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This business coaching episode is about ways to provide optimum customer service.

Results-Focused Training, Tools, and Workshops from Expert Business Coaches.

Featured Coaching Excerpt - Notes & Transcript, Part 1
  • Rules of Customer Service: 29: Know the difference between needs and wants.
  • Rules of Customer Service: 30: Have a geek on your team.
  • Rules of Customer Service: 31: Be relentless about details.
  • Rules of Customer Service: 32: Be reliable.
  • Rules of Customer Service: 33: Don't give responsibility without authority.


-Business coaching for the next one, know the difference between needs and wants. Let me tell you, there's a big difference with what people need when they walk into your stores in the morning and what they want. So like in a hospital, you need surgery, but what do you really want? You want a safe environment. You want a really great doctor. You want low infection rates. You want needs, wants.

A lot of people need a car, but what do they really want? Why are there's so many different brands? Because that fulfills the wants. Need car, want BMW. Need car, want Ford pick-up. Need car, want a convertible. Why? Because there's different wants. I want to show off. I want to show people how rich I am. I want to get better dates.

There's a lot of reasons-- the difference between needs and wants. And in your store too when they need a gasket, but they want somebody who knows what they're doing, it makes them feel comfortable. It gives them the right thing. Have an expert. Business coaching lesson: The need and the want are two different things and you've got to teach people to figure out what is this person really want here. What do they really want? What does each customer want? One by one by one start to think about that and you'll do a better job.

Business coaching for the next rule in this customer service training, have a geek on your team. Geeks get it done. Let me tell you, if don't have a good geek, you're in trouble. Because when this system goes down and it's not working, maybe you don't have your manual backup system in place and you wish you did that morning-- I'm telling you one day at Disney when I was there the whole computer system went down and I swear nobody did one single thing for the whole day.

We have 1,000 finance people, couldn't do any work. Nobody could work. Have a geek on your team. And that's why I talk about my computer guy. He's my best buddy. Whatever he wants, he gets. He's on my team. And I take care of him, because today with technology, you've got to have it. You're going to be implementing more and more systems, more wireless systems, more direct communication with your customers, using technology, using connect-- Disney is investing $1 billion right now in technology to improve service, $1 billion-- and to get more of your money.

I mean, it's magic how we're going to get your money in the future. You're not even going have to take your credit card out, it's just going to go wirelessly to us. Yeah, especially, the princesses, oh, yeah, we're going to get them good. They see the dress, it'll charge your credit card. And princesses need accessories. This is a big business. Just like in your business, accessories, that's were you make you money.

Business coaching for the next rule, be relentless about details. Let me tell you, be real relentless about details. The parking lot must be spotless. No cigarette butts, landscaping looks great, stripes on the parking space is right, the front door, the American flag is up, the music playing right, lights, camera, action, details, details, details, details. Bathrooms spotless, spotless, in-stock, the right signage, clarity, details are everything. And by the way, the customer notices, because so many people don't take care of the details that they will notice.

In your business, it's going be comparisons. I went there and this happened. I went there and this happened. Let me tell you what, don't ever underestimate that that's what you get at Disney. I guarantee you, when you go there I'm sure you talk about the attention to detail, detail, detail, detail, detail. One gum wrapper on the ground is too many, details.

Business coaching for the next rule, be reliable. Let me tell you, reliability is really part of your reputation. Reliability, credibility, keeping your promises, doing what you say you're going to do, having a system in place. Somebody does a back order, you tell them it will be here by Friday the 12th, you have some system in place to make sure you check that and if it's not here that you call them the day before and tell them. Reliability, credibility, is a part of responsibility.

And make sure everything you say and everything you do people can believe you, because when you get a reputation for being reliable-- most contractors in the world-- what happens when you have somebody come to your house to fix something and they say they'll be here between 9 and 12 and they don't even come? Reliability, how much business is lost, because of poor reliability, poor credibility, not being on top of it? And a lot of that is to deal with systems that will track that, punch it out for you. Friday morning, here's the things that should have been done today, where are they, call this customer, call this customer, do this, do that, do this. That's how you get more business.

People come back where they want to deal with reliability, especially today. Most businesses are very unreliable, not credible. Look at FedEx. They make all their money by delivering on time overnight. They charge you like so much money for that package. Why do you do it? Because it's on time overnight. Reliability is the main reason they make money.

