Jeff Mowat

Monday, 22 July 2002 09:35

Influence with ease

What would you say if a customer asked for an item and one of your staff members didn't know if it was available?

Unfortunately, it's an all-too-common occurrence if your business has regular turnover and constantly in-progress employee training. The common response of an untrained employee is, "I don't know. I'll have to check."

That may send the potential customer to your competitors. Instead, teach your staff to respond with, "I don't know, but I'll be happy to check."

If you were the customer, which employee would you say provides better service?

The lesson: Simply changing your team's language from "have to" to "happy to" is another way of enhancing perceived value -- without working harder. Jeff Mowatt (jmowatt@attglobal.net) is a 20-year veteran of the service industry. Contact him at (800) JMOWATT for a free catalogue about his training tapes and services.

Monday, 22 July 2002 09:34

Influence with ease

How do your employees respond when you, a customer or a co-worker ask them to do something?

Untrained employees use phrases like, "OK," "I'll try" or "I'll do my best."

All of these responses are adequate, but do you want your company to be thought of as having merely adequate customer service?

Trained professionals, on the other hand, use language that conveys confidence, capability, and willingness to pitch in. They respond to requests with two simple words: "No problem."

"No problem" conveys to your customers -- and you -- that the task at hand will be handled effortlessly and diligently. It's another way of increasing the perceived value of your business ... without working harder. Jeff Mowatt (jmowatt@attglobal.net) is a 20-year veteran of the service industry who develops training tapes and consults with business owners looking to improve their staff's service. He can be reached at (800) 566-9288.

Business relationships create strange situations. An assumed promise is one of them.

Here's an example of how one situation, if handled differently, could have resulted in a lost customer.

I was growing frustrated waiting for a prescription. When the pharmacist finally took care of me, he apologized for the long delay and explained that his assistant had just quit, so he was short-staffed.

He realized that I had assumed the service would be faster and treated it as if he'd broken a promise. That pharmacist was working smarter and the result was that he kept my business.

Fair or not, assumed promises can hurt your business relationships. The solution is simple.

Always remember to apologize when you break an assumed promise -- one believed by one party to have been made, though never formally verbalized. Jeff Mowatt (jmowatt@attglobal.net) is a 20-year veteran of the service industry who develops training programs and consults with business owners looking to improve their staff's service. He can be reached at (800) 566-9288.

Thursday, 26 July 2001 20:00

Influence with ease

Anyone who deals with customers needs to be fully aware that their job is about to undergo a huge transformation.

With the explosion of automated services such as e-commerce, ATMs and pay-at-the-pump machines, frontline people are no longer necessary to facilitate the exchange of goods.

Instead, the key role of frontline employees will be to create "loyalty experiences" for the customer. To survive and thrive in the new economy, managers and business owners need to immediately begin equipping employees with these new experience skills.

If you can service your customers well, they'll appreciate the effort and realize that price may not be the determining factor in whether to continue a relationship with your company. They will then look at what your company can do for them and whether you provide solutions for their needs. Jeff Mowatt (jmowatt@attglobal.net) is a 20-year veteran of the service industry who develops training programs and consults to business owners looking to improve their staff's service. He can be reached at (800) 566-9288.

Thursday, 13 September 2001 08:53

Influence with ease

What it is about machines that people like? It's the reliability factor that comes with using something programmed to serve.

It's similar to the new role of front-line employees in today's economy. Their job is to create loyalty experiences, but they also utilize machines to do their jobs.

A key reason e-commerce and automated services are booming is that these machines are predictable.

Where there is predictability, there is comfort. Where there is comfort, there is trust. And where there is trust, there is the willingness to part with money. That means that front-line employees need to be predictably positive without sounding rehearsed or phony when talking with prospects or servicing current clients. Thus, there is a need to develop and teach experience skills to your staff.

Without them, you could be risking that all-important trust factor and leaving your business' sales up to chance.

Jeff Mowatt (jmowatt@attglobal.net) is a 20-year veteran of the service industry who develops training programs and consults to business owners looking to improve their staff's service. He can be reached at (800) 566-9288.

Monday, 22 July 2002 09:35

Influence with ease

Quick, name two words which, when frequently used by servers, increase tips by a minimum of 12 percent.

The answer? "For you."

Rather than saying, "Would you like some more coffee?" the savvy waiter says, "I brought more coffee for you." The patron perceives the service to be more personal and tips accordingly -- on average, 12 percent more.

It's easy money and a great way for your staff to increase perceived value with customers and co-workers without working harder.

If you're looking for a way to help your staff improve its customer service skills, consider implementing those two words into any training program. You won't be sorry. Jeff Mowatt (jmowatt@attglobal.net) is a 20-year veteran of the service industry. Contact Jeff at (800) JMOWATT for a free catalogue about his training tapes and services.