Three Secrets of Customer Service

Customer service is a pretty hot topic and can make or break your business. Consumers have little patience for lousy customer service and easily get tired of waiting in long lines, trying to get a live person on the line, going through an interrogation to return something or trying to communicate through a language barrier. 

If you provide them with a simple, efficient, pleasant experience they will revisit your business over and over. More importantly, they will tell everyone they know! 

There are three secrets to good customer service, the first one we’re going to conquer is knowing exactly what YOU want.

You are the captain of the ship and the visionary for the future of your business, so you need to have a clearly defined plan for your business and that includes customer service. There are three main goals you need to consider:

  1. It needs to be easy for your customers to do business with you. You can do this with advertised discounts, kiosks, your website and other technology based programs to help them shop.
  2. Doing business with you needs to be a warm and pleasant experience. Your staff has to be knowledgeable, approachable, warm and patient. Your customers need to feel like they are getting a good value for their time and money. Perceived value goes beyond the price of the products and extends to their shopping experience.
  3. Change your mind set and ask yourself “How can I NOT afford to do these things?” This shouldn’t be a question of expenses, but making and keep happy customers.

With these thoughts in mind you also need to take a few things into consideration when deciding on the actual programs and standards you’ll put into place.

  • Share your customer service vision with the rest of your staff. 
  • Connect your incentive programs and bonuses directly to customer service.
  • Monitor the level of customer service your staff is putting out.
  • Know when you can ignore what your customers want.
  • Continuously focus on your goals.

Now that you know what you want you can starting thinking about how to meet those wants and create a positive customer service experience.

If you’re having a hard time deciding on what you want, the tools, resources and coaches in our GUIDED TOUR can help you define the wants and needs of your company in relation to customer service.

More Leads – Joint Ventures

Chapter Two from my book, “45 Minute Business Breakthroughs,” to download a copy of the entire book you can do that HERE

Do you currently have any established joint venture partnerships?

JV’s involve two or more businesses who decide to form a partnership to share markets or endorse a specific product or service to their customer base… usually under a revenue share arrangement. The key to creating successful joint ventures is to find partners who service the exact same type of clients that need or want what you sell.

Let me give you an example and I’ll use one we’re both familiar with… a florist. One of the most financially lucrative product lines for a florist is providing flowers for weddings. The average floral bill for a wedding often exceeds $3,000. But what we discovered about florists is they fall into what we refer to as an “event chain.” An event chain simply refers to a series of businesses that customers purchase from in a specific sequence.

For example, a wedding will never take place until an engagement ring is purchased from a jeweler. So jewelers are at the forefront of every wedding chain. Once the young lady accepts that engagement ring, this event chain kicks into high gear. First, this young lady knows EXACTLY where she wants to get married, so number one on her agenda is to book the church, chapel or synagogue where she wants the ceremony held.

Second on her list is to line up her wedding planner. Weddings today are a really big deal, and often women like to use the services of a professional wedding planner. Next up, she wants to secure the venue for her reception.

She knows most venues book out months in advance, so locking in that venue is high on her priority list. After that comes the wedding dress, so she begins the search for the perfect dress at an affordable price.

Next is our florist. The bride-to-be will want to begin selecting her floral arrangements for both the wedding and the reception. Then after the florist comes the wedding cake… the printer for the invitations and thank you cards… and depending on the financial ability of the bride to be, she may also be interested in hiring a limo… a DJ for the reception… a travel planner for the honeymoon… the hotel… catering and so on.

This event chain is typical of this industry. And for the florist, it specifically identifies a multitude of potential and very lucrative JV partners. But here’s why this becomes so important.

Every business ABOVE the florist has the potential to ENDORSE and SEND prospects to the florist. Unfortunately, the florist has NO control over that flow of prospects. Every business above the florist controls the JV relationship, so it’s critical the florist create such a compelling offer and relationship with these businesses that they feel obligated to send prospects their way.

