This December issue of the e-ret@iler newsletter starts the 11th year of our getting together on the first day of each month to talk about business ideas. I know that today you get so much more junk mail each month, and I thank you for inviting me into your business and your life for a few minutes each month. It is my hope that I have been able to share ideas with you that bring additional profit to your business as well as making your job within your business a bit easier.
For many of you, December is the month in which you will have the most foot traffic in your business. While it is a good idea in any month, this can be a great time for you to implement the strategy of making sure that every customer leaves your business with something in hand. It can be a coupon that is good for their next visit to your business, but it can also be a print copy of your newsletter (like we always did in our business), or it can be a page telling your customer about the new products or services your business is offering. You can also tell them about following your business on Facebook or Twitter.
Definitely, you want each customer to go home with something in your business that is going to be some form of an invitation for them to do business with you again.
The December conference call is going to be Thursday, the 17th at 8:00 pm eastern time. The topic for the evening is planned to be around the issue of what we should and what we should not be saying to a customer. Let me give you a hint of a couple of the issues.
I think it is wrong to say, "Can I help you?" and I think it is wrong to tell a customer, "I'm sorry" unless there is something after that statement that goes toward resolving what it is that you are apologizing about. I know I have some very strict ideas about what to, and what not to say to customers; so I am especially inviting all of those that disagree with me to join in and take a stand on their position.
The topic is also in hope that you are making a New Year resolution to renew your commitment, or start a commitment toward a continuing education program for your staff. Believe me, it will be one of the best investments you can ever make in your business.
As always, the conference call will be recorded for those that would like to listen to it again or at a time that is more convenient for them.
Speaking of recording, we are in the process of making all of the previous conference call recordings and all of the 35 plus lessons that are already on the website available in mp3 format so that you can download them for your ipod or other similar player. All of the recordings are free; help yourself to them and enjoy.
As I finish this last newsletter of the calendar year 2009, I want to share a couple of thoughts with you. I have always believed that my audience is made up of the greatest people in the world. Many of you own a business and that requires a lot of bravery to take that bold step and that gamble every day.
All of you represent businesses that work hard and strive to make a difference in your community. You value your customers as your friends, and your employees as members of your extended family.
From my experience of speaking and working with you, I have found you to be very kind, concerned and giving individuals; I am always amazed at how you express your concern for those within your community. As I close the last e-ret@iler for the year, let me share with you a story that was shared with me from one of you recently.
A small petite elderly woman came in looking a little lost and unsure, so I greeted her and asked if I could be of any assistance. She told me she was looking for a bottle of red wine and asked if I could help her pick one.
I then proceeded with all the questions to help in her selection. After a few of my questions she interrupted me and said 'We are having spaghetti and I don't care about the price. My daughter is here to see me, she is terminal, and she has brain cancer.'
Needless to say at first I was speechless, and then I told her I was very sorry to hear that. We then selected a wine that was mid-tier, not top dollar as to take advantage of the situation, but not low end either.
As we got to the checkout counter I chose to share with her that I had lost my 14 year old son 3 years ago to brain cancer. After that, a fifteen minute conversation took place that allowed her to share and ask questions of me. Her daughter was here to see her mother for the last time.
While handing back her change I noticed her eyes were welled with tears. As I was thanking her, she came up to me and gave me a hug. Not a quick hug, but a firm long hug, and I hugged her back. As she let go she looked at me and said, 'No, thank you dear,' smiled and went out the door.
I don't know if I will ever see this lady again. But after she left, I realized I became a part of their lives - I just selected the wine for their last supper.
As I see it.... As we all go through our day to day routines at work, our customers are never "two people the same" and our customer service should be no different. We should be prompt, courteous, a good listener, observer and kind, and use these skills to the individualism of the customer.
Thank all of you for being who you are, and for what you do. I realize it is not 'politically correct' to do so, but let me close with a 'Merry Christmas to you and yours. May your holidays be special, and may God bless.