Business coaching for the next one in this customer service training, don't get responsibility without authority. Sure you're going to hire responsible people. I'm sure you are. They're going to hire nice people. They have responsibility. You want them to do a great job. You've gone, you've done good interviewing. You've hired the right people. Now you've got these responsible people with you. The one thing you've got to add to that is authority. Give people authority to deal with your customers, to make exchanges, credit card returns, policy.

At Disney, 90% of the problems you have at Disney, are solved by the front line employee looking you in the eye. It doesn't matter who they are, how long they've been there, they have the financial authority and hopefully the judgment authority through training that when you have a problem, they can take care of it. They don't have to get a manager. You don't have to wait.

Authority, the ability to make a decision. And you need to go through your business and make sure people have that authority. People are tired of waiting for the manager. Nobody can make a decision. Call your cellphone company and you will find an organization that has no authority when you have a problem, zero authority. And they really aggravate you. I try to change from one company to the next and got a little better.

Featured Coaching Excerpt - Notes & Transcript, Part 2
  • Rules of Customer Service: 34: Never, ever argue with a customer.
  • Rules of Customer Service: 35: Never say "No", except for "No problem".
  • Rules of Customer Service: 36: Be flexible.
  • Rules of Customer Service: 37: Apologize like you really mean it.
  • Rules of Customer Service: 38: Surprise them with something extra.


-Business coaching for the next rule. Never, ever argue with a customer. This is a hard one for a lot of people, because sometimes you hire employees who just need to argue. They just need to be right. They just need to be defensive. They just need to show the customer they're not right on this.

You see right here what it says? Do not win arguments with your customers. Business coaching advice: Teach your people we do not argue with our customers. We stay cool, calm, and collected.

If it gets to a place you can't handle it, come and get me. I will deal with it. But I want nobody arguing. I don't want any attitude. I don't want any voice.

And I know some customers are totally aggravating. You'd just like to whack them upside the head with one of those two by fours in your store. Don't do it. That's professional. Don't do it. Don't argue.

And then, you can take that home and practice it and maybe your wife will stay. I finally learned that lesson. Just let it go. Just let it go. It's better that way.

Never say no, business coaching for the next one. Never say no except for no problem. Let me tell you one of the problems in American business. Everybody wants to say no the minute you ask them something.

Now, I'm not saying you can't say no. Just wait awhile. Business coaching tip: Don't let it be your first answer. It's like you didn't even try. Even if you're going to say no, tell them, look, give me a couple days to work on it. You don't have to work on it, but don't say no.

Call them back. I worked on this for two days, and I just couldn't work it out, ma'am. No. Or get the manager to say no. Don't let your employees say no. Maybe they don't know. They don't have the experience you have.

You might think of an alternative. We have Disney people come all the time in our restaurants, and they say we'd like a window table. Huh? We don't have any. Well, we don't say no. We say we could give you one like, next week on Thursday. We can give you one tomorrow night at 10 o'clock.

If you stay tonight, we can give you one of 11 o'clock. A lot of alternatives, but we don't say no. Then they can choose whether they want to pick one of those alternatives, which may not be exactly what they want and some will want. But don't say no.

That word is overused. It's the first word every child learns. It's no. It's the first word out of their mouths, because that's the first word their parents say to them all day long. No, no, no, no, so that's the first word we all use. It's a bad word, and it really annoys people.

Business coaching for the next rule. Be flexible. Be flexible. I hate this whole thing around American school systems today, zero tolerance. Let me tell you. I do not believe in zero tolerance where we expel a child from grade school because he brought a plastic knife to school from McDonald's and where a homeless person gets sent to prison for life on the third offense for stealing some food.

Be flexible. Leaders are flexible. Look for another way to do it. Zero tolerance is about the worst way you can go, because there's no room for movement there.

Even judges say today, I have to sentence you to 10 years. I have no flexibility even though it wasn't really that big of a deal. But it's the letter of the law and we have to follow that. Be flexible.

We all want it in this room. There's not a person in this room that doesn't want somebody to be flexible with you. And look at your circumstances, look at your issues, not just a big rule that you're always guilty.

