In this issue:

From the president

Experiencing value

Ten ways to get your customers to love you

Are you ready for the holidays?
There's magic in the air

The holiday season is here and it's filled with the joys of celebrations. There seems to be a special kind of magic in the air at this time of the year as we surround ourselves with family and friends. Everyone seems to care about each other just a little more than usual. For me, that raises the inevitable question, "Why can't we keep that magic all year long?"

I'm certainly a fan of Walt Disney and I like to use his quote that "There is no magic in magic. It's all in the details." In this article, I'd like to focus on some ways that you can bring magic into your business for your staff and your customers.

These tips are things that we all know but somehow we forget to put them into place. After all, we're all busy, busy, busy. We're multi-tasking all the time. And, we forget the basics of caring about and for one another.

You'll provide moments of magic each time you:

  1. Smile at someone. You've heard it before. Smiling increases your face value. Smiling is contagious and it creates a reciprocal smile. Smiling makes people feel good. It's one of the few things that you can pass along that doesn't cost a cent but is worth so much to brighten someone's day. The bottom line...it makes you feel good too.

  2. Make someone else laugh. Share a joke or a cheerful thought. A good belly laugh is good for your heart and your soul. It lowers your blood pressure, tones your muscles and can even stimulate your immune system. Children seem to inherently understand the benefits of laughing because they do it without a thought.

  3. Perform a random act of kindness. The famed Oprah has made random acts of kindness an art. It's easy and very fulfilling. It can be as simple as picking up donuts, candies, or fruit to bring into the office for no special occasion, dropping in to visit someone in hospital, buying a homeless person something to eat, donating your time to a charity, or paying the parking for the person behind you in the line up. Whatever you choose to do, it's all about what you can do to help another person without any expectation of a return gesture...and it feels great!

  4. Give someone your undivided attention. Whether you are with business associates, customers or friends, giving your full attention to the person you are with will make them feel important. Take time to value them and listen to what they are saying. Be engaged in the conversation and show your emotion. You'll both enjoy the conversation more.

  5. Thank someone today. Canadians are generally labelled as being polite. However, in the stress of a deadline or an event, we forget to offer a simple please or thank you - the very thing that we teach our children. Take a moment to thank someone today for just being part of your life.

  6. Give your staff a surprise day off to be with their family. What a lovely surprise especially on a snow day, a school holiday or tacked onto a vacation! They'll strengthen their relationships with family, which can only pay huge dividends for your company.

  7. Send a handwritten note. Unfortunately, it's rare to receive a handwritten note in today's electronic world. But they are so important. Handwritten notes are viewed so much differently than something developed electronically because you take extra time to do something special for someone.

  8. Use a cheerful tone. The tone of your voice affects the way a message is received. Whether you are greeting a client, speaking with an employee, or welcoming an old friend (either in person or on the telephone), check your tone. It speaks volumes.

  9. Find something special about everyone you meet. This is not a difficult task when you remember that everyone has special gifts to offer. Granted sometimes you have to look harder than others but you can always find something to celebrate in everyone.

  10. Capture moments and memories that inspire, excite and bring joy. Have a camera in the office, make a poster, send a card, make a toast at lunch, congratulate and compliment people, celebrate every success large and small....

Remember, magic is all in the details and every detail counts. And, creating magical moments has a ripple effect...that's why we have a ripple image in our newsletter.

From all of our families here at The Customer Experience Company to each one of yours, we wish you great joy in whatever way you celebrate this magical season. Talk to you in 2004!

Experiencing value

We all want loyal customers. But, how do you really get them? Some companies think that you just have to keep your customers satisfied and they'll keep coming back. Other companies think that customers just need to trust you and they'll return again and again. But, what are customers really looking for? A recent study by the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University has the answers. Warning: they may surprise you.

Editor's note: This article is so good that we just had to share it with you. You'll need to register to read it but it's well worth the extra few seconds of your time.

Ten ways to get your customers to love you

Here they are! The answers to the one of the most common problems discussed in boardrooms today. Retention! With cutthroat competition and an overwhelming amount of information available at your customers' fingertips, getting your customers to love you should be a key focus for your company. Read this article to find out how to get your customers to love you, your products, your services, and your staff.

Are you ready for the holidays?

When it comes to online shopping and especially during the busy holiday season, have you got your support services in place? Customer service is not just the name of a department, it's a strategic focus. Customers need to ask questions while they're online and they need answers! Melaney Smith talks about one recent online shopping session where she gave up and drove to a store (a competitor of the site she tried to buy from) so she could deal with a live person.

This Month's Poll
When you communicate with a company by email to gather information or to get an answer to a question, do you expect a response:

Within 2 hours
By the end of the same business day
Within 24 to 48 hours
Within 1 week


Results

December 2003 - Issue No. 14
Just to be clear is a monthly
e-publication for clients and
colleagues of:
The Customer Experience Company
a division of Carolyn Watt & Associates Inc.
7181 Woodbine Avenue, Suite 234
Markham, Ontario, Canada L3R 1A7
phone: 905-470-0139 fax: 905-470-2619
Questions or comments?
Contact Ruth-Anne Boyd
at ext. 221 or by email
at raboyd@itsaboutretention.com