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Nice Finishes First: The Case for Excellent Customer Service

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Several years ago I hosted an internet radio show on Voice America called “Step Up and Play Big with Chris Ruisi”. The show allowed me to meet some talented people, experts in their own right, and learn valuable information from them.

One show was about customer service as the title above states and my guest was Peter Shankman. Peter is best known for founding Help A Reporter Out (HARO), the social media website that redefined how journalism and PR work by connecting millions of sources with hundreds of thousands of journalists around the world each day, for free.

The basic premise for this show was that companies have forgotten how to service the customer to create amazing moments, and it’s costing them, big-time.

90% of companies say they provide excellent customer service, yet only 8% of all customers say the same. And 91% of customers say they won’t go back to a company after just one bad customer service experience. (Source: Bain & Company). Amazing customer service has become the exception, not the norm. And it’s costing companies millions of dollars in lost revenue, and multitudes of prospects who won’t go to you in the first place based on the experience that someone they trust had with your company.

Related: If You Want to Be a Success, Then Act Like You’re a Success

The top 5 takeaways from this show were:

  1. A basic fact in marketing: No one believes that you’re great if you have to tell them. Instead, provide exceptional customer service so that your customers become your “fans.” Treat them well and they’ll do your public relations for you.
  2. There are four rules of marketing: 1 – Be transparent, because it always beats lying; 2 – be short by getting your point across quickly, while leaving them wanting more; 3 – generate loyalty daily by asking your target audience how they want to be communicated with; and 4 – try to stay on top of your customer’s mind by reaching out to them just to talk to them, not because you want to sell them.
  3. When a company wants to institute a culture of “niceness,” the direction needs to generate directly from the leader or CEO. There’s more value to being nice, not just for your customers and employees, but for your bottom line, too.
  4. The grass is always greener when you water it. You can be jealous of other people’s success or you can work your ass off to get it yourself. Jealousy, gloating, and regret is the biggest wastes of time. Working hard and following your dreams isn’t selfish. If you want more, pursue it!
  5. To satisfy your customers, look at social channels. What are people talking about? What’s driving them insane? Figure out how you can make their day better. It might have absolutely nothing to do with your business.
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