Editor’s note: Throughout the month of February I’ll be concentrating on a theme of Relationship Building here on the MarketingMel blog.
A client of mine recently shared an excellent book on customer service with me. The book is called “Surviving the Middle Miles: 26.2 Ways to Cross the Finish Line with Your Customers” by Darryl Rosen. The author, a one-time marathon runner, draws an analogy between business and running. Just like in a long distance race, the shiny newness wears off after you’re underway for a few miles but inside you know it’s still a long ways until the finish line! As runner I loved the book’s name and related to its running/business theme. Rosen, who operated a very successful wine business, shares ways to provide the best for our customers. I’ll share some of my favorites here with you.
In his chapter titled “Appreciate Your Customers and Show it” Rosen offers the following tips:
1- Say thank you- Now that may not seem like such a clever concept but you would be surprised how people, starting at a very young age, are not being taught those simple words. Rosen likes to send off hand written notes to customers. He even suggests making up reasons to say thank you!
2- It’s never too late- This example happened to me once. I was a recipient of a *long* overdue thank you from someone and guess what? It felt great to be remembered. I really appreciated the gesture even if it was late, and it helped to cement a good working relationship between us. Even if you think the time has passed to to say thank you, say it anyway!
The last chapter of the book is called, “Cheering for Others.” If you have competed in a running race or other athletic competition you know how much it means to have “cheerleaders” standing along the sidelines, particularly as you’re heading toward the home stretch. I’ve always loved it when my family makes it out to one of my running races and I see them cheering wildly at the end. Rosen has that uplifting feeling in mind with the following common-sense tips.
3. Be flexible- Go with the flow and embrace change
4. Be likeable- Rosen says likeability is actually good for your health! It increases our self esteem which in turn lowers our stress levels!
5. Be real- Be honest and ethical and show credibility
6. Be a good communicator- Show humility
7. Be interested in others-Remember to turn the conversation back to your customer and CHEER!
This book is a quick read and I highly recommend it for anyone in the service business. Let me know which one of these tips resonates with you as you appreciate your customers.
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