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Improve your service with three easy steps

Improve your service with three easy steps

When IBM wanted to find out why some of its account managers seemed to be more successful than others they teamed up with the University of Arizona to see if they couldn’t pinpoint qualities successful account managers had others didn’t.

What made IBM particularly curious about their most successful account managers was their numbers consistently beat targets and projections regardless of what the economy was doing. What competing products were available in the market and how the rest of their unit was doing didn’t seem to affect their results either.

What they found was remarkable. The most successful account managers at IBM had one quality in common: they were service leaders.

IBM went on to change the way they hired and trained their account managers. They even changed internal processes to emphasize service leadership. IBM understood what most of us don’t – you can learn to be a service leader and it’s as simple as following these three easy steps.

Ask quality questions

Asking quality questions establishes a few key components with the person you’re working with:

  • You’ve done your homework
  • You’re interested in truly understanding the other person
  • You’ve already taken steps to help

Your customer service is just as important as your product

Research shows that today’s marketplace is far too crowded in most segments to rely on your product alone. Pebble, one of the first entrants into the smartwatch category enjoyed first-to-market success and continues to build on a solid foundation. But as other smartwatches enter the market their lack of customer service is starting to show.

A quick search of Pebble’s forums or other popular Internet hotspots shows how badly people want to love the product but can’t because of the lack of attention paid to current owners and potential customers.

Exceed expectations in small ways

When Walt Disney opened his first theme park his accountants begged him not to offer parades. “They’re already in the park,” they told him and parades didn’t offer any additional revenue streams.

But Disney recognized something that many companies and individuals have yet to pick up on: small gestures exceed expectations and they don’t have to be expensive.

As a company, Manpacks does this well. They include a small candy in each pack they send out and their returns policy is taken from a Vanilla Ice song, “If you have a problem, yo I’ll solve it.”

As an individual you can do this in a leadership capacity by following-up when someone comes to you for help. Try sending a simple email the next day asking if you were helpful and can you provide any more guidance. Perhaps you can treat the next time you’re out for coffee and let your colleague know you really enjoy your working relationship and it’s your pleasure to pick up the tab today.

Photo by Dell

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