As our economy becomes more global, technology brings retail shopping into our living rooms and retailers find new and creative products and marketing tactics to lure us into a purchase, consumers are finding themselves faced with more choices than ever before in the history of commerce. Consumers also have become smarter and more savvy in how they make purchases. The Internet, consumer blogs and chat rooms mean even an “impulse” purchase is often a well-educated and informed purchase.
A more educated consumer base coupled with today’s economy push margins even tighter; businesses are forever looking for their competitive edge – something to differentiate themselves from their competitors, whether those competitors are down the street or across the globe. Many turn to the panacea of “customer service” to do just that. One needs only to look in the business section of their local library or bookstore and count the number of books filled with tactics and ideas on how to provide better customer service to realize how vital customer service has become to those hoping to rise above the rest.
Unfortunately for most business people, customer service alone just doesn’t cut it anymore with the American consumer. Americans EXPECT good customer service and they are keenly aware when customer service is insincere or forced. Consumers want to be more than just “served,” they want a relationship, a rapport that draws them in and makes them want to come back – they want to be engaged.
The fact is, most customer service “how to” books provide the basics and the tactics, but without a deeper understanding, these tactics can seem robotic. How many times have you walked into a Wal-Mart and had the “greeter” offer you a monotone “good morning” as they shove a cart in your general direction? While the idea of a personal touch welcoming each guest is an excellent customer service tactic, the way it is executed fails and might as well have been carried out by a machine.
The problem with customer service books on the market today is they work off the basic premise that all customers are created equal. Let’s Get Engaged looks at customer service from a deeper perspective, providing the reader with the insight that all customers are NOT alike and when the reader has a scientific and psychological understanding of what makes each human “tick” THEN they can begin to build a lasting, productive and PROFITABLE customer relationship. They can build a rapport that transcends just making customers happy, one that makes customers want to return to a place of business, sometimes without even realizing why it is that they wish to return.
Let’s Get Engaged provides a roadmap on how to engage with customers that allows the reader to discern more about their customers so they know WHICH tactics will work on each individual. Through narrative, real-life examples and various exercises, the reader learns how to use psychological ideologies like NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) to get inside their customers’ mindsets. Once readers are able to find out what makes a customer happy, how a customer makes decisions and how to read a customer’s non-verbal communications, they will be able to not just use random tactics learned in a book, but to learn the SPECIFIC tactics that will make their customers respond.
This book appeals to two audiences – first the front-line employee who interacts with customers on a daily basis and wants to better understand how to build a rapport with their customers. Whether a waitress, a receptionist, a sales representative or a store manager, the book will provide the tools to allow them to better understand their client and customer base. The second audience is the manager who oversees these front-line employees and is interested in training their employees on the benefits of customer engagement. Regardless of the industry – retail, food service, hospitality, sales, consulting–the teaching works across all customer segments.
The old axiom that states, “Give a man a fish and he eats for a day, teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime” was an inspiration to the author as he perused books on customer service throughout his career. Every book out there to date relating to customer service seems focused on the tactics to use but ignores the questions of “why” and “how”. Let’s Get Engaged addresses both of these questions and provides readers not only with the tools on how to engage their customers, but also provides an understanding of how those customers think and why they react the way they do to certain tactics.