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Do Your Customers “Feel The Love”?

Something hilarious happened recently that made me crack up but also got me thinking. My husband Ron is a contractor. He had an issue with an online bill payment at a big-box store. Rather than trying to fix the problem online, I suggested he call the customer service line. He spoke with a woman on the phone, who fixed the error but in the meantime suggested he merge two of his accounts. As she was telling him this, he was distractedly thinking that he’d be asking me to fix the problem for him (of course) and, as he was saying goodbye to the customer service rep, he inadvertently ended the call by saying “Love you!” I am not sure what her reaction was, but Ron said he turned 20 shades of red. Good thing it was a phone call.

No doubt this was the result of a rote response—I hate to admit that!—but maybe part of it was because subconsciously Ron really did love the fact that she helped him. All too often, we end up becoming frustrated when dealing with customer service issues so that when someone actually helps us, it’s an anomaly. How many times have you tried to solve a problem without talking personally with someone, because it’s less stressful to deal with a computer than a live person? What a sad state of affairs!

Customers are savvier, are more cost-conscious and demand more value. If you aren’t willing to give them what they want, they will go elsewhere.

I am going to venture out on a limb here and tell you that, from my recent experience, I see customer service really improving.

I think we’d all agree that with the last downturn, we saw far-reaching corrections in every facet of the marketplace. Customers have become savvier, are much more cost-conscious and demand more value. If you aren’t willing to give them what they want, those customers are go-ing elsewhere—because they can and they will.

MHEDA’s Customer Service
When you read the pages of this issue, there is a common theme among members when asked how they are positioning themselves for the recovery. Everyone realizes the critical importance of being a solutions provider to the customer, and they are readying their organizations to respond to customer needs, whatever they might be. Competi-tion is fiercer than ever, and, as always, MHEDA members are up for the challenge.

Here at MHEDA, we are also positioning our organization to serve your needs and help you and your associates stay abreast of the latest information and educational resources to help you emerge stronger during this cycle of recovery. Thirty different educational programs are on the 2011 calendar, all designed for various departments within your company. Please take the time to share this information with your associates who may not realize all that MHEDA has to offer.

While you’re at it, visit the MHEDA website at www.mheda.org and be-come familiar with all the services (many of them are free!) designed to help you better serve the customer. The theme for the Convention this year is “The Customer Convention.” Make a point of attending this valuable meeting so that the next time a customer calls your office, they end the call by saying, “Love you!”

Material Handling Equipment Distributors Association
Liz Richards
Executive Vice President
MHEDA

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