Saturday, June 24, 2017

You are here: Home >

customer service

I am very fortunate to work with many business leaders who celebrate great team members at all levels of their organization. It’s not rocket science to understand and appreciate the strengths and value of each and every individual – from the executives in the corner office to the front of house staff.

It seems simple enough, but too often we may skip by someone because they aren’t on the list of people we need to meet or connect with today. Don’t be too hasty. Slow down the process when given an opportunity to meet new people — and ultimately you will build meaningful and lasting relationships.

Do we focus on position and title only? Is it most important to impress the CEO or build a relationship with everyone that you work with?
 Most people work within an organization that has more than one person. (You may be self-employed, a farmer or a retired vice-president, but most likely you can relate to the message I’m sharing.)

In this blog, I’d like to offer some insights into how we can all do a better job of building meaningful relationships with people at all levels and titles. There are only a few fundamentals that if you are patient and consistent and you do them every time, the opportunity to build meaningful relationships will exist.
building-business-relationships-300x200
Don’t limit yourself to the person you THINK you need to meet when building business relationships.
LRT (Like-Respect-Trust)
: This point is a passion of mine and I bring it up often, because it is simple and highly effective. Whether you are meeting the CEO or the receptionist, be likeable, show respect and earn the trust of others, over time. Title, age, gender or background doesn’t play a factor when you truly want to create LRT.

Connection
: As I learned from leadership guru and best-selling author John C. Maxwell, “Connecting is all about others”.
 As Maxwell states in his book Everyone Communicates-Few Connect, “When you are trying to connect with people, it’s not about you — it’s about them. If you want to connect with others, you have to get over yourself.”

Act with intention: 
Every interaction that you have with people you should ideally act with the intent on building a more meaningful relationship. This may occur at your place of work, the dry cleaner, grocery store and at home. Being aware of your intentions helps you in all situations. (Think about your intentions the next time you interact with someone.)

Be genuine: 
The more genuine and natural you are in connecting and speaking with others, the easier it will be to build meaningful relationships with people of all backgrounds, professions and titles.

If you are like me and you truly value people and you want to build relationships for keeps it takes effort, practice and focus. The above tips can work for you in all situations and all locations that you interact with people. Give them a try!
“People who have good relationships at home are more effective in the marketplace.” – Zig Ziglar

Here’s to your business success!

Share : Share on LinkedinShare on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on GooglePlus

{ 0 comments }

No worries Mr. Mack, that becomes my problem!

by mikemack on January 23, 2015

Share on LinkedinShare on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on GooglePlus

This story took place 20 years ago and I still tell it, because it was that remarkable.

In a previous career I spent three years working in Prince George, British Columbia. One of my favourite restaurants was called “DaMarinos”, a delightful little Italian restaurant with amazing food and remarkable service.Their spaghetti carbonara was amazing!! On one particular lunch hour I brought a few colleagues with me who were in town from Vancouver and we were hungry. small__5349417981 As I entered the restaurant, my favourite server promptly greeted me at the door. “Good day Mr. Mack, how are you today?” I told him I was great. He responded: “do you have reservations?” I sheepishly replied, No, sorry, we didn’t know our lunch schedule and plans today. He replied: “No worries Mr. Mack, that becomes my problem.” That was one of the most remarkable lines that I have ever heard from a customer service perspective, ever. I was totally delighted and that remarkable service was so memorable that I continue to tell this story in X5 workshops or with corporate customers.

What does remarkable service mean to you? When was the last time that you experienced remarkable service?
Remarkable service is when your business does something that your customers will remark about. Ideally, it is good and above ad beyond, but it doesn’t have to be big.

As you are about and about today, see if you can observe remarkable service. If you are working in your place of business, try to deliver remarkable service.

Remarkable service is wonderful to receive and not as difficult to give as you might think.