But here’s what’s even better. The florist controls the prospect flow to ALL the businesses BELOW them in the chain, and by establishing specific processes and procedures to make sure their customers use those businesses, the florist can negotiate compelling offers with those business owners as well. So consider these numbers.

Let’s say this florist cultivates a JV relationship with at least one of each business throughout this entire chain. Staying ultra-conservative with our estimates, would you agree this florist… since they have NO control over the flow of prospects from these businesses… is it likely they could obtain at least ONE referral each month from just one of the businesses above them?

OK, would you also agree conservatively that since the florist controls the flow of prospects to the businesses BELOW them… that they could easily send at least ONE referral to EACH one of them every month? Keep in mind these are VERY conservative estimates we’re using here.

Since the average floral bill for a wedding is $3,000… then just ONE referral per month from those businesses ABOVE the florist increases their annual revenue by $36,000. Now let’s consider the businesses BELOW the florist where the florist controls the referrals. Let’s start with the wedding cake maker.

The average sales price for a wedding cake is also $3,000, and the florist could easily negotiate a 10% referral fee. So, just a singlereferral per month produces an additional annual increase of $3,600 for the florist.

Now consider the printer. The average sales price for printing is $1,000, and the florist again could receive a 10% referral fee, so that single referral per month produces an additional annual increase of $1,200.

If we stop there, this florist has just increased their annual revenue by more than $40,000… and that’s using ridiculously conservative numbers. Imagine if you continued to add up the revenue produced by all the additional referral fees the florist would earn from all the other vendors in this chain.

This same process holds true for businesses that aren’t in a chain. But just like the florist, they simply identify partners who service the exact same type of clients that need or want what they sell. Now I realize this looks easy, but it’s not… and here’s why.

You not only have to properly identify who would make an excellent joint venture partner for your business… but you also must determine the order to approach each one… how to approach them… and when to approach them. It’s critical you do this properly or you wind up burning through all of your potential JV partners and come out with nothing in return.

Let me ask you a quick question. Just off the top of your head, how many potential JV partners would you estimate might be a fit for what you sell? Would you believe that I could identify more than a dozen for your profession? So conservatively, how many referrals would you estimate might be possible if a dozen other businesses were compelled to refer their customers to you for additional purchases?

Conservatively, let’s say you only get 3 referrals every month that buy from you. That’s less than one per week. How much additional revenue would that add monthly? Now multiply that by 12 to see your annual revenue increase.

One more thing before we move on. Remember earlier we discussed the critical importance of creating a highly compelling informational offer that would promise so much value to prospects that they would knock your door down to get it?

Suppose the florist offered this informational offer in their marketing, “5 Things Every Bride Should Know to Avoid Disaster on Their Wedding Day”. This offer would place TONS of prospects into their drip campaign and result in a tremendous increase in sales. Those new sales can then be referred to their new JV partners and they collect multiple referral fees every month.

This would absolutely dwarf the revenue we just uncovered for the florist in this example. What I find really exciting about JV’s is this is a strategy I help my clients implement immediately… and it begins generating instant cash flow for them right out of the gate. 

In a recent case study I conducted, I found $75,000 in additional annual revenue just using the JV strategy.

And again, that’s revenue that business will generate year after year after year.

$75,000 in additional annual revenue increases the valuation of that business somewhere in the range of $225,000 – $300,000.

This article was taken from my book, “45 Minute Business Breakthroughs,” to download a FREE copy of the entire book you can do that HERE.

If you would like to explore other options of how I can help you take your business and your life to the next level, find out more about my one-on-one coaching programs by clicking HERE

Another option to consider is our online business coaching program. The E-Learning Marketing System is the most powerful and dynamic do-it-yourself client attraction program ever created. It was designed to give every small business owner unrestricted access to the tools, resources and support they need to build whatever size business they want. Check out our FREE Guided Tour to find out more about the E-Learning Marketing System by clicking HERE