I laugh at how some specific moments in time seem to stay with me, even years later. Whenever I think of ringtones I remember several summers ago when I was playing golf with a few friends. We were taking our time and having fun and were coming up on the last few holes when I noticed, where there had been no one behind us, a single player was teeing off on the 16th. hole, just as we were walking off the 16th. green. By the time we were on the 18th. hole and hitting our second shots he was already hitting his tee shot–obviously he was in a hurry to finish. As we finished the last hole and moved off the green, he hit on, and putted out–actually getting to his car at the same time we did. That’s when his phone rang–a Star Wars ringtone that was the music when the Emperor was departing his shuttle to inspect the new Death Star…you know how it goes: dum-dum-dum-da-da-dum-da-da dum…the lightning fast golfer quickly picked up and said “hi honey, I’m on my way home from the office.” We died laughing for the rest of the evening!
When I finally made the move from a Blackberry to the iPhone, I was elated with its capabilities and its design. Although there are several aspects of both the hardware and software that need addressing, I immediately found the ringtones to be severely lacking–even outright unprofessional. Now really, who wants to listen to the Marima, or a dog barking when your phone rings? Give me a break! So, one Sunday evening I decided to poke around the Internet and see what I could find. Entering “Business Ringtones” into Google I came up with a solution that knocked my socks off: Exectones.
For only $14.95 I downloaded the ringtones for the iPhone to my desktop, dragged it onto “Ringtones” in iTunes, synced my iPhone and I had a huge library of professional ringtones to choose from. Absolutely awesome, and I never cringe when my phone rings–it’s very discreet and professional. They have ringtones for all cell phones, and I highly recommend them–don’t you love it when you run into a great product and a great value! Check it out and let us know what you think.
Staples…that was easy…oh, really. Perhaps I begin to harp on this too much but after a recent experience at Staples, I felt thrown back in time to a point where the term “Customer Service” had yet to be coined. After purchasing an item that was obviously opened and returned, I noticed that it was broken. Heading back to Staples, I parked in the near empty lot and upon entering I was greeted by a salesperson (not a teenager, mind you), who inquired if he could be of assistance. I told him I was there to return an item. Upon hearing that he quickly became disinterested and motioned for me to get in line…I’m glad it was short. As I waited for the only cashier who was open, I looked around and noticed quite a few Staples employees mulling about, with no look of determination to help anyone. Strange. How about helping me get in and get out? Regardless, when my turn came I was rung up and unfortunately informed that as I purchased my item with a debit card, that I HAD to be reimbursed with cash. This is my business card, and being given a credit to my card, as other businesses have done, is much preferred. Sorry, no go. Cash only. Needles to say, I took my $24.59 over to the bank and deposited it…I think the cashier thought I had lost it!
When I reflected upon this transaction, I thought how much easier it would have been with Amazon, or even Wal-Mart. So, that was easy…not so much.
I was also thinking of a passage in Joey Asher’s How to Win a Pitch, where he discusses the thought processes that all businesses must undertake in order to survive in a service oriented world:
I often feel that low energy would not be so common in business if everyone approached a new business pitch the way a professional baseball player approached an “at bat.” Think about the mental pressure that every Major League batter faces. Every time he steps to the plate, he knows he has to perform because there are hundred of young, hungry players out there waiting to take his place. He doesn’t have to hit it out of the park every time, but he has to bring intensity to the ballpark everyday. If his performance lags for any prolonged period, he’s done; his career is over.
Most people in business don’t approach their jobs with anywhere near the intensity of ball players. I wonder, however, if people did consider their job to be on the line every day whether it would make a difference in the vocal energy the brought to the pitch. I suspect it would.
I loved this passage when I read it. How is your intensity, and how are your employees engaging with clients and prospective clients? If you don’t know, perhaps it’s time to check…
I believe it has to come from the top down. What do you think? How can companies service their customers better?
In business it’s critical to know how to move your deal to a close, yet at the same time, not to sound like a used car salesman. I actually once got “what’s it going to take for me to get you in this car today?” Awful, just awful. I’ve always thought that identifying with the prospective customer and understanding what is most important to them, empathizing with them, will help tremendously–but you have to be genuine.