Mike Mack
“Helping Businesses Achieve Sales and Service Excellence”
photo credit: bengtham via photopin cc

Share : Share on LinkedinShare on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on GooglePlus

{ 1 comment }

Are you demonstrating value with your customers?

by mikemack on January 16, 2015

Share on LinkedinShare on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on GooglePlus

We are halfway through January 2015 and the world looks a little different than it did 12 months ago. There is a feeling of nervousness and uncertainty in the air. Regardless of how or why that it is happening, it is critically important for all businesses to demonstrate value to their customers. Demonstrating Value can be one of the most difficult steps in the Customer Sales and Service Process. Demonstrate Value
While it can be difficult, it shouldn’t be complicated or confusing to the customer. Businesses that successfully demonstrate value in the good times and challenging times win the day and retain customers.

So, how can you demonstrate value?

While every business is different, there are several basic and consistent ways to demonstrate value:

Make it all about what the customer wants and needs.

Provide testimonials and articulate how you have helped other customers.

Give to get. Can you provide samples of your product or offer complimentary time to prove how you can add value?

Sell less, listen more.

Slow down the sales process and seek to understand everything about the customer.

Be there for them after the sale.

Is your business demonstrating value? How can you improve in this area?
Hold a meeting with your team today and discover ways to demonstrate greater value to your customers. It will have a big impact on your business in 2015!

Here’s to your business success!

Mike Mack
“Helping Businesses Achieve Sales & Service Excellence”



Hire Mike Mack on eSpeakers Marketplace

.

Share : Share on LinkedinShare on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on GooglePlus

{ 0 comments }

As Customers, what do we really want?

by mikemack on December 23, 2014

Share on LinkedinShare on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on GooglePlus

Stay tuned for a Huffington Post Blog at the end of my Blog, title: “Maybe You Get Bad Customer Service Because You’re a Bad Customer”

We are all customers with many different businesses. Whether it is the dentist, dry cleaner, car dealership, fast-food restaurant or grocery store, we receive a product or service for our money. We expect many things in return, but what do we really want?

small_2781143011
I have asked many people this question in the past and the answers vary. Some want better prices, faster service, and shorter line-ups. Some want the business to answer the phone on the first ring….and some want things that are so unrealistic and absurd that you can never please them.

Ultimately, most of us really want a few basic, yet consistent things.

We want to be treated with respect. (This must be a two-way street) Customers need to show respect too!
We want to be shown empathy, when appropriate.
We want to be heard and listened to.
We want a fair transaction.
We sometimes want a relationship. (Whom can I call when there is a problem?)

When a business can figure this out, they have you as a customer for a long time.

Some businesses do this extremely well and many others don’t hit the mark on this.

My advice to consumers or customers: Inspect what you Expect! Make it clear what you want and expect and challenge your service or product supplier to deliver on those expectations. You do pay for it!

The world of Customer Service is not always an easy and rewarding one. The following Blog post from Huffington Post is a great example of how some customers can be so unreasonable and miserable that you can never satisfy them. Check it out: Read here

photo credit: Roche Photo via photopin cc

Mike Mack
“Helping Businesses Achieve Sales and Service Excellence”


Hire Mike Mack on eSpeakers Marketplace

Share : Share on LinkedinShare on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on GooglePlus

{ 1 comment }

Sales and Service: The fridge is sold separately

by mikemack on December 23, 2014

Share on LinkedinShare on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on GooglePlus

As consumers, we are constantly buying something that we want or need. Some items are big like a house and some are small like a toothbrush. The product that we buy seems to relate to our expectations and patience with the sales process and of course with the level of service associated with the sale.

