You may have heard the adage: “People do business with those they know, like and trust.” Business really IS about relationships. Reputation matters. The ways in which the owners treat their employees, contractors and customers/clients makes all the difference in the world. Companies thrive or dive based on those factors. Loyalty is earned. Smiling at the easy going clientele is a no-brainer. What happens when a company has one (or more) challenging folks on their roster?
Who’s Your Gladys? offers answers to that question in detailed and delightful ways, by co-authors:
Marilyn Suttle (Novi, MI) is the founder of Suttle Enterprises LLC, through which she has taught thousands of people across the country how to have happier, more productive relationships with customers.
Lori Jo Vest ( Troy , MI ) has been involved in relationship-based sales and customer service for over 20 years, most recently as a conversation manager at Organic Inc.
These two women joined forces to create Who’s Your Gladys? How To Turn Even the Most Difficult Customer Into Your Biggest Fan. It is a comprehensive template for professionals in any field to engender trust with that tough cookie customer without crumbling themselves. ‘Gladys’ was just such a one who had a reputation for being challenging. The owner of Professional Movers went what some might consider above and beyond the call of duty to woo and soothe her, but it really is their way of working with all who hire them. As a result of melting her heart, she now hardily endorses them.
The book profiles numerous companies that offer sublime customer service. One is The Canfield Training Group whose CEO Jack Canfield created the Chicken Soup For the Soul Series. They are known for responding to unusual requests that included a mini-fridge so that a training participant could have snacks throughout the day.
Another is Preston Wynn Spas that caters to high powered, uber-stressed clientele who desire the ultimate in pampering. They use ‘secret shoppers’ to keep services up to standards that those who walk through their doors have come to expect.
ISCO Industries who install piping products that are used in golf courses and manhole covers has a defined approach to maintaining a satisfied customer base. Personal dedication by management is one key that opens doors to exemplary service.
At the end of each chapter are what the authors call Practical Points that allow the reader to determine what worked for these businesses and by extension, what could benefit their own. They are then followed by Lessons Learned, that provide additional food for thought.
When those who use services feel as if their unique needs are met, they know that they matter. When companies don’t take a cookie cutter approach and tailor their services, customers spread the ‘good gossip,’ and others want in on it.
A list of the Practical Points review the concepts expressed earlier on. Some include:
Be fully present.
Value and learn from your mistakes.
Do what you love to do.
Think and act like a champion.
Strive to exceed expectations.
Feel compassion when your customers vent their emotions.
A list of resources at the back of the book rounds 0ut the guide that is destined to be a classic in the entrepreneurial genre and ought to be in any successful business person’s tool kit.