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Create customers for life...and a life for yourself!
By Catherine DeVrye   Printer Friendly Version

Do you ever feel that it's a zoo out there? That you're the only one who truly cares about customer care while everyone else pays lip service to customer service? That you're so busy looking after your customers, you don't have time to look after yourself?

If so, then a moment at 'The Customer Service Zoo' may be just what you need to regain perspective. Unlike the zebra, few customer situations are ever black or white and the future success of any business, large or small, will depend on survival of the wisest.

Never bury your head in the sand like an ostrich and ignore changing customer expectations, as research shows that 67% of consumers have significantly higher expectations than five years ago. To avoid being an endangered species of business, remember that the six most expensive words are:

"We've always done it that way."

In listening to my own customers around the world, they remember not so much the facts and figures of presentations but the stories. That's why the 'Customer Service Zoo ... Create Customers for life and a Life for Yourself!' is a parable of a parent who rediscovers simple truths about customer service, during a visit to the zoo.

We need to act in giraffe like fashion to set higher standards of service delivery for bottom line benefits because perceived service leaders can charge 9-10% more for the same basic good or service and grow two times faster than their competition.

Remember the Australian 'wombat' theory of marketing ... Word Of Mouth-Best Advertising Technique ... because it costs 5 times more to obtain a new customer than to retain an existing one. But, what about maintaining your own sanity in this crazy customer world?

"I'm too busy to exercise. I never have time for family and friends. Who can spare an hour to go to the gym or listen to music?" Does this sound familiar? No doubt uttered one of these distressed comments at one time or another. After all, we've been told that the customer is number one. Rubbish!

Even as the author of a #1 best selling book, I recognize that customer well being is not nearly as important as personal well being. Admittedly, this sounds selfish and contrary to popular business thinking but we can't possibly serve others to the best of our ability unless we have ample physical and mental reserves which come from a balanced lifestyle. We can't take care of our customers if we don't take care of ourselves.

Yes, it can be a zoo out there...but it doesn't need to be! Take care.

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