small__8367968569Last year, a friend of mine bought a second home in Arizona. (A great idea when we have cold/chilly weather in Edmonton for almost 6 months each year. 🙂 ) After getting the home he had to do some shopping to stock up his home with furniture and appliances. He went to a well-known store (I will keep their name out of this story to be nice) and bought a washer/dryer and fridge/stove package. He arranged delivery while he was in Arizona as he was only there for one week due to work commitments back home. The delivery truck arrived with the washer/dryer and a stove. “Where’s the fridge?”, my friend asked. The delivery drivers said; “I guess they didn’t load it on the truck.” My friend said: “well you will have to go back and get it.” The drivers replied: “We can’t because we are fully booked with deliveries this week.” My friend called the local store and voiced his frustration and they replied with the same “no delivery this week” response. Now that his frustration hit another level, he drove to the store and talked to his sales representative. He once again was given the same answer. My friend moved up the management food chain and talked to the manager, and again he received the same response. Now, the volume of his tone was significantly LOUDER and he was asked to “keep it down” but he didn’t tone it down. 🙁 He tried to explain that he was only in Arizona for a few more days and a delivery next week was not an option. They still didn’t want to help. He asked for his money back on the fridge and he would then go to another store to buy one. They refused to give him his money back. Crazy!! Finally, after more yelling and persistence, the manager of the store said. “Ok, you can rent a truck and we will load the fridge here, but you have to unload it yourself.” Wow…this was NOT great service at all.

The morale of the story……..Don’t let your fridge stand in they cold!! When you buy a fridge and stove, make sure you ask if they will be delivered on the same day. 🙂

photo credit: triviaqueen via photopin cc

Mike Mack
“Helping Businesses Achieve Sales and Service Excellence”


Hire Mike Mack on eSpeakers Marketplace

Share : Share on LinkedinShare on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on GooglePlus

{ 0 comments }

If we can’t sell more in 2015, can we sell better?

by mikemack on December 23, 2014

Share on LinkedinShare on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on GooglePlus

With our economy shifting gears in the past 3-6 months, we are not certain on the outcome of 2015. Those of us that sell a product or service are hoping that we can get through 2015 with flying colors, but that story has yet to unfold.
In our Sales and Service Consulting business we have suggested to our customers that they need to ensure that Customer Service is “remarkable” and consistent in ALL aspects of their business. If more sales don’t materialize, they can still ensure that the existing customers come back for their regular business and purchases, based on providing their customers with “remarkable” service.
small__5019717121 Simple ways that businesses can “sell” better:

Communicate more with your customers (In-person, on-the-phone)
Unique Value (What can you offer that your competitors can’t?)
Smile more (Everyone loves service with a smile….and it keeps us coming back.
Train your employees to provide remarkable service. (Don’t leave this area to chance!)
Open-mindedness (Be able to look outside the box when solving customer problems)
Measure your customers spending with your business (Is it more than last year? Why is it up, why is it down?)
Empathy (Put yourself in the customer’s shoes when a challenging situation occurs)
Relationship (Try to learn more about your customer and connect with them…..it can go a long way!)

We can’t necessarily control if sales will be up or down in 2015, but we can control how we service our valued customers!

Happy New Year to all of you. May 2015 be your BEST year ever!!

Mike Mack
“Helping Businesses Achieve Sales and Service Excellence”


Hire Mike Mack on eSpeakers Marketplace

photo credit: Brendan Lynch via photopin cc

Share : Share on LinkedinShare on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on GooglePlus

{ 0 comments }

Share on LinkedinShare on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on GooglePlus

Attention…..There are only a few days left to get all of your Christmas shopping done! OK, I am speaking to the guys that read my Blog. 🙂

Living in Edmonton, Alberta where we have the largest mall in North America ( West Edmonton Mall ) there is access to virtual everything you need…..or don’t need. 🙂

West Edmonton MallAt this time of year the shopping pace gets frantic and we accept long line-ups and packed parking lots. Do we become more patient, or less tolerable with Customer Service?

