Thank God It's Monday!® Blog

Build customer loyalty when things go wrong

Customer loyalty is the golden goose of any business. Yet too many think that loyalty begins and ends with great products and services. You’ve got to look beyond the product to your reputation in the community.

And that has everything to do with how you treat the customer – especially when things go wrong.

It’s easy to handle customers with simple questions or needs. Do it well, do it with a smile—but know that that moment isn’t where your reputation is made. It’s in the thornier, more emotional moments, the times you are solving sticky problems for the customer, that your reputation in the community is made or lost.

When a customer comes to you with a problem, DROP EVERYTHING. Nothing matters more in that moment. Own the problem immediately, empathize with their frustration, and make it clear that you will not stop until it’s resolved to their full satisfaction.

There is no better feeling as a customer than knowing your frustration is coming to an end.

A perfect product or service is good. But solve a problem quickly and well, and customer loyalty is yours to keep.

Keeping Millennials on board

So you have mixed feelings about all the new Millennial generation employees around you. Hey, join the crowd. There’s plenty of talk about a lack of focus and commitment in these folks and whether they should even be hired in the first place.

Here’s a wake-up call: Unless your company can survive a generation-wide hole in the workforce (psst: it can’t), they WILL be hired. In fact, by 2025, those born between 1980 and 2000 will make up 75 percent of the workforce. For every one of us, there will be three of them!

Learning how to keep Millennials engaged and productive should be a top priority not only for managers but for the colleagues of these younger employees. It won’t always be easy. No generation has ever been as willing to jump ship for better wages or working conditions. When that happens, it’s hard on everyone.

It’s true that some Millennials want to be paid for doing nothing, but every generation has some of those, especially when they are young. But far from being lazy, the best of the Millennials are actually MORE likely to stay if they have challenging and meaningful work assignments that hold their interest.

So when you’re on a project with younger coworkers, don’t assume they can only handle the more routine tasks, and be sure to ask their opinions when you can. You might be surprised at what you get.

And don’t forget the importance of a little positive feedback once in a while. It can mean even more coming from you than from the boss.

Fixing a struggling sales team…

…When you’re on it.

Have you ever been on a sales team that’s failing to hit the numbers, month after month?

If you are hitting your own numbers, it’s tempting to just keep your head down and continue coming out on top. But the overall numbers matter to the health of the company, which means they should matter to you as well.

In fact, if you’re not on the direct sales team, hitting those goals matters because money for raises and bonuses comes from increased revenue. So yes, it DOES matter to you, no matter what.

So what can you do? Step up and solve the problem.

The most likely problem is people aren’t following the sales process. Perhaps they don’t know how to sell premium pricing. Or perhaps they don’t have the confidence to make or handle the calls.

Whatever the problem, realize you are there to be a part of the solution. And realize that the solution can never work unless people get honest. Almost all sales discrepancies have to do with people not being authentic about following the sales process or making the right number of sales calls.
You’ve heard the old statement…the truth will set you free.

What can you do today to help your organization hit its revenue goals?
Encourage your colleagues to be honest with management about how they need to do things better or different. When the company wins, everybody wins.

How do you get to Carnegie Hall?

You know the line…How do you get to Carnegie Hall? “Practice, Practice, Practice!”

Well, how do you get successful in your career?

Just three things: Hit your numbers. Hit your deadlines. And live the values of the organization.

Yes, there are a million things to do and you don’t have enough time. BUT the question is, how will you hit your numbers and deadlines regardless of those things, regardless of the lack of time?

True enough, the economy isn’t supportive and the competition is brutal, so there are many reasons you can’t hit your numbers. But what if you decided to anyway?
What would you have to change to make that happen?

A person of value is someone who consistently does the things others can’t or won’t do. They get results regardless of circumstances. They focus on the basics, and they get the job done, in part because it doesn’t occur to them that failure is an option.

It’s simply not on the list of possibilities.

Think about it this way—What if the person who handles payroll approached the job with an attitude of, “I’ll see if I can figure out how to get it done”?

That’s right. You got it now, didn’t you. What most people miss is that results are a non-negotiable in ALL jobs—not just in payroll.

Hit your numbers. Hit deadlines. Live values. That’s the way forward.

Jack Welch on employee engagement

The legendary Jack Welch once named three keys to business success: cash flow, customer satisfaction, and employee engagement. And guess where he put engagement?

Right on top.

He said, “No company, small or large, can win in the long run without energized employees who believe in the mission and understand how to achieve it.”

All the shiny products and dazzling services in the world fade into the background in comparison to a workforce that is engaged and fully on board with the company’s mission and vision.

As a member of your workplace community, you can’t assume that smiles in the hallway mean your colleagues are engaged. Companies need to measure employee engagement through regular anonymous surveys in which people feel completely safe to speak their minds.

Our clients show definitive improvement in the culture scores using our assessment every year without exception.

An anomaly? I don’t think so.

It’s because they use their assessment as an action plan to make things better the next year and to get all team members to understand that THEY create the culture and own the improvement of that situation.