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June 18, 2007

Seminars Lead the Way to Better Customer Service

By  Mona Piontkowski

It seems no matter how many technological advances occur in our ever changing world, the basic tenet of business is still the same—the customer is king. Without customers, business is like whistling in the wind—who knows you're there and who cares.

We can e-mail, text, fax, and, or even snail mail our potential customers with the greatest offer to hit the business world, but unless anyone buys our wares we are nowhere. Sure I have the latest, greatest Web site—did you see the elves dancing across my screen?—just click on one and see what wonders you will find.

But unless the elves in the back room get the customer service right, my Web site elves and I will see little of your business in our future.

How many times have you heard your friends complain about calling the customer service department of just about any company and getting connected to some off-shore location half way around the world with service reps with little if any grasp of the English language? After 20 minutes of trying to explain why I've called  I'm so angry I usually toss the defective product right in the circular file and vow to never again cross the path of that product or company.

I was once told that the person who answers your phone at your business is the most important person in your business. I think it's more true now than ever. You want to get a hold of people who act like they care, even if they don't, about your problem and can  offer you a simple, quick solution—or at least promise to try to fix your problem. We need some who knows "The Secrets of Being a Front Desk Superstar".

So how do we go about fixing our own customer-service problems in our own company? We must begin by "Developing and Executing a Customer-Centric Strategy". I like that term—"customer-centric—it implies that we know where our bread and butter come from—the customer—the person who helps us pay our bills - the person we want to keep coming back to our "storefront." We need to learn how to provide "Customer Service Excellence: How To Win and Keep Customers."

Mona Piontkowski is the co-founder of SeminarInformation.  She has consulted with major corporations and helped them organize their training. She has also written a monthly column in Foresight Magazine, has published articles in Training and appeared on ESPN's "Nations Business Today."

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