Archive for the ‘Customer Service’ Category

Converting Buyers To Repeat Customers

September 27, 2010

Customers For Life: How To Turn that One-Time Buyer
Into a Lifetime Customer

How much would you pay to acquire a lifetime customer? One who would come  back to your dealership time after time to buy things, year after year? How about $15 and a few hours of your time? I thought so.

All you have to do is read a small paperback book, or, better yet, pick up a bunch of copies for your key employees. The book is the bestselling classic, “Customers For Life“, by Carl Sewell and Paul B.Brown. It also includes  a brief but informative section by management consultant Tom Peters. The book is published by Doubleday, initially in 1990 and reprinted in 2002. But it’s still valuable today, two decades later. It might be the best investment of a hundred bucks or so in staff training that you ever made. I don’t work for Amazon, but here’s where you can read other reviews and order the book on-line, if you wish.

The easy-to-read paperback contains 41 chapters in 210 pages. But you don’t have to read the entire book, front to back. Pick out chapters that are important to you, and start there. “Customers” is written by Carl Sewell, a Dallas car dealer, who is one of the most successful sellers of luxury cars in the country. His associate, Paul Brown, is a former writer and editor at Business Week, Forbes, Financial World, and Inc., and a specialist in customer service. These guys know what they are talking about and they know how to say it in plain, simple language that’s easy to grasp.

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Customer Service: A Tale of Two Companies

September 17, 2010

Amazon.com, A Winner. Target Stores, A Loser.

This is a story about customer service and how the same problem was handled by two different retailers, one a leading bricks and mortar operation and the other, an on-line business.

I’m talking about Amazon.com, Inc., the on-line business headquartered in Seattle,  and Target Corporation, based in Minneapolis.

Here’s my tale of how the two major retailers, using totally different business models, provided service to a customer, me, when I had a problem with a defective product. Amazon, the on-line retailer, did it correctly, beyond my greatest expectations, and will continue to receive lots of my business. Target, the hugely successful bricks and mortar retailer and one of my favorite local places to shop, completely dropped the ball, to the point of rudeness and stupidity, and has lost a big chunk of my business forever.

On June 24, 2010, I purchased a Kindle digital reader from my local Target store in West St. Paul, Minnesota.  I paid $189 and change for it and was happy to get it. I added a nifty leather carrying case to protect it and was off and running. The service I received from Target electronics people was helpful, and everything was good. I spent money with my local retailer, and I got the product I wanted at the price I wanted, all without the problems sometimes encountered with on-line purchases of sophisticated electronic products. Life was good.

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