Lee Cockerell was Vice President of Operations at Disney World. There he set customer service policy and managed customer service teams.
In his book The Customer Rules, Lee Cockerell shows you how to use his 39 customer service rules to use a complaint as an opportunity to turn an unsatisfied customer into a raving fan.
His book is practical and funny. For example, Rule #1 is Be Nice.
So after working for some of the biggest companies in the world. When Lee sat down to write his book he didn't know where to start. So he asked his 5 year old granddaughter what customer service was all about. Her response was Be Nice.
Lee acknowledges that he couldn't put it better himself. That's the starting point and that's where you're trying to go. And every step that you take to get there is following the Be Nice path.
So why am I writing about customer service today? After all, what does it have to do with building your business and making sales?
As you know I love talking about the power of storytelling. Why? Because it builds trust and reveals your values. And trust is the foundation for the sale.
What's that got to do with customer service?
Customer service is all about building trust, revealing your values, and setting up future sales.
I've been a loyal Infusionsoft fan for years. Having one piece of software that can nurture leads, make sales and record customer interactions is great. Infusionsoft then makes it easy to track customers based on their actions and send them personal messages.
It's a great piece of software if you know what you are doing. It can also be very confusing and it is easy to get lost in the detail. Especially for someone like me, that isn't a techy.
I know what I want the system to do and I don't want to spend all day trying to make it work. When you run into a technical problem (which I do all the time). You can call their technical support team (on Arizona Time) and they usually know how to solve the problem. When you're trying to do up-sells and delayed billing even their technical team don't know how to make Infusionsoft work.
Infusionsoft is expensive! And for some time I've been looking into some cheaper alternatives.
The reason why I haven't switched is fear. I don't want to spend the time to learn another piece of software. I'd rather spend the time trying to help more people.
So, last week I called Infusionsoft to see if they would reduce the amount I'm paying every month. The guy I spoke to was not helpful. He told me nothing that I couldn't find by looking at their pricing page. In fact, he recommended that I change to a plan with a 500 contact limit. This would mean that I would pay for additional contacts and additional emails every month. So, not exactly a helpful suggestion.
Once I realised this, my patience hit the floor. That's when I wanted to know what package I had. What I discovered was that Infusionsoft had been overcharging me for 15 months!
I felt stupid and angry!
I felt stupid because I never properly checked what I was paying for. I felt angry that Infusionsoft had not done what they said.
So in June 2018, I managed to get my hands on an old 'Legacy' package that is much cheaper than their current packages. It was a great deal that involved jumping through a lot of hoops. It took months to transfer the package from an old client to myself. The transfer went through on 7 June 2018. Except...
I got an email confirmation of the transfer on 7 June 2018. I didn't check to make sure that the transfer actually happened.
So faster forward to last week. I call up Infusionsoft to see if there's a different package that I can use. I'm given a suggestion that will not help me. I discover that I've been overcharged for the last 15 months. So I want to get to the bottom of this mess... fast.
Enter the Customer Success Manager, Beau.
I explain to Beau what has happened and he spends the next 30 minutes trying to tell me that I'm wrong.
At this point, my fear of learning a new CRM system has jumped out the window and I'm asking to cancel my account.
Beau tries to resolve the situation by telling me "Don't to jump to any extreme conclusions. Cancelling does not solve the problem. I'm here to help."
He was absolutely right. Canceling my account does not solve the problem. In fact, it creates a new problem.
Beau returned to his previous argument of telling me that I was wrong.
For the next 15 or 20 minutes, Beau and I are talking over each other. The conversation ends when Beau puts the phone down on me!
I'm staring at my phone with a dumb-looking on my face saying, I'm the customer. How has he hung up on me?
I have to call Infusionsoft back to confirm that they will cancel my account.
So, after a frustrating hour on the phone (my fault for letting them waste so much of my time) I cancelled my Infusionsoft contract.
Drip pleasantly surprised me by having more features than I thought. It looks like it can do everything that Infusionsoft can... with a better user interface... at a quarter of the price!
One phone call turned a raving fan into a bitter customer.
I didn't call Infusionsoft to complain. I called to discuss options. That call turned into a nightmare for me that cost Infusionsoft $2750 a year.
Let's contrast this experience with...
Dan Kennedy has touched the lives of every big copywriter and internet marketer that you know today.
It was Dan Kennedy's No B.S. Direct Response Marketing book that gave me the Map To Eldorado, the famous city of gold.
I read all Dan Kennedy's books and then started buying his online courses. This was how I could learn from him without flying to the states.
All his workshops and online courses come with a 100% money-back guarantee. I'd never dreamed of returning any of his products because they are filled with gold.
His online courses are always recordings of live workshops. Depending on the quality of the recording, this can make you feel like being in the room. Or it can make you feel like you've paid for a product that you can't hear.
The product that I wanted to return was a poor quality event recording.
