Motivational Speaker Shares Three Simple Ways To Keep Customers

As a motivational speaker, I am baffled at how much companies talk about customer service, spend money to teach their people about customer service, and shout from the rooftops that they put customers first – and yet when it comes right down to it, they ignore some of the most basic tenets of delivering good customer service. So let’s back up and just look at three simple ways to keep customers:

1. Deliver what you promise. If you say I will receive your shipment in 3-5 business days. I had better see it in 3-5 business days, or nothing else matters because now all your credibility is gone in my eyes. I actually believe you when you say my order will ship, and believe it or not, I am not waiting on my front porch to be here to receive it. Not receiving my package when promised is a big deal to me.

2. Be easily accessible to your customers. Don’t make me go through forty-seven voice mail prompts before I get to a human. Give me a number, and answer it when I call. If you’re not sure how you’re doing, have your CEO call customer service with a question about his policy. And make sure I can understand you. Don’t leave me a garbled message about my order that only my dog could  understand.

3. Be nice. I know, it may hurt, but smile when you talk to me – even on the phone. Be pleasant. Be polite. Ditch the attitude – even if I have an attitude. If you can’t handle that, quit, and give your job to the 10% of people out there who would give anything to have a job, and are a willing to smile to do it.

There you go. Three things. And I would bet you have heard this before. And I would bet that most of you aren’t doing it. And if you feel like going a step further into advanced customer service (I know- trying to reach a new level of customer service? Let’s not go crazy here!) then try two more things:

1. Over delivering. Do more than your customer expects – every time.

2. Don’t just be better, be DIFFERENT. Find out what your competitors are doing, and do something they don’t. Make sure it has value, because simply changing the color on your business card doesn’t cut it.



Motivational Speaker Kelly Swanson - called one of North Carolina's funniest women by Our State Magazine. Kelly lifts the spirits of audiences from coast-to-coast using humor, storytelling, and lives of the characters from Prides Hollow - Kelly's make believe small town. This unique approach to motivational speaking allows Kelly to break through communications barriers and connect directly to the audience's imagination.
Her powerful stories and wacky wit will make you laugh, remind you that you matter, show you how to see beyond your obstacles, and teach you how to stand up and stick out in a crowded market.
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  1. Amen Kelly! The seemingly simple notion of Deliver what you promise… or as I like to think of as doing what we say we’re going to do when we say we’re going to do it… and if we find out – for whatever reason whatsoever – that we can’t do what we said we would, giving the person we made our commitment to a heads up… one would think would be Customer Service/Things My Mamma Taught Me 101. You’ve struck a nerve in me with your post today as I’ve just spent the last +30 minutes attempting (unsuccessfully) to navigate a company’s web site, phone banks and attitudinally challenged customer service representatives. So I’m going to vote with my feet, I’m going to use your check list and find a company whose representatives:

    1. Deliver what they promise
    2. Are easily accessible
    3. Are nice… kind even


  2. This is a great post Kelly.  I just had an experience today where a customer ordered my motivational CD package so I picked up the phone and called her.  A receptionist answered and when I asked if this person was there, she said ‘I don’t think so’ with an attitude of why are you calling?  My stunned silence prompted her to ask if I wanted a voice mail or could someone else help me.  She scared me!  Thanks for the reminder that it’s the simple things that get customers to come back and sing your praises!

  3. Is there some platform in the sky where we could post this article so that every single customer service provider in the country, make that the WORLD, would see it?  Please?  

  4. Kelly, may I take a guess here and say that the company you’re modeling this great list from is a lovely little on-line SHOE store??  Zap-something…The world would be a dreary place without fine shoes and chocolate wouldn’t it? :)

  5. This motivational speaker LOVES Zappos, and I also appreciate Amazon’s consistent delivery options. So agree Kelly as I was on hold almost 35 minutes the other day trying to connect with a customer service rep, got cut off after we finally got through and everyone knows how that feels. Bravo on pointing people in the right direction.

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