You have the power to influence your customers positively. But one negative encounter  can kill customer loyalty faster than any other issue.  Without customers a business will cease to exist.  Therefore, building good relationships needs to be at the top of business list.

After experiencing  poor customer service experience in one of my favorite chain craft stores, I saw a need and decided to write a letter and offer my services. I thoughts to myself, “I wonder how many others this type of experience has affected their customer loyalty?” (Letter is italicized below)

I started the letter with this question….”Will your employee’s attitude help to increase your profits today?
Or, is their lack of awareness hurting your bottom line?”

Hello, My name is Cathy Freeman, owner of Real Positive Change,    

Due to a situation that happened this week in your store, I would like to visit with you and offer my companies services. For the past 17 years I have worked with private individuals, well as companies, to help improve their communication skills with the public, and increase their level of managing stress. I feel that these two key elements are part of the major components which impact the type and level of customer service that is ultimately offered in a business. And would you not agree with me that, besides having a good product, the ability to connect with customers is what keeps them coming back building strong customer loyalty.

I would like to relay the situation that occurred, not in a form of complaint, but only to illustrate my point of the impact an employee has on a customer. As you already know, their lack of knowledge and training ultimately costs the company money. I hope you agree with me that an employee who is unaware of the impact of their own personal thoughts, and how they create a noticeable attitude and message, a message that speaks louder than their physical actions, cannot build a bridge between themselves and the customer. This lack of knowledge and training hinders their ability to connect with people, impairing their ability to offer good customer service.  If a customer does not feel that connection, then their loyalty goes elsewhere. 

Let me take a moment and share my story….Over the past three months I have frequently purchased product in my preparations of an upcoming wedding. This past Monday evening I made a quick trip to your store to return the left over flowers that were not needed for the flower arrangements. I was serviced by one of your capable employees who took care of my need quick and efficiently. However, she was not aware that her thoughts were sending an unspoken message that spoke loud and clear. We have all experienced the feelings of unspoken words given through a persons attitude and body language. Her attitude spoke a feeling of annoyance and irritation. I typically excuse these experiences with the thought of…”they must be tired, or having a bad day”, and leave the situation not allowing myself to be affected by what they are feeling. Although I have excused their poor actions, it is the store which ultimately suffers from not making a positive customer/business connection with me.

(One negative person stands out in the crowd, becoming the customers last memory)

Not Wanting To React, We Make Excuses  For Them

(email continued)

I pardoned her attitude and went about taking care of finding the other product that I needed. Upon my return to the check out counter I observed her making a cynical comment to the other cashier about our earlier transaction. This second cashier was caught off guard and left her in a confused state of how she was to proceed. Although I was bothered by what had transpired, the only words I said to her were, “thank you for helping me and I hope you both have a good night”.

It was this second situation which caused me to realize that she was not educated to the power of ones thoughts and the actions that they physically produce. Upon arriving at my home, I decided to pull out a few of my receipts to add up the amount that I had spent on florals alone. These numbers do not reflect the many frames, décor, paper, wedding books, scrap books, and other miscellaneous items that I have also bought through Michaels for this wedding.

My total of flowers alone came to $ (xxxx) The returned amount was $(xxx) hardly enough to upset the profit that has been made through my transactions. (I gave them the accurate $ amounts)

I understand that this employee could have no idea that I had spent such an amount, plus more, over these last 2 ½ months. Nor would she know that I had recently purchased (90) – 10 x20 canvases and $(xxx) worth of paint and art supplies for a youth camp just three weeks ago. But what I hope she does realize, is that customer service is your life blood, and that she plays a vital and valuable part in the ebb and flow of customer satisfaction, and the businesses profit and increase.

Many times employees bring their frustrations from home to work, or complacency steps in and affects their performance. Both attitudes act like a virus, that if left unattended, will spread and infect the other employees. The solution lies in education. In training employees of the power of their own thoughts and how to have a positive impact. Teach them quick techniques to manage, and lower personal stresses immediately which can off set the affects caused by rude or negative customers. Give them strategies for a greater awareness of their own thoughts, attitudes, and body language, which will impact the customer and bring successful communication between customer and employee.”

I would be happy to meet with you to discuss what training I can offer your company, to ensure future positive experience between employee and customer, helping to improve customer loyalty.

Thank you for your time,

Cathy Freeman

How many times has this happened to you?  

You walk into a room, and no one has to say a word, but you can just feel that their might have been words or a disagreement right before you got there.  You are feeling the atmosphere of the room; their attitudes racing back and forth like energy that runs on a electrical wire.  The energetic message, whether positive or negative, is passed along.from individual to individual. When one person is over taken with stress, then everyone feels their stress.  Being able to resist reacting to negative situations means building a resilience within yourself.  A resilience that can easily handle all the pressure that your face on a daily basis.

What is Positive Customer Service?  Why is it important to Customer loyalty?

Building good relationships with your customers is the key, and that begins with paying attention to customer service.  Thanking customers and promoting  a friendly, helpful environment is easy.  I have included 5 tips to help you increase good customer relations. Customer loyalty begins with a happy employee, so remember, you have to take care of yourself first before you can give to others. These are the basics for creating an environment that will leave your customers with a good impression, and ensure the return of a happy customer.  Remember thought……you have to take care of yourself first before you can give to others.  When the well is empty, no one can bring water.

The ability to magnify a positive attitude on a continual basis, even when others are rude and grumpy, is skill and that is what good customer relations is all about.

5 Tips to Create Customer Loyalty, & Increase Good Customer Relations  

  1. Awareness – Be aware of what you are focusing your thoughts on.  Any negative thoughts or ideas (like being annoyed that this is the 10th person to ask the same question) will send out a negative message….The mind produces a chemical to match our thought.  This chemical could also be called a feeling.  These chemical (feelings) are the signals that people can easily read.  So be aware of your thoughts and the messages you are sending out.
  2. Keep Smiling.  A smile will counteract the heavy emotions that other people are giving out.
  3. Empathize with the customer by listening and showing concern.  The moment a person feels acknowledged then they are ready to create something different.  You have met them at the level that they are choosing to experience, gave understanding, now you can raise your emotional energy level up a notch and ;they will typically follow.  How?  You raise the emotional energy by bringing  in thoughts of what you are grateful for.  You can also compliment and express gratitude to the other person.  As you find genuine things to express gratitude for, you also invite the other person to raise their emotional energy.
  4. Go out of your way to do some small and simple act of extra service.  This act will not cause you a great deal of time and effort, but the return on your time investment will be noticeable.
  5. Be A Believer.  Believe Any thing is possible.  NEVER, NEVER, NEVER give up!

When was the last time you examined if your attitude might be helping or hurting business?  

 


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