So think about how you can be more flexible and you'll have more customers. They will appreciate it, and they'll be back. Next rule. Apologize like you really mean it. This is one of the biggest problems in American business. Nobody says they're sorry anymore.

When's the last time somebody told you they were sorry? Really. I mean, sincere apology. I'm sorry, we're out of that sir.

I'm going to get a hold of that. Give me your phone number. I'm going to call you back on Monday. I'm going to check on that, but I'm sorry.

Let me tell you, it's been proven. If you'll say thank you and I'm sorry, customers come back more often when you're genuinely sorry, like you mean it. Even my wife told me recently. She said, Lee, you don't say you're sorry enough. I said, OK. I'll begin to say it. Now, I've got to say it with sincerity, because she's watching.

Say you're sorry. It's a big deal. Instead of being defensive and trying to blame it on somebody else, apologize.

And you've got to teach these young people working for you how to apologize like you really mean it. A lot of them don't know how to do that. They haven't been through that. They haven't learned that at home for some reason.

The basics, saying I'm sorry, thank you, please excuse me, all of those kinds of things that really matter.

Business coaching for the next rule, with your customers, surprise your customers will something extra. And I heard a lot about that today, extra discount, an extra gift, the extra points on your rebate card. Give the children something so they just scream and cry to go back to that hardware store.

We teach our engineers to do that. They fix a toilet in the room, and then they give the kids a little plastic knife or screwdriver or hammer. The engineer. The kids are so interested.

They want to watch the toilet being fixed. This is like kids can find entertainment in almost anything. Give them something extra. People feel better when they get something extra.

Featured Coaching Excerpt - Notes & Transcript, Part 3
  • Rules of Customer Service: 39: Keep doing it better.
  • Rules of Customer Service: 40: Don't try too hard.


-Well, business coaching for the next rule, keep doing it better. I hope every day you think about this. And I hope you have a group of people you sit down once a month and think about, how can we do it better around here? How can we do it better? Ask all your employees to get together in a room for a couple hours. How could we do it better? How could we do it better at the register? How could we do better at the parking lot? How could we do better in the storeroom? How can we do better with security? How can we do better with cash control? How can we do better?

And by the way, it's never too late to get better. And I guarantee you, if you'll sit down and have these sessions to talk about it, there's people in that room that will tell you, we could do this better. Here's a way to do it better. By the way, some of you young people will have a technology answer for you that you don't know. My grandson, I asked him if I needed to mail something for him, and he looked at me like, mail? What's that, Pappy? Mail? He said I have an app on my phone, I already scanned it, and I sent it. I said, oh, could you teach me how to do that?

Business coaching advice: Keep doing it better. There's a better way every day, I guarantee you. But you've got to have sessions where you talk about it and the people working for you know the better way. Get it out of them. Ask them. Ask them.

And business coaching for the last rule, pretty interesting rule. Somebody said, why is that? The last rule is don't try too hard. What does that mean, don't try too hard? You know what it means. Have you ever-- anybody tried to overdo it with you when you went to buy a car? They tried too hard. Has anybody ever told you, you've got to buy this by Monday? This deal ends on Monday. Or a timeshare, you've got to do it today. This is the last one. There's only three available. Don't try too hard, because people don't trust you when you overdo it, when you push too hard, trying to sell them something they don't really want.

Be careful about trying too hard. Be careful that that's a part of manipulation. Business coaching lesson: Do not manipulate your customers. Learn how to do it and listen to find what do they want, not what you're trying to push on them. You can try, but learn to do it subtly. Do it for their best interest. Go in favor of the customer. Go in favor of the employees.

So, that's all I know. That's the skin. Make sure you scan the little thing if you want to go into deep detail about any of these. If you think of anything that could help you, any of these business coaching rules, I guarantee you, if you'll sit down and think about each one, you can think of one or two things each way, your whole store gets better because when you get better in each one of these, it builds up, and you get better, and you get where you can execute better, and you take better care of your customers, and you set yourself apart.

You've got to separate yourself from everybody else. Business coaching lesson: And the one way you can do that certainly is price, the other way is probably the main way, people will pay more if they love you, if they care about you, you take care of them, you care about them, you're committed to them, they'll get committed to you. Thank you very much. Have a good day.



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