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Breeding the Best Advertising: Loyal Customers!

Sue Weinman Comments
Continued from page 1

The Customer Comes First

The lesson begins with educating staff on the value of a good customer relationship and how it translates to new business. Make sure your managers understand that the customer is the reason they receive paychecks; the boss is only the vehicle for delivery.

Encourage employees to engage customers in conversations to find out what they want, what they like and, equally important, what they don’t like. Promote creativity among the staff and reward excellent ideas as well as stellar customer service. Following are some areas of training on which to focus:

  • Unit sizes:Product knowledge is a given. What isn’t a given is how it can cement client relationships. Is the staff expertly trained to help customers determine the most appropriate unit size for their needs?

  • Moving assistance:Do you offer truck rental for move-in? Does your staff have a list of dependable movers if your customer has that need? Dependable is the operative word here, because your credibility relies on the quality of the referral.

  • Prices:If your prices are not the lowest, can employees give the customer a good "value story" after quoting prices? Not all customers are looking for the lowest price, but everyone wants to know a price is fair and offers value for the money.

  • Location:Are the employees familiar enough with the area to be able to give excellent directions? There is nothing worse than giving bad directions, except maybe the inability to give directions at all!

  • Hours:If your office hours are not convenient for a new customer, are the employees empowered to offer a different schedule by appointment?

  • Competitive advantages:Do the employees know why your facility is better than the competitor’s down the street? Do they know how to "sell" the right features to customers? In other words, are they trained to find out what each customer wants and needs? Once they sell the customer on that product or service, can they deliver?

  • Attitude:Employees should be able to demonstrate how much they really care about the customers with their attitudes. Does your staff appear happy and willing to answer questions? Do managers go out of their way for a customer? Do they show customers that they like their job?

  • Appearance:The first impression of the employee is as important as the appearance of the facility. Neatness and cleanliness demonstrate respect for the customer.

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