I was curious to know if they would honour the guarantee. I also wanted to know if they would make me feel bad about returning a high priced course.
To my delight there was no problem at all. I returned the accompanying workbook (that was 800+ pages) and got my money back immediately.
The fact that they did what they said they would, earned my trust. It made me want to spend more money with Dan. Which I've done many times over the years.
So good customer service creates trust and wins sales.
There's one more customer service story that I'd like to tell you.
A few years ago, my wife and I went to Paris for a long weekend. Something that was easier to do when we didn't have kids.
We had 4 glorious days in Paris. We got very lucky with the weather and enjoyed exploring the delights of Paris. And in 4 days we saw most of what we wanted.
Our train left Paris at 7pm. At 5pm we were enjoying a last glass of wine in a beautiful bar opposite Garde De Nord. At 6pm we stroll across the street, thinking we've got plenty of time to catch the train. Then we join a queue and waited... and waited... and... missed the train!
We missed the train because we were drinking wine opposite the station!
I couldn't believe my own stupidity. And I was worried about what would happen next. I assumed that it would be like missing a plane. You have to buy another ticket.
So when they told us that we could catch the next train, without having to spend a penny extra I felt like they had given us 2 extra tickets.
I've repeated that story 50 times or more because I was delighted with the outcome. Through repeating the story, I've learned that other people have had the same good fortune with Eurostar.
Eurostar saved me from my own stupidity and turned me into a raving fan.
Their customer service has earned trust and set up future sales.
The first thing Infusionsoft should have done is apologise for their mistake.
I had all the evidence. This was not a situation of He said... She said. The evidence was there in black and white. Yet they still tried to tell me that I was wrong.
The second thing Infusionsoft could have done is listen actually try and help me. Wow! What a novel idea!
This problem started because I called to ask about changing to a package that better fit my needs. I was told to switch to a package that was far below what I needed. If they had told me that for my usage there wasn't a better package then I would have been disappointed but that may have been the truth. There are many times when the truth hurts. This might have been one of those times.
The way you deliver bad news is much more important than what you say. I learned that my first day on the job in retail. I knew nothing and a customer came in with a problem. I couldn't help her. I needed to find someone that could. But I didn't lie. I explained that I was going to try and help her and to do that I needed to speak to someone else. I listened to find out the problem and then went to get help.
The customer was furious with the person who actually helped her because of the way he spoke to her. She was smiles and thanks to me... who did nothing because I made her feel valued.
Lee Cockerell's granddaughter said it best with customer service is about being nice. That's all I did.
If Infusionsoft had been nice. If they had made me feel like a valued customer then I might still be paying them 4 times the price for the same service.
I'm not a customer service expert. I'm not going to advise you on how to improve customer service in your business. What I am going to say is that we can all obey Lee Cockerell's first rule for good customer service...
Here's a short extract from The Customer Rules...
"Today, consumers have more choice than ever before. It's no longer enough to simply provide a service. Companies who want to stay in business must also provide impeccable service with such consistency, integrity and creativity that people who experience it will not only keep coming back for more, but recommend your business to their friends, families, and colleagues."
Every customer interaction is an opportunity to build the relationship, to earn trust and to set up future sales.
If a customer has taken the time to call you. Use that opportunity to build the relationship. If they call to ask for a refund, find out why. See if there's some way that you can help them. If nothing else, you'll learn how to improve your product.
You can't wave a magic wand at every problem. What you can do is make the customer feel that you care. You can follow through on your promises. And if possible, you can go way beyond what you have promised so even if you give the customer their money back, you have won their trust and loyalty. Because when you do that you are setting up future sales.
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Until next time...
P.S.When bankruptcy stole my first business. I made a commitment to myself to discover a repeatable system to turn strangers into customers on demand. A journey that ended when I made £30,105 in 9 days… without making a single sales call.
It's a system that I've used in many industries. To sell products and services ranging in price from £5 to £12,000.
A system that I've used repeatedly in campaigns that have dwarfed that initial success.
I'd like to show you how to use my simple 3 step system in your business so you can turn strangers into customers on demand. And build your dream business. A business that gives you the income and lifestyle you want.
Unfortunately, I can't show you how to use my simple 3-step system here. The post would run too long.
That's why I've written the book Consistent Profits Pyramid. The book shows you how to use my simple 3-step system in your business. So you can turn strangers into customers... on demand.
I'd like to give you a FREE copy.
To download your FREE copy now. Click the link below.
To download your FREE copy now. Click the link below.
I'm a copywriter and marketing expert that turns expertise into cash.
For the last 5 years, I've helped business owners to sell products and services in many industries. The products and services have ranged in price from £5 to £12,000.
My most successful campaign made £672,989 in 9 days.
I took that result and transformed it into a simple repeatable system. A system that I teach to ambitious entrepreneurs that want to make money on demand without a sales team.