Customers Are Watching You
Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Posted by: Dr. Alan Zimmerman
Dr. Zimmerman's TUESDAY
you do … and fail to do … and everything you say … and fail to say … is
important to your customers.
Alan Zimmerman's Personal Commentary:
The other day my wife and I were about to go through the
drive-in at a local Chick-Fil-A restaurant when I noticed the car in front of
me. It was a delivery car for one of Chick-Fil-A’s competitors, a national sub
sandwich chain. It was a bit startling.
I was immediately struck by the realization that…
Your customers or potential customers are always watching you.
Oh sure, you may think you work a 9 to 5 job, but in reality
you’re always on duty … promoting your company or dissing your company by the behaviors
you exhibit or the words you say. People are watching you. And you may not even
For example, two weeks ago, I went to one of the big-box office
supply stores to buy some printing supplies. Although there were seven
employees in the store, no one welcomed me and none of them offered to help me.
Each of the employees was "too busy” to lower him or herself to the task of
serving a customer. One of the employees was filing documents, two were
texting, and four were chatting. After a few minutes of trying to find what I
wanted to buy without any help from the customer service staff, I figured to
heck with it and left the store. I drove down the street to their competitor
and spent several hundred dollars.
Their loss of business is one issue. But even more devastating,
not one of the employees realized how they sent their business out the door on
that occasion … and several more potential occasions in the future. They lost
money, reputation, repeat business, and word-of-mouth advertising … because
they forgot that their prospects and customers were always watching them.
What about you? What are you and your unconscious behaviors
saying about your company? Are they saying, "I work for a great company, and
you the customer would do well to patronize us?” Or are you and your behaviors
… like the sub sandwich driver … saying, "I’d shop somewhere else if I get the
No matter what job you hold … and no matter what time of day it
is … you are in the customer service business. To become a Customer Service
Champion, I certainly recommend my book on "The Service Payoff: How Customer Service Champions
Outserve And Outlast The Competition.”
Once you realize you’re always being watched, at the very least…
You need to get in the habit of welcoming every prospect and customer.
That will take a little bit of preparation. You will need to
arrive a few minutes early for your shift, get all your equipment and materials
up and ready to go, and leave your personal problems at home. After all, your
employer pays you to be at your very best, and your customers expect your best
as well. And quite simply, you can’t do that if you rush into work at the last
minute and have your mind preoccupied with your family problems.
Then, when a prospect or customer comes into view, SMILE.
Broadcast your welcome with a warm smile that says, "I acknowledge your
presence … I’m glad you’re here … You’re important to me … And I want to be of
Add a few words of welcome as well. In an alert, caring, and
professional way, say something like, "Good morning … I’m glad you called … or
… How can I help you?”
And say it with enthusiasm. It doesn’t matter how you feel or
how difficult your job happens to be. The customer doesn’t care, and he
shouldn’t have to care. He’s there to get his needs met in the most positive
way possible, and it’s your job to provide that positive experience. Remember,
your prospects and customers are always watching you … and they’re always
talking about you.
Finally, for today’s purposes…
I know. I know. This might sound crazy to some of you. After
all, who enjoys hearing someone complain? We all want "nice” customers.
But look at this way. A complaining customer is giving you a
gift. She’s giving you a chance to fix whatever did not work for her, and she’s
giving you a chance to keep her business.
So as silly as it sounds, sometimes you don’t want "nice” customers. As I write in my book "The Service Payoff,” you don’t really want a
bunch of "nice, non-complaining customers.”
The Nice, Non-Complaining Customer
(The thought inside your customer’s head)
You know me; I’m a nice person. When I get lousy service, I
never complain. I never kick; I never criticize, and I wouldn’t dream of making
I’m one of those "nice” customers. And I’ll tell you what else I
am. I’m the customer who doesn’t come back. I take whatever you hand out,
because I know I’m not coming back. I could tell you off and feel better, but
in the long run, it’s better to just leave quietly.
You see, a "nice” customer like me, multiplied by others like
me, can bring a business to its knees. There are plenty of us. When we get
pushed far enough, we go to your competitor.
You’re being watched. Make sure your prospects and customers see
something they want to see.
When your customers "watch” you, what message do they see you
sending? And is that the message you want to send?
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About the author:
@2014 Dr. Alan R. Zimmerman
As a best-selling author and Hall of Fame professional speaker, Dr. Alan
Zimmerman is focused on "transforming the people side of business."
His keynotes and seminars are noted for high content, high energy, and high
involvement that transform people's lives and the companies where they work. To
learn more about his programs and products, or to receive a free subscription
to his weekly Internet newsletter, go to http://www.DrZimmerman.com.
Reprinted with permission from Dr. Alan Zimmerman's
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