Be Friendly

I was speaking with my VP of Marketing the other day and he had a book in his office that looked interesting to me so I asked if I could borrow it and of course, he said yes. Thanks Greg! Little does he know that I’m an avid reader and love reading books about customer loyalty. The book is “Customer Satisfaction is Worthless. Customer Loyalty is Priceless” by Jeffrey Gitomer.

Most loyalty books all cover the same things. Treat your customer as you want to be treated. Train people at all levels of your organization the importance of being customer centric. Customer first. The customer is always right (well, most of the time). There’s a huge difference between customer satisfaction and customer loyalty. Case studies on how great Southwest Airlines, Zappos and the Ritz Carlton are. Blah blah blah. It’s all good stuff but they all pretty much say the same thing. 

However, one thing that stood out in the book is the concept of “be friendly”. Super simple concept yet very overlooked. Gitomer mentions in his “12.5 Principles of Customer Service Success”

“Principle 9”

Your friendliness and willingness to help is in direct proportion to your success.

All things being equal, people want to do business with friends. All things being not quite equal, people want to do business with friends. The best way to be friends is to be friendly.

How friendly are you?  How willing are you to help? When a customer calls with a problem, do you try to get rid of it, or are you the person who solves it?

Get Real…Think about how good you feel when people are friendly to you. Think about how it makes you WANT to do business with them. Now think about last time someone was rude. See what I mean?”

How many times are you on the phone or speaking with your customers (either internal or external customers) and you’re not friendly? Hopefully never! If you’re friendly, people will want to work with you and your company. If you’re not friendly, consider the deal lost.

I was recently in Lake Tahoe and was doing some shopping. I went into a store that I could have spent some money in. I walked around, looked at a bunch of things and left. Not once did any of the sales women acknowledge my presence and even say hi to me, and there were about 5 of them. They were all too busy talking about something one of them had recently purchased. I felt like Julia Roberts in “Pretty Woman” when she went shopping on Rodeo Drive. It’s not friendly to ignore people – ever! Unfortunately for them, they lost a customer and I’ll never shop there. When I left the store, I told the group I was with how bad the customer service (if you want to call ignoring me customer service) was and that I’d never shop there. Not being friendly loses business. Being friendly gains business.

Customer Satisfaction is Worthless. Customer Loyalty is Priceless” by Jeffrey Gitomer is worth the read. There are lots of questions asked throughout the book to get you thinking and realizing who you are as a loyalty professional. (If you ever deal with customers, you should consider yourself a loyalty professional).  Gitomer writes in a very friendly manner, you almost think that he’s sitting across the table speaking with you. 

The last page of Gitomer’s book reads “In the end, the only perspective that matters is the customer’s.” Would your customers say that you and the employees at your company are friendly? If yes, great!  If not, you’ve got some work to do.


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