Customer Service, First Impressions, Leadership, Lyn Bromley, Planning

Why customer service is so important

As promised, I have a guest blog for you today.  This is a great piece on the importance of customer service by Gordon Carmichael of Key Parker, a fabulous creative agency.

The art of good customer service is about knowing what your customers’ wants and needs are before they do.

Allow us a comic example: there’s a scene in ‘Coming to America’ where Eddie Murphy asks a waiter in a restaurant to taste his soup.

“Is the soup not your liking sir?” asks the waiter.

“Just taste the soup.”

“Is the soup cold sir?” he asks again

“Just taste the soup.”

“Is this not what you ordered sir?”

“JUST TASTE THE DAMN SOUP.”

“Yes sir…oh but you don’t appear to have a spoon.”

“Ah, now we’re getting somewhere!”

As they say: fail to prepare, prepare to fail!

In an age where commoditisation and price pressure are commonplace, service is the one area where a brand can create real differentiation.

As management guru Peter Drucker puts it:

‘A company’s primary responsibility is to serve its customers. Profit is not the primary goal, but rather an essential condition for the company’s continued existence’.

Its often been said that the definition of a brand is its customers’ gut feeling about its products or service.

Those products and services provide customers with a choice. But it’s the brand and its values that can define whether those customers will choose one product or service over another.

Service is a key pillar in building a successful and sustainable brand. And when it costs at least five times as much to win a new customer as it does to retain an existing one, why would you play customer service roulette?

Social media has raised the profile of customer service and enabled it to be used as a key marketing tool. But with the proliferation of voucher sites, discount codes and price comparison sites the customer service water can appear cloudy. However, in the long run, customers will always return to the clarity of a service that values them as an individual.

Great customer service is a virtuous circle. Creating a compelling value proposition will build loyalty, which in turn will build growth, which will lead to increased profit, which can be reinvested in compelling value propositions.

Going back to Eddy Murphy and his soup, that starts by having the tools in place to deliver the right service and those value propositions.

For more blogs by Key Parker, please visit the ‘musings’ page of their website.  It’s definitely worth a look as it is one of the best sites I have ever seen and a great showcase of their creative and digital talent.

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First Impressions, Goal setting, Lyn Bromley, Planning

A little bit of planning goes a long way

Since signing up to the Ultimate Blog Challenge, I have been thinking about what to share over the next 28 days.  I couldn’t get started on the serious stuff without doing some planning. You see, I spent roughly 15 years helping people to plan.  I must have trained, helped and supported at least 150 businesses; small, medium and large to plan over the years, so to me planning is a habit so ingrained that it is as natural as breathing.

planning

You must have heard the old adage that to ‘fail to plan is to plan to fail?’  The quote seems to have come from Churchill originally and he knew a thing or two about planning!

So I have spent some time drafting a list of topics that I might talk to you about over the remainder of this challenge.  One of the first rules of planning is to be nimble, to expect the unexpected so you can tweak your plans at a moment’s notice.  I’d love to know if there is something specific that you would like to hear from me about.  Areas of expertise for me are:

  • Planning/goal setting
  • Women in business
  • Personal branding, including appearance, behaviour and communication
  • Body confidence
  • Leadership
  • Mentoring
  • NLP (Neuro-Linguistinc Programming)
  • Training
  • Consultancy skills

So, back to planning and I have to include goal setting within that.  For me, planning my goals is an essential factor to success.  If goals are not set, how do you know when you have achieved anything?  What would you have to push you that little bit further, to tempt you to go a little higher?

It’s also why I took on this challenge – you see, one of my big goals is to write a book.  Now I haven’t written a book before, I know I can do it and I’ll get the right help along the way to ensure that it is successful.  But what I haven’t done for quite some time is just to sit and write, so I thought the discipline of blogging every day for a month would give me a great taste of how it is to write, what I enjoy writing about, what my writing style is like, where do I like to write – not in my office I have discovered!  At the moment I’m sitting in our ‘snug’ room looking out over the garden having just taken our mad dog Martha for a walk.  I was reading Jackie Malpass’ blog earlier http://jacquimalpass.com/burt-my-naked-writing-muse/ about when and where the muse strikes – I’m still finding out, so I’ll let you know Jackie when I have found out myself!!  Judging by Jackie’s list I shall have fun finding out too!!

I’m looking forward to reading your questions and suggestions about what you would like to see from me, otherwise I shall be writing about body confidence tomorrow I think, unless the mood takes me to write about something else!!  That’s it, I have a theory shared with one of my Master Trainers Agnès  Brownthat when you wake up in the morning, you need to see how you feel before you can decide what you will be wearing…maybe writing is just the same…anyway, more on that tomorrow!

Until tomorrow,

Lyn

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