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Success Newsletters

Volume 2: Nov/Dec 2002 Issue

In This Edition
1. The 6 Definitive Laws Of Customer Service Excellence
2. Dave Thomas: The Genius Behind Wendy’s
3. Recommended Reading

Today, just delivering customer service is not enough. It takes a lot more to win the heart, mind and loyalty of your customer. You have to work hard to build trust with your customer, you have to work harder to nurture the win-win relationship, and your entire focus needs to be on making your customers and clients feel so important and special that they would not want to go anywhere else; then, and only then, will they go beyond just wanting your product or service to recommending and introducing you to others as well. Customer satisfaction and retention is the key to keeping and growing your organization or business. Customer service is not a choice in today’s highly competitive world, it is a necessity. It is a commitment to excellence every time you pick up that phone, try to sell your product or service, speak to the customer, or answer your customer’s questions or concerns. Customer service is how you present yourself in both formal and informal settings.

Here are six things I believe are the “definitive laws” when it comes to putting on the customer service hat.

1. Be In Business For Your Customers
When I went in to business for the first time many years ago in the U.K. owning my first modest hairdressing salon, my father gave me some good advice, he told me these very simple but so true words: “Be in business for your customers”, he said, “Look after your customers and they will look after you”. He was a small business owner in Manchester, and lived by these words himself. They proved true for him and for me. I believe these words ring true if your business is small or your company big. Service is service, no matter the size. Thanks for the wise words dad!

2. Exceed Your Customer’s Expectations Every Time, Not Your Expectations
It is not how well you think you are doing that counts, it is how well your customer thinks you are doing!! Please remember that, and solicit, encourage and seek out feedback at every opportunity. And act on your customer’s recommendations.

3. Show One Face
Treat every person as you would like to be treated, with the same respect and dignity. Do not pre-judge people because of their appearance or demeanor, and be on 100% at all times. Take a moment to pack away any baggage you might have from outside or even inside your work environment before you face the customer.

4. Build Good Relationships
It truly is all about relationships. That old saying: if people do not like, trust, or respect you, they will not do business with you, is so true. Today few people have a product or service that no one else has and this is a very competitive market place; building life long relationships with your customers is imperative and makes good business sense.

5. Be A Great Listener
We all like to talk, but being a good listener is sometimes another matter. Show empathy and compassion at all times, listen to your customer’s point of view at all times, and most of all, do not interrupt them when they are talking or become defensive. Follow the 80/20 rule: talk 20% of the time and listen 80% of the time. Dale Carnegie said: “You will make more friends in two weeks by being interested in other people, than you will in two years by trying to get other people interested in you”

6. Respect and Appreciate your Customer
Always respect and appreciate your valued customers and clients. Keep in touch with them. You can never say thank you enough for their business. Let them know you care about them, and never underestimate the power of a smile, saying please and thank you, a sincere compliment, a hand written note. Never take your customer for granted and they will stay loyal to you.

“ There is only one boss: the customer. And he can fire everybody in the company. From the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else”
Sam Walton, Founder Of Wal-Mart.

DAVE THOMAS: The Genius Behind Wendy’s.
He was an orphan who become a multi millionaire, a high school dropout whose dream of running a family-style restaurant grew into North America’s third-largest burger chain.

Dave Thomas was always on our T.V. screens it seemed, at least here in North America. He looked just like a regular guy, someone you would be proud to have as your dad or favorite uncle. In fact, he was deemed “cool” because he was so anti-cool. In a culture of glitz, glamour, trends and gimmicks, Dave Thomas and his Wendy commercials stood out for simplicity, unpretentious, good old-fashioned values and honesty.
Born July 2, 1932, In Atlanta, Georgia, he was adopted at 6 weeks by Rex and Auleva Thomas of Michigan. His adoptive mother died when he was just 5, and he spent the next 10 years moving from city to city as his father searched for work. Dave landed his first job working the counter at a Knoxville, Tennessee restaurant and fell in love with the business. At 15, he found work at the Hobby House Restaurant in Fort Wayne, Ind. When his father pulled up stakes again Dave stayed behind, quit high school and moved into a room at the YMCA. While working at the Hobby Horse restaurant Thomas met Colonel Harland Sanders, who later went on to fame and fortune as the owner of the Kentucky Fried Chicken Chain. Colonel Sanders became a very big influence on Dave Thomas’s life.

In 1969 Thomas founded Wendy’s Old Fashioned Hamburgers. From that first small restaurant back in 1969 his vision has grown to 5,700 locations in 34 countries operating now under Wendy’s Restaurants. Thomas differentiated his chain from the competition by emphasizing fresh, not frozen beef patties shaped in squares. When once asked why the hamburgers were square, Thomas replied: “Because we don’t cut corners”. That revealed much about the man and his approach to life.

People said about him that he was great at identifying with people, building relationships, just being honest, down to earth, no hype, what you see, is what you get. In Grade 10 before he dropped out of school Thomas wrote in an essay that defined his philosophy to his dying day: “If you’re happier driving a truck than being a president of a bank, drive a truck, the main thing in life is to be happy.” Dave Thomas lived and enjoyed life to the fullest.

Dropping out of high school remained his biggest regret, and to his great credit he went back to school 45 years later, already a multi millionaire and a household name. When he graduated from Coconut Creek High School in Fort Lauderdale he was voted “most likely to succeed” by his classmates.

He died earlier this year at the age of 69 after a lengthy battle with liver cancer. He left behind an $8 billion dollar a year empire. Not bad for a kid who dropped out of high school.

Dave Thomas will be sadly missed; he was one of life’s genuine good guys, a very caring and generous man who in 1992 founded the Dave Thomas Foundation in an effort to improve orphaned children’s chances of finding a home. He never forgot where he came from. We could all learn much from his work ethic and simple approach to life and business success. Do what you love and love what you do…

Your Road Map To Success by John Maxwell
In a refreshingly straightforward style, best-selling author John Maxwell shares unique insights in to what it means to be successful, and he reveals a definition that puts genuine success within your reach yet motivates you to keep striving for your dreams.

The Little Book Of Business Wisdom edited by Peter Krass
Imagine if the world’s great business leaders, past and present were there to coach you whenever you faced a crucial business decision. This book is a tremendous resource and will help you get ahead in business.

The Customer Driven Company by Richard C. Whiteley
This is not a new book, but I came across it recently. It is one of the all time classics and bestseller on customer service. This is a great read with lots of good information and as the sub title says, it’s about: “Moving from Talk to Action.”

“ When we recall the past, we usually find that it is the simplest things-not the great occasions that in retrospect give off the greatest glow of happiness” Bob Hope

“ Persistence takes a focus that doesn’t see the obstacles, but only the opportunity” Doug Firebaugh

“ Don’t wait. The time will never be just right” Napoleon Hill

Date Added: November 23, 2002 | Comments (0) | Filed under: Newsletters

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