Your reaction to a certain statement or objection by your prospective customer often becomes the single linchpin to closing the deal. Over the years I’ve cobbled together many quotes and quips that you can inject into these moments, yet not sound like Mr. Used Yugo. Here are a few:
At Webvantix we often hear “can we get a quote for a site?” As our business had matured, we have found that throwing out a number is just a waste of everyone’s time, instead we must become ‘trusted consultants’ who instead of being reduced to a number (which another firm can always best), we work with the prospective customer to understand what it is they don’t like and what they would like to see. (this process is detailed in How to Win a Pitchby Joey Asher)
What is it about your current situation that concerns you?
What are the consequences if this continues uninterrupted?
Ultimately, what do you foresee?
We all have forwarded information to a prospective customer only to hear “I have not had time to look at it.” This is a great opportunity for you to stand out, the response:
Let’s carve out 15 minutes and review it together on a brief conference call, I can quickly illustrate to you how this will generate more traffic to your site and greatly improve your metrics, does later this week work for you, or is early next week better?
Often businesses, as well as people, are afraid to step up and ask for the order. It’s a scary thing–sometimes it’s just more comfortable to have the opportunity in your pipeline, vs. just coming out and asking for it and losing. But opportunities in your pipeline don’t pay the mortgage. Besides, let them know you’re interested in the business! Here are a couple of great ways to ask–try them!
Why don’t we give it a try?
We have the necessary paperwork for you to authorize, are you ready to get started?
Also, if this is a great piece of business that you are genuinely interested in, there is nothing wrong with say just that:
We are very excited about this opportunity and want very much to work with you, are you ready to begin?
I’m in the process of finishing Joey Asher’s How to Win a Pitch, which has other quotes and processes that I think are great. I will be reviewing his book very soon, it’s a winner.
Let me know your thoughts, and if you would like to see more…one of my favorites to work on is the reaction to “I want to think about it.”
We are nothing if we don’t pay attention to our customers and prospective customers…treat them like gold from the first point of contact, or else…
I’ve blogged about this before, and whenever I do, I take more notice of how Webvantix treats its customers and prospective customers, how we are treated as a company, and how I am treated individually.
Even in difficult economic times, where businesses need to be going the extra, extra mile to court and re-court customers I see lazy responses from staff everywhere I look, and ultimately it becomes a strong reflection of the company and those at the helm.
So, what can be done? Instead of a untrained, unresponsive staff, how about educating them to ‘help’ and ‘go that extra mile’ for customers and prospective customer? Doesn’t that make sense?
Here’s a great way to look at it:
A country club near me posts this throughout their staff areas:
The Ten Commandments of Hospitality
1. Always greet guests first. Never pas a guest without saying “hello.”
2. Take pride in your appearance.
3. Be enthusiastic. Walk and talk with energy. Enthusiasm is contagious.
4. Be observant. Be sensitive. Be attentive.
5. Treat guest the way you would like to be treated when you are on vacation.
6. Treat co-worker with the same respect and courtesy was we treat our guests.
7. Strive to server consistently quality food, combine with outstanding service.
8. Be honest and trustworthy.
9. Maintain high standard of cleanliness. Pitch in to maintain high standards of appearance of grounds, room, and building maintenance.
10. Work together as a team.
Has your company done this? Do you return every phone call or email that same day? Do you go the extra mile? Here’s a simple place to start: How do you and your staff sound when they answer the phone?
This is a video that has over one-million views and is growing at an exponential rate. Word of mouth is king in the information age. It’s time to start working with your staff to instill the proper way to interact with your customers, otherwise you are a COMMODITY, and you will lose.
Mountain Brook Homes of Asheville, North Carolina has hired Webvantix to re-design their website. Below we have a shot of their old site, as well as the proof of their new site. As soon as we complete the site, we will announce it here, and post a link so you can have a look.
Mountain Brook Homes BEFORE Webvantix
Mountain Brook Homes' new Proof
Mountain Brook Homes wanted to offer their website visitors quick access to the interior pages of their site they believed would most popular. We facilitated this aspect of their site with the buttons you see at the bottom of the proof. What do you think? Feel free to comment and let us know…