Jan 11 2010

Hidden Customer Service Salespower

“Customer service begins



after the sale is made!”

–IBM, the early days


Is it just me? I hate the put-stuff-together, 46-fold-road-map-style directions printed in fading gray ink on tissue paper (but in 27 languages!) for products I purchase. Like the Christmas toys that even your child can assemble that kept you up half the night, HO! HO! HO!

And then there are those great power tools from Mexico with instructions that challenge your English-Spanish pocket dictionary left over from trying to deal with the landscapers last summer, when you offered them –por favor– a bowl of eyeballs instead of ice cubes.

You got the tools for putting together that great “Early American” furniture set from China, with instructions in broken English and diagrams to match? Oh, and only 89 of the 92 parts?

Or how about those “E-Z Steps” that accompany the new services you signed up for? You know, the “techy” ones with 11 disclaimer paragraphs of .4 type that protectively entomb a microscopic 800 phone number to call for further information about account activation?

Right! It’s that number you’re allowed to call between 9am and 11am or 2pm to 4pm, Pakistani time. Yup, the same one included in the box of Mexican power tools and Chinese-American furniture, that by now you’ve learned to not mind being left on hold for 45 minutes for the privilege of finally connecting with a non-English-speaking, unintelligible “counselor.” 

Of course by this time, you full well know where you’re going to plug the thing in, and what your plans are for the new drill and saw set as soon as you can Google the counselor’s phone number to get a street address and take the next flight out.


I’m not being multi-cultural-diversity friendly, you say?

Sorry, I don’t think it should have to be a huge time-wasting political struggle just to be a customer a paying customer no less!”


Don’t underestimate the sales power of product and service directions. You need to exercise at least as much care in thinking through and writing (and printing) instruction information as you do for your marketing, advertising, promotion, and sales materials.

A well-written business plan might help you wrangle some financial backing, and some super website content and marketing materials might help you drive customer traffic to your products and services, but customer service (the real thing) starts the minute a customer settles in to figure out how to best use and care for your products and services.

Customer service doesn’t mean you smile and handshake and backpat people through the orientation period that needs to frollow every purchase. (Why do assembly and activation instructions have to be more complicated than frozen food package directions?)

Whatever credibility, integrity and branding value you may have worked hard and spent much to achieve will go out the window in a heartbeat when your customer spreads out the paperwork and finds small-type loopholes in the warranty, a missing or damaged part, no clear diagrams or explanations, stickers that don’t come off…

Make it hard for customers to not be thrilled!


If manufacturers or suppliers aren’t doing their jobs, don’t represent them, OR do their jobs for them because–in the end–your customers are your customers who will boost your repeat sales numbers when you boost your attention to after-sale details, like directions.

# # #  


Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals! God Bless You!

Make today a GREAT day for someone! 

No responses yet

Nov 30 2008

Relax? Yes, but it’s also a great time to get work done!

This is the time


  between waves. 


     Have you ever noticed the utter serenity of the sea in between waves? 

     How much is that like your life and the work you do? 

     Thanksgiving visits and family were here in a tidal wave (perhaps more like a tsunami for some), and gone . . . tiny stones and shells aclatter, scamper down the beach in withdrawal as the tide turns low. 

     Business activity slows incrementally to more of a crawl each day between now and New Year’s when it all grinds to a halt.  Ah, but not for entrepreneurs or manufacturers!  Not for writers!  Not for retailers!  Not for emergency personnel!  Not for those forced out of work by economic uncertainty.   

     This is the time between waves. 

     Now is when small business owners and operators and manufacturing enterprise management can finally take a breather from the year-long pounding of phones, faxes, mail deliveries, media broadcasts, meetings, conferences, emails, text messages, trade shows, endless travel itineraries, and industry reports, and get some real work done.

     Now is when their attentions shift to strategizing, planning, scheduling, catch-up reading, assessing, courtesy-calling, audits and inventories, and getting ready for the next big wave in January. 

     Writers?  Yup!  Now is when writers can drop back from their day-to-day discipline and actually review what they’ve done; this time between waves is the perfect time to edit and polish and prepare to get the manuscript or feature story done, to get an agent, get a publisher, get a direction for developing more freelance work. 

     Retailers?  Let’s not even go there.  This between waves time is “make it or break it.”  No time even to think. 

     Emergency personnel?  We all know that emergencies never stop and, if anything, they increase dramatically during the holiday season . . . and afterward, especially during the depression-heightened month of January! 

     So holidays mean relaxing business ebbs for some, and ulcerous anxieties for others.  Where are you right now?  You’re definitely not a retailer or EMT or ER nurse because you’d never have time to read this. 

     So since you are reading this far, it might be useful to remind yourself to make the choice to take full advantage of being between the waves.  It’s easy to get caught up in nonproductive activities, but you won’t get this valuable “down time” back until –maybe– the end of next year!  DO relax, but don’t fade away.        

     If you’re out of work, don’t count yourself out and head for the bridge.  You have the ability to pull yourself back up, kick yourself in the butt (a bit tricky, but not impossible for most!), and propel yourself forward back into the job market. 

     Remember that every problem that a company has is an opportunity for you to find the job that’s right for you, either in that company or another.  Stop beating yourself up.  Get focused.  And go for it!  Make it happen!  You can do it if you really want to.  All behavior is a choice.  Choose to make it easy


# # #

FREE blog subscription: Posts RSS Feed

Hal@Businessworks.US   302.933.0116

Open  Minds  Open  Doors

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

One response so far


Tag Cloud