The Corporate Muse
Welcome to our little ezine we call, The Corporate
Muse. This month we tackle bad service experiences; give some observations on a recent seminar
and an overview of ebooks. As always, we welcome suggestions and/or questions.
Is Your Good Service A
They had about a 30%
chance of keeping our business, but then they sent in Patricia the Wonder Rep.
(This is a true
story, folks. The only thing I've made up is the name, Patricia, which may or may not be her real name.)
I don't want to drag
this out into a overly long, she said, she said, so I'll try to keep it to just the highlights.
We rarely write
checks and it just recently became necessary to order a checkbook for our business. I searched the Internet and found what I
thought to be a reputable business forms company; obediently gave them the pertinent information and waited for my
When it appeared I
wouldn't receive one, I jotted one off to them, but never heard back. A few days later, I did receive an email stating I
needed to fax them with a cancelled check before they could finish processing the order.
could have ended satisfactorily there had my fax machine and scanner been working. But since both were on the fritz, it would have been a great inconvenience (not to mention an
added expense) to comply.
I wrote back and
asked for a physical address. They told me I could scan the cancelled check and
email the copy to them. Obviously, that wasn't going to work either.
By this time, it had
starting to become an irritation. I decided I needed to talk to a real person, but
when I telephoned, I got an automated message. The only available option was to
leave my name, number and problem and someone would call back within 24 hours.
it. No one returned my call.
The last straw came
when I checked my bank statement later in the week and discovered that, even though they were unable to finalize my order,
they had already charged my account ... at $13 more than I'd expected to pay.
I called the next
day to cancel and spoke to a sweet woman, who took my information and asked no questions.
When it took more
than a few days to receive my refund, I phoned again. And again I got the
Let's say I was a
bit cynical by this time. I didn't expect to hear back.
But bright and early
the next day, (about 8 a.m. -- and if you were wondering -- yes, I was still in bed) Patricia called.
Not more than a
couple of words were out of my mouth before she started interrupting me. The
conversation continued in this vein. I'd answer her question and she'd cut me off and tell me why my thinking was all
My complaint, to
start with, was with their customer service department. She informed me it was
miscommunication on my end.
"You're saying our
customer service is bad and our customer service isn't bad," she screeched in my poor sleepy ear..
It wasn't the only
thing I had to gripe about, but we never got farther than that.
Patricia ended the
conversation with, "Okay, we'll give you your money back. Go ahead a pay more
Here's a little
tidbit Patricia doesn't know. I went somewhere else. Paid less and it was hassle
What I find very sad
about the whole incident is twofold. First, as I said earlier, the company had an
opportunity to save my account. Secondly, and more importantly, they believe they
offer superior service.
reads, "If you are not completely satisfied with any form or check order at any time, for any reason, we''ll refund the
purchase price or replace it FREE! Regardless of fault."
don't stand by their promise. Or at least, Patricia doesn't.
Most of us have
undergone the irony of poor service in the face of a similar pledge.
It's one thing not
to care, it's another thing all together to believe you're doing a good job when you're not.
Neither is good, of
course, especially in a world of fierce competition. Sometimes "positively
outrageous service"* is the only thing that sets you apart from the dozens of businesses just like
Just as a bad
incident sticks with you, a good one can stand out like a shining star. Think
about the last time you had a positive customer service experience.
(I know it might
take a few minutes, so I'll wait.)
We've all had those
delicious moments. She smiled warmly and welcomed your comments. He went out of his way to be sure everything for your special day was absolutely
perfect. They offered compensation for your inconvenience.
How did these kind
souls make you feel? Special, right? It's how all of us want to feel, and how, if we believe in following the golden rule, we
should strive to make our customers feel.
Surly, apathetic, or
even rude "customer care specialists" are everywhere, ruining one person's day at a time.
That means you have
an amazing opening to jump ahead of the pack.
Be a beacon of
service superiority in the sea of mediocrity. You'll keep your clients smiling and
returning again and again!
*(Borrowed -- for illustration purposes -- from a popular restaurant chain.)
© QuickSilver Copywriters 2006 - Andy & Shawn Catsimanes; http://www.quicksilvercopywriters.com/; mailto: firstname.lastname@example.org; Sign up for The Corporate Muse:
In the simplest of
terms, networking is connecting.
This past weekend,
we attended a seminar. We went to network. And we did. But I noticed a few things
I want to share with you:
- Networking is a scary deal. People
don't always know where to start. Sure they want to reach out and get to know those who can take their business to the
next level, but the desire and the doing are often two different things. The number of people standing alone off to the
side was staggering -- especially on the first day.
- Some people click instantly. I've been fortunate to have those magical moments of
instant connection. They're rare. But some people naturally draw others and
will always be surrounded by a group. And they don't necessarily have to be the "gurus."
- The second day is warmer. I observed a lot of loners on the first day, who by the
second day, had surmounted their shyness and were talking up a storm.
- Eye contact will bring them to you.
Something as simple as meeting someone's eyes and
smiling can break the ice. This was true in the case of a man who stood
three feet from me chewing one of the giant chocolate chip cookies they offered as an afternoon snack. (Yes, I was having
one too.) We chatted for a good ten minutes. He was an interesting fellow
too. Flew all the way to San Diego from England. I would have missed that opportunity if I hadn't made myself open to
- You can't determine the
outcome. We went
with the best intentions. We had a good idea of what we wanted to
accomplish and how we wanted to accomplish it. But things don't always go
as planned. It doesn't mean we failed. In fact, I'd say just the opposite.
We met a lot of great people. People we might not have met had things gone the way we'd willed them to go.
Networking is experiential. It's also an ongoing process. The more you attend and the more you learn in between
events, the better your networking will become. The important thing is to keep trying, because making human connections is
important to your business and your life.
Have you considered writing an
ebook? Might be a crazy question, but ebook popularity is on the
An ebook is an electronic document, usually in a PDF form. It downloads right onto your computer and can be read
on the screen or printed out for more convenience. (For this reason, ebooks
rarely run more than 120 pages from the Table of Contents to About The Author.)
People like them because they have instant access to the information they were seeking.
Not every business, product or subject works for an ebook. Information products translate best. eBooks can also be used to explain new items in your product line.
eBooks are very versatile. You can sell them online,
generally for more than a print book. You can give them away as bonuses or as a
way to introduce people to your products or services.
They can help you gain authority. You instantly
become a published author once your ebook goes "live."
Writing an ebook might not be for everyone, but it's a great way to help you gain visibility and credibility,
especially if you're just beginning to build a presence on the Web.
Thanks for reading. See you next month!
Andy & Shawn Catsimanes
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