February '17

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52 THE SHOP FEBRUARY 2017 of these cases if things were done better, the customer probably would not have said anything. Think about how many customers have complained about something, but then try to think about how many did not com- plain when they probably had every reason to bring something up. So, have an open mind when thinking about if or how your company needs to improve. One place to start is, when a problem arises, address it head-on. The longer you put it off or try to dance around it, the worse the situation becomes. Work with the customer instead of against the customer. If you begin to only justify and try to explain why a problem took place, it may come across that you are blaming someone else instead of accepting blame—and never would you want to say anything that would place blame on the customer. An example of this is telling someone, "If the car would have gotten here sooner" or "If you knew how to use the product properly." Both are antagonistic and will only worsen the situation. The first thing to do in order to work with the customer is to simply apologize. Even if your company didn't do anything wrong, you can justify an apology for what they are having to go through. This will in most cases disarm the customer from thinking they are going to have to fight to get what they want. Once you have disarmed them with your apology make sure you listen. Just allowing them to talk out their frustration without you interjecting will many times send a message that you care and that you want to help. Next, ask them what you can do to help them with the situation. Sometimes we think a customer just wants a discount or refund; whereas most of the time they just want someone to care and solve their problem and make them feel good about the money they already spent. Once these steps have been done, then turn the negative into a positive by telling them how you can resolve the issue and thank them for allowing you to resolve things with them. Then, after you have followed through with the resolutions, ask if they are satis- fied. When they respond positively, then you need to do the last step—ask them for something! Ask them what product they would like next on their vehicle. Or what service you can do for them. Either way, ask for another sale. You have just proven that you can handle their issues and that you follow through; so now it is time to get paid… again. If you can't get another sale, then at minimum ask for a referral or for them to leave an online review about their positive experience. You must strike while the iron is hot and they are happy with the positive outcome. TIP #8 MARKETING Areas to consider: Giveaway promotions Expensive vs. practical Marketing is key to making sure that the pipeline of business is always full. Never wait for business to dry up to start mar- keting your company. It is as important as turning on the lights in the morning. If you are always marketing, then you are always growing. One way to do this is with inexpensive promotions. Pens, pads, calendars, etc. are popular choices for all companies, but can you do something that sets you apart? There are hundreds of promotional companies that can help you find the one or two items that are different enough to stand out, and with your logo and information can make a big impact. So be on the lookout for the little things that can make a difference. Some business owners think marketing Ideal em- ployees are those that come to your company eager to learn more and do more. 5 Tips for Restylers more

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