Customer Service

Does Your Business Have a “Hook”?

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You’ve got a nice little business with all the things that a nice little business requires: a great product or service, a company web site, maybe even an expensive sales and marketing campaign. The only problem is, you’re not getting the customers. You’ve built it, but they’re not coming. What’s the problem?

You have no hook.

One of the primary reasons for the Beatles’ enduring success is that, above almost anything else, those boys could write a hook! Some little musical idea ...

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Are Your Customers Finding You Dispensable?

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I just got off the phone with a colleague who was complaining (whining, really) about the fact that nobody seemed to have any money to hire him. It’s the economy, of course. A few years ago, people had money, and he was being hired. Now, it’s dried up. Damn this economy!

To a certain extent, he’s right—things were easier a few years ago. But he was wrong when he said that nobody has any money. Because here’s the truth:

There’s always money ...

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The Unseen Details Make the Difference

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How committed are you to the quality of your work?

If you go to the British Museum (and you really should, you know), you will see the Elgin Marbles. These are a collection of ancient Greek marble sculptures that used to grace the Parthenon. (And by the way, contrary to popular belief, the “g” in “Elgin” is pronounced like the “g” in “goat,” not “gin.” Mmmm, gin.) These are magnificent statues, but what’s really amazing is what you see when you ...

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Do You Know What Your “Real” Business Is?

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A couple of nights ago I made sauteed chicken breasts for dinner, with a white wine pan sauce to make it a little more interesting. Briefly, here’s how you make a pan sauce (and yes, I promise this is going somewhere): you add a quarter cup of wine and a quarter cup of chicken broth to the pan, perhaps with a bit of mustard, and then boil it until the half-cup of liquid is reduced down to a total of ...

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Are You In the “No” Business?

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There’s a little Italian restaurant near my home where I go when—well, when I want to eat Italian food. Duh. So I was there the other evening (because I wanted to eat Italian food), and the hostess was seating an elderly couple. I wasn’t really paying attention, but apparently they asked if they could be seated closer to the window. The hostess very nicely explained that that wasn’t possible, for some reason that I didn’t catch. But the owner, who ...

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Why This Business Made the Sale

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I guess I’m getting a new roof. I don’t want to get a new roof, but I guess I’m getting one. I mean, I know I’ve needed a new roof. My neighborhood, and therefore my house, is 20 years old, and most of my neighbors have already replaced their roofs. I’ve been holding out because I’d rather spend my money on candy and ice cream. Still, in the past two or three years I’ve received dozens, possibly hundreds, of flyers ...

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How to Create Fiercely Loyal Customers

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A colleague and I were comparing cell phones yesterday. Mine is an iPhone and hers is, well, not an iPhone. I asked her how she liked her phone, and she said, “It’s fine, I guess. No complaints. It gets the job done.” Then she asked me how I liked my iPhone, and I practically yelled out, “I love my iPhone!” If you’re an iPhone user, you know what I mean. iPhone users love their phones, and they’re fiercely loyal. It’s ...

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3 Things, in the Right Order

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I was just reading the June issue of Mensa Bulletin, the magazine of American Mensa (whose standards are clearly much lower than you’d think), and in it is a feature about the best advice its members have ever received. One in particular, submitted by Bernard Kitt, Ph.D., caught my eye. He writes:

There are only three things to remember:

  1. I will be happy
  2. I will make some money
  3. I will make other people happy

One hundred percent of the people ...

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Have You Set the Bar High Enough?

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How good is good? Consider the Beatles’ Let It Be album. It contains three #1 hits: the title track (Let It Be), Get Back, and The Long and Winding Road, along with several other wonderful songs (e.g., Two Of Us, Across the Universe, and I’ve Got a Feeling); the album itself went to #1; it won a Grammy for Best Original Score (since the album was basically the soundtrack to the movie of the same name),; and, if all that ...

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How Much Are Your Blinders Costing You?

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Don’t look now, but you may be going through life with blinders on. Actually, we all are to some extent—some of us more so than others. What do I mean by this? Well, I grew up in Amish country, where horses and buggies are a common sight. Because horses have amazing peripheral vision and are easily distracted, the Amish put blinders on the horses so that they can only see straight ahead. This is a very good thing for a ...

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