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The Answer is Yes! Now, What Was Your Question?

The Answer is Yes

YOU SHOULD shoot for the moon when it comes to customer service says customer experience guru Micah Solomon. When you are small it is easy to give that personalized service to each customer. But when the orders begin to pour in, the attentiveness begins to slacken.

In Ignore Your Customers (And They’ll Go Away), Solomon says that “there’s no such thing as ‘customers’ in the plural. Rather, there’s just one customer: the one who’s being served right now.”

He begins with a concept he calls “automatic positivity.” It is an approach that says “yes to customer requests, rather than defaulting to an easy ‘no’ or one of the many synonyms for no.” The point is to find a way to accommodate your customers.

In the event that you have to say no, “there’s almost always a way to soften the blow. The solution, generally, is to restrain yourself from delivering this final no without having a yes to offer in the same breath. Offer an alternative solution and an apology that is likely to make your ‘no’ easier to accept.” There are obvious exceptions to this approach when there are health, safety, or security issues involved.

How to Build Automatic Positivity

1. Model “yes behavior” yourself.

If you hear yourself frequently telling customers some version of, “I’m afraid we cannot accommodate that request,” your employees will follow suit and find opportunities to like wise refuse to accommodate customers.

2. Spell out your commitment to yes.

Write the default o yes (including the nuances of what to do when you can’t say yes) into your company standards—and publicize those standards throughout the company.

3. Preach the gospel of defaulting to yes, starting in the very first minutes of employment.

Make it clear, from the first days of an employee’s tenure, that the way things are done around here is with customer-focused flexibility; that working here involves an ongoing attempt to maintain, in almost all situations, a default of yes.

4. Support your employees in getting to yes.

From their first fledgling, awkward attempts to find a yes for customers to their later, more-refined performances, employee efforts at yes deserve encouragement and applause.

Solomon goes behind the scenes of some of the great customer service organizations like Nordstrom, Zappos, The Ritz-Carlton, and many others. The end of each chapter has a Reader’s Cheat Sheet/Summary as well as a Reading Group Guide to help make the insights actionable.

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Posted by Michael McKinney at 11:17 AM
| Comments (0) | This post is about General Business



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