July is here and casual is often the order of the day.  Hot weather, vacation schedules and casual thinking can often lead to customer problems. Keeping your business relevant, reliable and relaxed for the rest of the summer will mean you may want to revisit your customer service methods.  Let’s look at some customer service keys helpful in moving from satisfied customers to wildly loyal promoters.


Key 1.  Differentiate: What is your UPS – unique selling point?  How can you set yourself apart from your competition?  Usually simple things speak volumes.   Last week there was a mid week holiday and I wanted to get my workout in before the fireworks.  I knew the local Urban Active did have limited hours on July 4th, so I called for the details.  The phone was connected after the second ring (good), and a real live person said

“Good Morning, Urban Active Maumee, we are open until 6PM today, may I help you with anything else?” 

WOW, that was easy!  It didn’t matter if that was the approved script for the day driven down by corporate leaders or it was a savvy employee that after 2 phone calls knew this was going to be the question of the day.  Saving your customer time is often simpler than you think helping your business be different and memorable!


Key 2.  Tracking is more than just asking “how did you hear about us” but asking how your customer felt after they received your service or product and would they recommend you to their friends and family. To do this a business needs 2 things.

  1. Have a database of some sort that has the important details about your customers – and one database is usually the best practice and keeping it up to date is even better!
  2. Commitment to follow up and ask the hard evaluation questions.

Any time we track something, we usually pay more attention – what you watch, is improved.


Key 3.  Recover Stylishly.  We all make mistakes, fail to communicate or just don’t give the customer what they want.  How you handle it will speak louder than any advertisement.

  1. Identify WHY it happened.  Asking “WHY” at least 5 times of yourself or your staff is a great Lean tip that works and will help you get to the root cause of the problem.
  2. Develop a system to deal with these types of problems or clients.  Sometimes we can’t stop the problem from happening but can mitigate the angst our customers feel.
  3. Now, make things right by recovering in style and create a deeply loyal customer.
  4. Document the process and build a procedure that is repeatable.
  5. Schedule to review your new procedure at least quarterly and tweak to perfection.


Key 4.  Just say NO.  We all know how exciting it is to get a new customer, or help a business that needs the very unique service we offer. But saying NO is essential to having a thriving business.  The key to saying no is two pronged:

  1. Know your ideal customer or target market very well.
  2. Learn to say NO to prospects that aren’t your ideal customer.  Remember:  not taking your “Un-ideal” client will mean when the perfect client arrives, you will have the time and energy to be your best.

Using these four keys will always help and add a SMILE and your customers will thank you.