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Give 'em a story. Why customer service will raise revenue (by as much as 40%)!

I don't know about you, but I'm always amazed at the lack of good customer service that we receive in the UK. It's poor! My wife often rolls her eyes when we go places, because I'm always banging on about 'what could have been done to make my experience better!' It's an occupational hazard, I'm afraid, but I'm always gob smacked about how badly customers are treated.

I'm not however, surprised, about a recent statistic from a study at Durham University, that found 68% of customers go elsewhere because of the way they are treated! I guess that's why the disconnections department in a mobile phone company is called "Customer Retention!"

Conversely, by getting customer service right, some organisations have raised revenue by as much as 40% without any advertising, purely by word of mouth customer referrals. As they say in America, it's a no-brainer. So why do so many organisations get it wrong!

Well, organisations who struggle with customer service and customer retention do so because they labour under three general misconceptions:

1. Customers understand and judge the core part of your business in a similar way that you do. (Guess what. They don't! Customers have a completely different view of your business than you do - you'd be quite surprised of how they view you!)

2. Customers' opinions of your expertise are based solely on their sound judgement of the goods or services that you're selling. (Wrong again! They make judgements based on all sorts of odd and emotional reasons. They may use logic to later justify that judgement, but don't be fooled they judge you based on how you make them feel!)

3. The non-core areas of business are far less important than the core area of business. (It's just not true. The non core areas of business are of vital importance when it comes to giving your customer an awesome experience!)

Let me give you a simple example. You're driving home late at night and tiredness starts to set in, so you decide to stop at a motel. You pull off the main road at the services and surprisingly you see three motels to choose from.

Motel one has a sign that is almost working, flashing on and off and when it's on you can see you that it's in fairly poor repair and underneath the sign is a rusty car up on bricks that's appears to have been there a while. The grass is growing up around it.

Motel Two has a skip out the front with rubbish bags overflowing. Some of them are split and strewn across the ground. There are a couple of intimidating men having a 'fag' in the doorway.

Motel three has a well lit entrance with a working sign. The grass outside is well tended and there is someone visible at the reception desk, neatly dressed, waiting to welcome you.

Which motel do you go to? You're going to go to the one that looks less threatening. You haven't even seen the rooms. You have no idea what each of these motels is like. You don't know anything about what's actually on offer from each establishment. You made a judgement based on the peripheral parts of the business. YOUR customers do exactly the same with you! You need to get the non core areas right too. All the things that make your customers feel good about doing business with you.

You need to give your customers a great story to tell about you. You need to create such an awesome experience that they move from being loyal customer that give you repeat business, to being a customer sales force that brings you repeat business and brings their friends along too and their friends' friends...you get the idea.

About Author: Ben loves creating new and fresh ideas. He has been described as "catalyst for others" and "an inspiration" in drawing out the best in people. He has been developing events, shows and software for over fifteen years.

He now lives at the coast in Newcastle with his wife Shelley and daughter Isabel. He spends his free time watching rugby, reading biographies and designing for Phoenix Creative.

Contact Ben at www.phoenixcreative.co.uk <http://www.phoenixcreative.co.uk> .

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