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5 Rules That Will Help You Attract Loyal Customers

Interview with Todd Duncan

Episode Description

How much can poor customer service cost you?

The answer is more than you think. One restaurant lost $6,000 a year for refusing a customer’s request to deliver a fried egg on the side of his cheeseburger.

That customer, Todd Duncan, is my guest today and his experience became the premise for his book, The $6,000 Egg. In the podcast, he’ll explain how customer service can make or break your business. Then, he’ll outline 5 rules that will help you deliver fantastic service to your customers.

Customer service is the bedrock of your brand. If your team takes ownership of your company’s values and delivers wonderful service to your customers, your business will run smoothly and grow exponentially.

If you want to get the full wisdom of all Todd has to say, listen to the full episode when you have some time this week.

[ LISTEN NOW ON iTUNES ]

Rule #1: Go Beyond Customer’s Expectations

Most companies seek to meet customer’s expectations.

But there are a few businesses who don’t stop there. They keep piling on the value, delivering far more until the customer is overwhelmed — in a good way.

Todd shares his experience with a shoe-shiner named Alex at the Denver Airport as an example.

If you’re not in a hurry, Alex will give you meticulous service. Your shoeshine may last well over 15 minutes. And when Alex is finished shining your eyelets with a cotton swab and repairing your aiglet (that little hard thing at the end of your shoelace), you’ll likely say the same thing Todd did:

“That was the best shoe shine I’ve ever received.”

When it comes time to pay, Alex can say with confidence, “Just pay me what you think it’s worth.”

Like Todd, you’ll probably pay over three times the general cost of a shoe shine. And you’ll be happy about it.

You’re not the only one. Now, many people seek the “Alex experience” when they come to Denver.

There’s a lesson to be learned here. When you don’t stop at customer satisfaction, but deliver way beyond what your customer is expecting, people will gladly pay more for the special experience they’re getting.

Rule #2: Delight Customers Every Step of the Way

Sometimes, the success of your business brings up new problems.

Todd describes a restaurant called Mama D’s where the food is so delicious a long line queues up to get in. It might take 45 minutes to get a table.

When you train your team to find ways to enchant your customers every step of the way, things like revenue and growth just happen naturally.

That’s a good problem to have, but it’s still a problem.

At Mama D’s, the leadership has trained their employees to make your wait a pleasant experience. Servers will come around with piping hot garlic bread or a bit of sausage on a toothpick to enjoy while you’re waiting. They’ll also bring drinks. If the wait is over 60 minutes, the drink is on them.

But they even go farther. If you ask for a cold beer, they bring it in a cooler of ice. If they don’t have something you want, they’ll dispatch someone to run across the street to grab it. Or if you leave your leftovers, they’ll figure out a way to make you happy — like paying for your dinner the next time you come in.

When you train your team to find ways to enchant your customers every step of the way, things like revenue and growth just happen naturally.

Rule #3: Create a Culture of Service

If you don’t have a Nordstrom’s story about amazing customer service, you’ve probably never visited the clothing store. Todd’s Nordstrom story is about an employee named Mona.

On a Sunday afternoon, Todd selected a couple of pairs of slacks to purchase. Unfortunately, they weren’t hemmed and he needed them by that evening since he was leaving early in the morning.

Mona called her tailors to see if they could make the deadline. Todd was thrilled to hear they would be done by 5 pm. He planned to go home, get lunch, and then come back to pick them up.

But Mona said, “You know, you’re probably going to be busy packing. Could I just drop by your house this afternoon and deliver the slacks?”

Wow.

Mona is not just a good employee, she’s exceptional. She’s someone who any leader would love to hire. But she’s committed to Nordstrom’s. Why?

Because Nordstrom’s core values are all about service and Mona loves to serve. Heck. The license plate on her car even says “Serve”.

Studies show that employees who fit well with their organization are likely to stay and show superior job performance.

If you create a company culture of service, you’ll attract and retain amazing employees who will share your brand’s mission and dedicate themselves to bringing customers back to you consistently.

Rule #4: Deliver the Unexpected

You’ve probably heard the saying, “What goes around, comes around.”

Todd calls this “business karma” and he shares a story to illustrate how it works.

When you surprise your customers with acts of generosity, you open the doors for business to return to you in much bigger ways.

He and his wife, Deb, were in a hurry and the line of cars was especially long at an In and Out Burger. They decided to skip the drive-through, park in a red zone, and pop into the fast-food restaurant to grab their food.
When they came back out, they found a cop writing them a ticket.

The manager saw the situation and came out. He apologized for the long line and paid for their ticket. The ticket was $52, about 10 times the amount they spent on their burgers and fries.

But guess who Todd and Deb called when they wanted to hire a food truck for their wedding? That $52 returned to that manager in the amount of over $5000 in catering business.

When you surprise your customers with acts of generosity, you open the doors for business to return to you in much bigger ways.

Rule #5: Say “Thank You” in a Big Way

“Thank you” are two of the most powerful words in the English language, Todd says.

To illustrate, he shares about an interview he gave with Harvey McKay, another leader in the sales industry. A few days after the interview, Todd received a FedEx envelope with a five page letter that said, “Thank you” 625 times.

So, Todd started telling that story in his workshops and seminars. And he included it in his book as well.

When Harvey found out that Todd was going to include his thank you note in the book, he returned the favor by placing an editorial about Todd’s book in the top 100 newspapers in America.
The cycle of giving continues.

This can be translated to your business. If you take the time to deliver a handwritten note, a thoughtful gift, or personally thank your employees or customers, you’ll pave the foundation for a lasting relationship between you that keeps giving.

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If you’ve got a team, and you’re wanting them to deliver fantastic customer service, share with them some of these wonderful insights and empower them to discover exciting ways to delight your customers. As your customer service improves, you’ll build loyalty to your brand and grow your business.

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