After a recent trip to West Edmonton Mall I was not surprised with the long line-ups, but I must admit that the service turnaround was quite brisk and impressive. Maybe we “are” more patient? The reality for all of us that try to do some last minute shopping is that we have to accept the fact that it will be busier and lined with wall-to-wall people. During the recent trip to the mall we had the right frame of mind. Let’s get what we need (less shopping and more of the intentional buying) and also accept the crowds and embrace them. It was actually fun and no one was hurt in the process. 🙂

The morale of the story: If you want to avoid line-ups for Christmas shopping go to the mall on a Tuesday morning in September. The reality is that most of us wouldn’t take the time to do that, and maybe, just maybe, we actually get a kick out of shopping with crowds and having the opportunity to see the mall all-festive. We are creatures of habit and it appeared that thousands of other people had the same idea as well.
Oh wait….there is more. Tons of people will be at the mall at the crack of dawn on Boxing Day for savings and deals and I am pretty sure that the line-ups will be even more than we experienced on the weekend. Well, if nothing else, we are predictable and we definitely contributing to consumer spending at this time of year. The economy thanks us in advance!!

I wish all of you and your families a very Merry Christmas and all the very best over the holiday season.

With gratitude, Mike

Mike Mack
“Achieving Sales and Service Excellence”


Hire Mike Mack on eSpeakers Marketplace

Share : Share on LinkedinShare on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on GooglePlus

{ 2 comments }

Who says that we are awesome with Customer Service?

by mikemack on December 12, 2014

Share on LinkedinShare on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on GooglePlus

In the Pursuit of Service, customers get to decide when Customer Service is awesome and when it is NOT.

I chuckle when I hear various companies state that they are #1 in Customer Service. What is this based on? If you listen to the radio, it is common to hear the announcer say, “we are the #1 radio station in the city.” What is this based on? If everyone says that, someone must be #2, #3….or more importantly, someone may be stretching the truth.

small__3388029136So, who gets to say that your business is awesome with Customer Service? Your customers!!! Don’t misunderstand me, you must believe that you deliver awesome Customer Service, but you also have to back that with process and validation.

In our business we conduct “Service Audits” and look at all aspects of Customer Service. From the receptionist, to transaction errors, to on-time delivery time. These are vital measurements to ensure you are on the right track to giving awesome Customer Service, BUT, you still must hear it from your customer.

I am amazed that so many businesses don’t have a formalized process or system in place to actually measure their “perceived level” of Customer Service. I say perceived simply because you may be outstanding with your Customer Service, but if your Customer’s have higher standards and expect more than you are delivering you haven’t hit the mark. The very best way to find out is to ask your customer. This may be in a printed or on-line survey, or a brief call with your valued customers. Always ask what you can do to improve. It might be a simple suggestion, but when you heard it from enough customers it may validate that a particular area of your business needs to change. Focus on improving that area.

A number of years ago, I was a customer at a business. (The name and industry isn’t key for this story) One of the managers that I worked with made a comment that they purchased a new coffee machine and a new brand of coffee, and he was very excited about this. He told me about the effort they put into getting a great coffee machine and asked how I liked his new coffee. I didn’t like it unfortunately, but because he asked me I shared my thoughts and made a few suggestions. He took my advice and bought a different brand of coffee that was much better. It is such a small thing, but the fact that he asked, and more importantly because he did something with my feedback, I was genuinely impressed and felt valued as a customer.

We all deserve awesome Customer Service, and sometimes delivering awesome Customer Service isn’t that hard.

Mike Mack
“Helping Businesses Achieve Sales and Service Excellence”

photo credit: Mark Hodson Photos via photopin cc

Share : Share on LinkedinShare on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on GooglePlus

{ 0 comments }

Service in the Sun

by mikemack on November 28, 2014

Share on LinkedinShare on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on GooglePlus

After an amazing week recharging in the sun in beautiful Palm Springs, California I had lots of time to reflect on what Customer Service looked like from my viewpoint.

While it was the week leading into Thanksgiving in the USA and Black Friday shopping specials, the crowds where BIG and hungry for deals. I must admit that overall I was wowed by the level of service in the Palm Springs area. It is known for warm weather and sun, but local businesses seem to get it. They understand that customers will come back when the service is warm and friendly….just like the weather.

