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Special Guest Blogger Marlyn Kissner

I was encouraged to be nice and friendly at a very young age thanks to my mom, my grandparents and a few great teachers. In addition, my participation in basketball, track & field, and field hockey helped give me that competitive edge thanks to the many coaches who inspired me throughout my life. In today’s world with so much competition, the combination of being nice and being competitive will help you gain loyal customers.

“Customer service drives our business and our attention to providing the very best customer experience is what sets us apart of from our competitors,” said Patrick H. Reilly, President and CEO of The Mauch Chunk Trust Company.  “Whether they are standing in front of us, calling on the telephone or sending us an electronic message our attention and professionalism is of the same high quality regardless of how the customers choose to bank with us.  Our customers expect this and our customers deserve this!” 

Our focus as staff at the Chamber is to be the “servant leader” as we support, assist, encourage and help our members, all with kindness and above and beyond customer service. As a business owner, do you know if your staff is going above and beyond for your customers? 

I’m asked to speak to high school and college students as well as new employees entering the workforce or seasoned professionals about the importance of business etiquette.  The concepts are simple as I remind everyone how important it is to focus on the little things that will lead to exceptional customer service. Some of my tips include the importance of (1) being positive, professional and respectful (2) listen more, talk less (3) go above and beyond to create the best experience ever and (4) take good care of yourself; if you feel good, so will your customers.

Take the time to read, and re-read the following quotes given to us by very successful people. Post them on your wall or on your computer home page and take the time to review on your own and with your staff every once in a while to stay inspired:

“A man without a smiling face must not open a shop.” Chinese Proverb

“Be everywhere, do everything, and never fail to astonish the customer.” Macy’s Motto

“Statistics suggest that when customers complain, business owners and managers ought to get excited about it. The complaining customer represents a huge opportunity for more business.” Zig Ziglar, Author and Motivational Speaker

“Get closer than ever to your customers. So close, in fact, that you tell them what they need well before they realize it themselves.” Steve Jobs, Founder of Apple

“The customer experience is the next competitive battleground.” Jerry Gregoire, CIO, Dell Computers
“There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down simply by spending his money somewhere else.” Sam Walton

Greet your customers with a warm welcome that includes good eye contact and a smile; be helpful, happy and genuine. You’ll build your customer loyalty and create a climate for strong referrals.