Friday, October 28, 2011

Do You Show Up?

Needing electrical work, few thousand dollars worth, I recently called an electrician who was referred to me.  His speciality was doing just the type of work I needed done.  He promptly returned my call, came over to the house to look at what needs to be done, and left promising he'll call back with an estimate. I said great, and let him know that as soon as I have that, he can get started (a dead give-away he got the job). 

Unfortunately, he never showed up again, nor called.  I called him several time to see what happened. Each time he said he was not well and that he would call me in couple of days. Those couple of days never came.  I then called another electrician, also referred.  We scheduled a time for him to come check out what needs to be done.  He too never showed.  (Hmmm, I was beginning to think if it was me or quality of referrals).  In any event, we called him asking why he didn't show up.  His reply was that we were too far away from his place.  Well, geez, one would think he could have told said that when we first spoke rather then setting an appointment and then not showing up, and not even having the courtesy to let us know he won't be coming.

This reminded me of a situation many years back where Reggie sent me an estimate request for a very small project. I promptly responded and we got the job.  Over the years Reggie gave me lots of work and size of projects also became bigger and bigger.  What started out as a very small project turned into a very profitable relationship over the years.  One day I asked Reggie what lead him to choose me, over others, on that first request.  His response: "Vinay, you were the only one responded and then followed up, as well as then stayed in touch with me". 

Amazing, how true that so often it's simply a matter of showing up which leads to work.  So when someone reaches out to you, do you show up?

P.S. In case you're wondering about that electrical work I needed done.  We finally called a professional company. They promptly showed up and followed up with the estimate as promised.  We happily gave 'em the work, and they got the job done when they said they would, did it right the first time, and they were pleasant to do business with.  Perhaps that's why they are a big company today, because they simply show up and do what they say they are going to do.  Pretty simple. 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Magic Words Customers Love to Hear!

I have a firm belief that words have immense power.  So I asked myself, when it comes to serving customers, what are those magic words that contribute to building strong lasting meaningful relationships? 

Based on my nearly 3 decades of serving customers, I came up with the list below.  Using these with sincerity, combined with your keeping your promises and delivering high quality products and services, lets customers know you love them, that they matter to you. In turn this results in customers loving you.  As a result, everyone wins.  Use these words generously and often and experience for yourself the very positive results that will follow.
  • Thank you
  • Sure, no problem
  • We'll take care of it right away
  • Consider it done
  • I'm sorry.  Will you please forgive me.
  • Please accept my apologies 
  • I'll fix it right away
  • Problem solved
  • All done, taken care of
  • Yes, we can do that
  • Sure, we can do that
  • When you're happy, we're happy
  • What can I do for you?
  • We're on it, no worries
  • We're looking into it right now.  We'll be back in touch very soon.
  • What can I do to make it right?
  • I don't know, but I'll be sure to find out and get back to you.
Which magic words can you add to this list?  Please share so everyone reading this blog benefits.  Thank you.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

How Sticky Are Your Customer Relationships?

I have been reviewing a training manual, for a course on developing strong customer relationships.  Part of that course work includes stats which really grabbed my attention.  As they are so relevant to many of my readers who are involved in getting and keeping customers, I wanted to post them here for your benefit.  These stats are:

If your customer has.......The odds of keeping him or her are.......:
A checking account.......1 to 1
A savings account.........2 to 1
Checking and savings accounts........10 to 1
Checking, savings, and a loan..........20 to 1
Checking, savings, a loan and a safe-deposit box........100 to 1  (Wow, what a jump)

While this is for banking, concept applies to all businesses.  Furthermore, it's important to note that stickiness increases exponentially, as increasing numbers of offerings are used by the customer.  Very interesting and very powerful indeed.

By the way, what's the glue here that leads to customers buying more and buying more often?  Simple.  It's making sure they feel loved and cared for.  That each and every interaction they have when dealing with your organization is a pleasant one.

If you agree with this, what steps are you taking to ensure each interaction your customer has with your organization is a pleasant experience?

Saturday, October 15, 2011

My Very First Book, Just Published. :)

Available at Amazon and Barnes 'n Noble.


Barnes 'n Noble:

Check it out.  Thanks. 

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Kingdom of God

For some time now, I have wondered what the following passage means:  "Unless a man is born again, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God".  I have come to finally understand what it means, to me anyways.  And the more I think about it, the more it occurs to me what a profound statement it is, and one that applies to all, regardless of one's faith.

As I have experienced it, when we are first born in this physical body, many of us do not possess sufficient self-awareness nor the inner strength to make decisions that are in alignment with our true nature.  In regards to career choices for example, we end up doing what others think we should do, what we think will make us look good, what will make us money, more loved, and so on. As Parker Palmer would most likely say, we end up living a life that is not our own.

Lack of self-awareness combined with strong ego that strengthens over time ultimately leads us to make choices that contribute to our living a life that is out of alignment with the life that life wants us to live.  As a result, while we may become materially successful and look good on the outside, deep within we don't feel successful.  Instead, we feel as if something is still missing.  We experience dissatisfaction and emptiness and we long to feel fulfilled.  In some cases, we even silently suffer. I know for it's a journey that I can relate to.

Ultimately we come to a fork in the road where this inner suffering either destroys us, or we come to point through surrender where the suffering destroys the ego itself, which often is itself the source of our suffering.  In a sense, suffering destroys the very thing that causes it.  Once this happens, we begin to realize our true nature and it begins to guide our lives from a place of wholeness.

While it's a painful journey, it is one that ultimately leads to our rebirth, to our being reborn.  And we then begin to take steps towards living a live that is more authentic, being true to what we were built to be.  Then as we begin to live with this alignment, life begins to feel more joyful, for we no longer feel the need to prove but rather be true to ourselves, to our inner nature.

This I believe is what Jesus meant.  So the Kingdom He refers to is right here on earth and when we live in alignment with our natural being, we experience bliss right here in this life itself.  And to experience that, we must first die, dissolving our ego, and thus the referral to being born again.

I have read the Bible only a little, so what exactly is meant I don't know. But this is my interpretation of it. What does it mean to you?  And how have you experienced it in your own life?