Elmer's Restaurant -  Palm SpringsA real treat included a stop at Elmer’s Restaurant. I had the pleasure of visiting Elmer’s about 4 years ago. Their German pancakes are legendary. We arrived on Thanksgiving Day and the parking lot was jam packed. Well, the good news was that they are still popular and people wanted to eat there. 🙂 When we asked for a table of four the focused and very seasoned greeter said to us: “It will be about a TWO minute wait. We smiled and thought…..ya, right. But, to our joy it was less than two minutes. We were whisked to our table and the server was full of life and energy and made us feel right at home. The arrival of our food was perfectly timed and the anticipation of that first bite of a lemon fused German pancake was building. Yum!!!! It exceeded our expectations!!

While we quickly ate the extremely tasty breakfast, new customers were continually arriving and somehow no one seemed to wait long, yet every table was full. What a system…what great service!!!

If you are in the Palm Springs area, I highly recommend you stop by Elmer’s Restaurant for a real treat and amazing Customer Service Experience.

Service in the Sun was alive and well for us. Now we look forward to seeing some great Service in the Snow when we head back to chilly and winterized Edmonton, Alberta. 🙂

I would love your comments or thoughts on this weeks Blog. 🙂

Mike Mack
“Helping Businesses Achieve Sales and Service Excellence”

*Upcoming Speaking and Facilitation engagements for Mike and X5 Management:

Howard Gardiner Associates Chartered Accountants Palm Springs
Can-Cell Distribution Edmonton
Brock Canada Edmonton
Stahl Peterbilt Edmonton
Frank Lyman Design Montreal
Delnor Construction Edmonton
Summit Trailer Edmonton
Productivity Alberta Edmonton

Share : Share on LinkedinShare on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on GooglePlus

{ 1 comment }

Share on LinkedinShare on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on GooglePlus

Does your business offer remarkable service? If not, have you at least experienced Remarkable Service?

small_2643254872 I have become so focused on observing how all types of businesses deliver their customer service that it is becoming second nature to me. It really can’t be that hard…or is it? The sad reality is that when an average business delivers “average” service they don’t seem to be straining themselves to lift your customer service experience. On the other hand, some of the best businesses that consistently deliver remarkable service don’t seem to have to strain very hard either. It looks effortless!

I am currently enjoying some time in the sun in Palm Springs. On Saturday, after arriving we decided to grab a quick bite at a small restaurant. We entered and no one seated us or acknowledged us. After about a 5-7 minute wait a server came to our table and threw four menus on the table, saying, “would you like something to drink?” Wow, such a warm start. 🙂 After we ordered it took a long time to get our food. We were ok simply because we were relaxed and on vacation. We overheard another table ask for their drink order. The server replied: “I can’t make my bartender go any faster.” No acknowledgement of slow service, just a fast comment that the bartender appears to care about awesome service as much as the server does. 🙁

After our lunch we needed to stock up on groceries for the week and went to a nearby Albertsons, which is a supermarket. There were tons of people and the shelves were packed with great food. We stopped by the deli and before we came within 5 feet of the counter, a young man came right up to his side of the counter and said: “good day folks, is there anything that I can help you with?” Ok, a nice first impression of this store. Five minutes later we appeared to be looking a long time at the dairy section. A young many came up, and without being asked, and said: “is there anything that I can help you with?” Ok, now we are seeing consistency and overall great service.
Remarkable service can’t be that hard and isn’t that hard. In the case of Albertsons great service I am remarking about it in this blog and I would imagine that they get lots of remarks about their customer service.

I am a fan and will remark more about this experience in future blogs.

Make it a great week!

Mike Mack
“Helping Businesses Achieve Sales and Service Excellence”

photo credit: highstrungloner via photopin cc

Share : Share on LinkedinShare on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on GooglePlus

{ 2 comments }