently in the best seat in the circus tent.

The man turned to his neighbor and said, "The elephant remembered that the last time I was here, years ago, I fed him peanuts."

Just then the elephant came back, lifted his trunk, pointed it straight at the man and blew a stream of water in his face.

"Oh!" the man said. "I forgot I gave them to him in the bag."

Elephants and customers both have long memories.

Mackay's Moral: It's not about what you can do; it's about what you will do.






Comments

Attitude determine all ,including your service qualification \your spirit condition and work efficiency , what is the right attitude and the positive emotion? not just work in addition time ,not just the quick actions ,not the polite words and warm smile, all of these are focused on how to improve your service to your customers, thinking the needing of your customers , and try to make your consumers feel comfortable and satisfactory !!
do so your can acheive the success that all the crowed admire!
Yes , this article is very amazing and reasonable , I like it !!

Posted by: dellwolf007 | Jun 9, 2005 7:18:31 AM

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