Get automatic updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Connect with Steve Sipress


How To Keep Your Ship Afloat


Last week, I had a meeting with the CEO of a corporation based here in Chicago. Her company has been in disarray and decline since she bought it from its founder about 18 months ago, with many of her current and past employees characterizing her as everything from greedy, arrogant and clueless to a drunk, paranoid “schoolyard bully.”

It’s been rough going for this CEO ever since the moment of acquisition, with one long-time, formerly-loyal customer letting me know, “She lost me the first time I heard her speak” and a would-be business partner lamenting to me, “I haven’t heard one positive thing about her from anyone who’s had any business dealings with her.”

More than one employee and strategic partner of the company has let me know, “I can’t stand her or her ideas, but I’m just going to play along and milk her for every dime I can get before she’s gone.”

As the harsh criticisms of many of the company’s customers, employees and strategic partners mounted to a seemingly-deafening level, she asked me if I had ever heard the saying, “Loose lips sink ships.”

All I could think to myself was, “Nice try at blaming others, but do you know what really sinks a ship? An inept captain who steers it into an iceberg.”

Whether or not you are incompetent at running your business, negative customer feelings and opinions can threaten its very existence.

That’s why I’ve been discussing the importance of providing excellent customer service over the past few weeks.

The key to any great customer service experience is consistency. In order to create satisfied customers and turn them into Raving Fans, you have to go well above and beyond the average customer service experience.

Here are the three keys to developing customer service consistency…

1. Avoid offering too many customer service options

Sometimes we get so caught up in attempting to give our customers what they want that we get sidetracked from our own original vision. The smarter strategy is to stay true to your vision, and offer one or two solid customer service techniques that will set you apart from the competition.

It’s critical for you to fine tune the current systems you’re using before you add anything else into the mix. It can be disastrous to launch a new customer service program when you haven’t even worked out the kinks of your old system.

2. Put solid systems into place

Once you know what you’re going to offer, you need to put a system into place to execute your objectives flawlessly every time. You need to have the right people in the right roles handling the right responsibilities, plus processes and technology to guarantee a positive experience every time. Emphasis needs to be placed on the results – meaning, ultimately, the satisfaction of the customer.

3. Provide excellent training

Once you have your system in place, you need to train your people to use it properly and efficiently to ensure that they deliver the results your customers are looking for. Comprehensive initial and ongoing training is essential for your system to work, and for all of your people to work together cohesively to implement your strategy.

I hope this has given you an idea of what you need to do in order to put a quality customer service system into place. If you need help, try our FREE test drive and gain access to an amazing wealth of resources, tools and coaching.

Because if your customers become dissatisfied, you may soon find your business sinking to the bottom of an icy ocean.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *