One of the things I stress with my client is the importance of customer service in their organization. I have repeatedly blogged about it, here and here. Great customer service allows you to increase the lifetime value of a customer to your organization. So when I was in Texas and had a great customer service experience, I found that the founder of that organization had written a book. Customers for Life by Carl SewellÂ is a great book about customer service and how to use it to build a business.
This book cuts out all of the fluff and gets right to the message. Short chapters with pithy points and checklists to help you implement it make this a quick and informative read.
A few of the points worth nothing:
- Ten Commandments of Customer Service: Lists make things easier to remember. With items like: Systems not smiles, and Fire your inspectors and consumer relations department, Carl turns typical thoughts about customer service on their head. The idea that people want a smile and that makes everything better is false. People want a good product(with a smiling face, but that is a secondary desire). Build systems to improve their customer experience and then incentivise and empower all of your employees to take care of the customers.
- Treat your employees better than the customers. Sewell makes several points about treating your employees well. This is something lost of many companies, but happy employees will treat customers better. It also allows you to attract top talent. Top talent pays off in a variety of ways from retention, to innovation, and of course, sales!
- Amazing Customer service is the right thing to do, but it is also profitable. Carl Sewell points out that the ultimate motivation about working this hard for the customers is that it grows the business. No one would go out to unlock a car for free in the middle of the night for free, but if you take care of your customers well, they will buy from you again. The bigger picture of each great customer interaction is a growth in business.
I am also a fan of Dave Ramsey who advocates for incentivising employees. Carl Sewell advocates for that as well. Each employee is measured on different performance areas and are incentivized to do well. This puts your money where your mouth is!