Roy's Blog: January 2015

January 31, 2015

How to turn a complaining customer into a certified fan

Most responses to customer complaints merely quote company policy.

They basically say “The reason you are upset with us is you don’t understand our policy.

Of course, all such replies just piss the customer off even more!

When a customer is upset with an organization, they don’t want to hear about company policy since it was the policy that probably created the frenzy in the first place.

If you want to turn a complaining customer into “your bitch” do these 5 things:

1. Acknowledge their pain. They need to FEEL that they have been heard and that you actually care about their concerns.

2. Apologize for screwing them around. “I’m sorry” is the beginning of WOW!

3. State the specific action that will be taken to make things right for them. Something concrete that removes the irritant is expected. Anything short of this will make matters worse.

4. Do something extra for the customer. Remember, successful service recovery demands that you “fix it and do the unexpected”.

5. Act fast. Time is of the essence here. You have literally 24 hours to deal with the issue. Any longer will remove any possibility of redeeming yourself.

Did I say don’t quote your rules and policies?

They don’t care.

Cheers, Roy

Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

January 26, 2015

It’s about time we had customer of the month awards

Many organizations have Employee of the Month awards.

I have no issue with employee recognition; it’s important to shout out those people who go the extra mile and make a solid contribution over time.

But what about customers who go the extra mile? Those who go above and beyond the call to help the organization carry on business successfully?

Don’t they deserve special recognition?

I’m not talking about customer appreciation events that cater to the masses and serve little but to quench the thirst of looky-loos.

I’m referring to individual recognition just like employees are afforded.

Do the same for customers.

Mr Smith of 110 Cedar Drive, Boston, Massachusetts deserves customer of the month if he excelled in delivering benefits to your organization. It may be new sales revenue, a testimonial to your service or it could be referrals.

It doesn’t matter.

Set out the criteria and make a BIG splash about honouring the special people who contribute to your well being.

In fact how about taking it one step further and celebrate employee-customer teams who create magic together?

Too over the top?

Don’t think so. Anything you can do to involve one of your loyal customers in a recognition scheme is more than a good thing.


Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

  • Posted 1.26.15 at 04:14 am by Roy Osing
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January 12, 2015

4 easy ways to bully your faithful customers

We all know the implications of bullying. Intimidation. Abuse. Harassment. All bad no matter what the circumstances.

In the world of “serving customers”, however, being a bully is actually a role earned through having a strong relationship with another person.

Bullies are effective at building strong, inmate, deep and trusted relationships. They know how far they can go with a customer; how far they can push.

They can get away with a slight annoyance with you because you know it isn’t serious. You can overlook a ‘behavioural blip’ because it is overshadowed by many memorable and fun moments.

Put in time

If you are in the serving business, these 4 things will allow you to achieve bully status:

1. Put in the time. Obviously if you have just met someone you can’t ‘beat them up’ through borderline actions. And you can’t earn automatic forgiveness for screw ups.
You MUST spend quality time with a person to gain their trust and establish a high degree of currency in their eyes. A challenge with transient markets; very doable with repeat business clientele. No time = No bully possibility.

2. Pay attention to her. Learn her secrets. Ask questions. Put the relationship ahead of the transaction.
If you only have 30 seconds to stop and ‘say hi’, make every second count. I can’t tell you how many times I have been amazed at the fact that Carla, Sarah, Morgan and Kevin at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler have found a way to have a quality nano-chat with us amid the chaos of their shift. Impressive. And memorable.

3. ALWAYS serve her consistently well. Customers are smart and will know immediately if you are insincere. If you grin her (give her the smile treatment) she will get it in a heartbeat and you are done. The thing is, if you are inconsistent in the things that bring her closer to you, distrust will set in. Bring your ‘A’ serving game to every engagement.

4. Make it about a conversation and an engagement, NOT a sale or transaction. Trust that you will be well treated if you deliver the relationship goods to her.

Bottom line: If I FEEL good about the relationship I have with someone, my emotional guards are lowered, my tolerance level goes up and my sensitivity to mistakes is reduced.

I am open to being bullied and I enjoy it.


Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

  • Posted 1.12.15 at 04:32 am by Roy Osing
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January 5, 2015

What happens after you really piss them off?

You’ve heard this before: even controversial advertising is better than advertising that gets no reaction at all.

I recall a TV ad I ran once that infuriated people in Manitoba, Canada. Apparently the visual way we represented flat prairie landscape was not complementary to some, and they spoke up (loudly). We received calls and letters and attracted media attention to explain our position.

It was a good thing. Sure we could have caved to the pressure and pulled the ad. But we didn’t.

We let it play and rode the wave of criticism.

It was a good strategy. We were delivered a gift to be able to not only explain our creative approach to the ad, but more importantly talk about the communications strategy and customer value proposition behind it.

Unpaid advertising; “permission” to communicate directly with willing customers - awesome.

Boring ANYTHING sucks to me. I would rather be pissed off at someone or something because at least they or it has got me thinking about what they have to say.

They now have me on their radar.                       

It’s ok to be contrarian; beats the hell out of being an insipid blend of ordinary.

They key is what happens AFTER the piss-off moment. Where will you take me? What gold will you deliver?

You can’t leave me hanging after triggering my adrenalin response. Use my heightened state of emotion to advance your agenda.

And you can’t attack me because of my response. Be thoughtful. Be in your breath. Be still.

Then respond to take advantage of my vulnerability and turn me to YOUR side.


Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

  • Posted 1.5.15 at 04:54 am by Roy Osing
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