First off, how important is good service? • IBM says they think good service is so important that they always act as if they are on the verge of losing every customer if they do not give good service. • Companies with a tradition of success have always put the customer first. Domino’s Pizza started home delivery in the fast-food business because they wanted to make life easier for the customer. Disneyworld and Disneyland call their customers “guests.” • 68% of lost customers occur because of lack of caring expressed or lack of perceived caring from one of the company’s employees. How important is it that the customers feel they are receiving good service from you? Sam Walton, founder of Wal-Mart “The customer is our employer. There is only one boss. The Customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.” John Wanamaker “When a customer enters my store, forget me. He is king.” Here is another eye opener: Anonymously ask everyone in your business how important good service is. You may be surprised what they think and feel. One day while a customer was purchasing a color television from me I was startled when he said, “Bob, even though your price is $40 higher than Miller’s TV, I am buying it from you.” I thought to myself, “Should I ask him why he is buying the TV from me at the higher price?” My father taught me to never ask a question I did not already know the answer to, and don’t ask a question you don’t want to hear the answer to. But I dove right in and asked, “Then why are you buying it from me?” The customer said, “I know this TV will break down sometime in the future, and I know you will give me good service.” How does the customer want his service? He wants it quick. • Telephone books are filled with the words, “quick,” “fast,” “jiffy,” “instant,” “one hour.” • Almost every business type has someone offering faster service. From fast-food to quick oil changes to one hour cleaning and drive up drug stores and beer sellers. For years the # 1 Rule in Selling was: The one who solves the customer’s needs and problems the easiest for them will get the sale. In today’s highly competitive markets: It is the one who solves the customer’s needs and problems the easiest and fastest will get the sale. So what is good service? I think good service is treating everyone as if they were a millionaire. Story from the book “Join The Profit Club.” Time: 1995 Place: Janet’s retail stores For 25 years Harry Jeriolds purchased used tires, used televisions, used furniture and used appliances from me. Harry, a very honest, hardworking family man, would have liked to purchase new items, though money was always tight for Harry. Then one day Harry came into my store and said, “Bob, did you hear the good news? I hit the new American dream. I won the lottery (Pennsylvania Lottery) for 2.5 million dollars last night.” The new American dream had come true for Harry. Harry went on to say, “Bob I am here to buy new things for my home and family.” I picked up an invoice book but Harry stopped me. He said, “That invoice book will not be big enough Bob.” I grabbed a legal size tablet and followed Harry around the store writing down everything he wanted to buy. After a few hours and purchases of over $200,000 Harry asked, “Bob do you know why I am buying everything from you?” I said, “Harry why?” As we sat down Harry said, “You always treated me as if I were your best, most important customer. Everywhere else I shopped, I was looked down on because I only bought used things. Here you treated me right. You always gave me great service. Now I can buy like the way you always treated me, like your best and most important customer.” As I was thanking Harry and adding up his invoice he said, “Don't add everything up yet. My wife will be in shortly and then my daughter and sons.” That weekend Harry refurnished, with furniture, appliances, and electronics, his entire house, his daughter's house and his two son’s houses, purchasing every item from me. The most fun Harry, his wife and I had that weekend was when we went to our jewelry store. Harry gladly spent over $500,000 that weekend. Treat every customer as if he or she is a millionaire. Someday, they may be!! I treat all my customers like millionaires by: • Delivering more than they can possibly can expect • Delivering it before they expect and • Delivering with only one thing in mind. Their total satisfaction. The best explanation I ever heard of delivering good service came from Reggie Jackson, the great home run hitter for the New York Yankees. During a keynote presentation when Reggie was the spokesman for Hitachi electronics he told the audience how he became a great home run hitter, even though he was not a top-notch athlete, and how he always succeeded in everything he attempted, even though he was only of average intelligence and ability. Reggie Jackson’s father taught him to always practice W.I.T. Whatever it takes! The story he told that evening was about how one of his duties as a young boy of 10 years old was to purchase his father a pint of Neapolitan ice-cream (vanilla, chocolate and strawberry) every evening. His father would give him a quarter and off to the corner grocery store he would go. One evening the grocer was sold out of Neapolitan ice-cream. Did little Reggie go back to his father and tell him of the problem? NO. He went to his uncle’s clothing store a few doors down from the grocery store, borrowed fifty cents and purchased a pint of vanilla, a pint of chocolate and a pint of strawberry ice-cream. W.I.T. Whatever it takes to deliver the customer the very best service they have ever experienced is what the top sales producers practice. I never want to be remembered for the products I sold my customers. My competition sells the same products. I want to be remembered for the GREAT SERVICE I delivered.