Small Changes in Customer Service for BIG Profits

Sometimes entrepreneurs are so busy trying to win and close sales, they forget that customer service plays a role in that process, too. Happy clients or customers tell friends. Happy clients or customers come back for repeat business. If you provide responsive, responsible and reliable customer service your referrals and repeat business will generate an excellent present and future revenue stream.

So in alignment with the "millimeter approach" to build customer-service outreach programs, what can you do to start small and create excellent customer service? Don't think big or overwhelm yourself. Some very minor and basic customer service techniques can be quickly, efficiently and easily applied. What are they?

1. Response time. What is your response time? Do you have a policy? Prospective and current customers will always notice if you respond in a timely fashion. Try it. Customers will start commenting. A good policy is to respond within 24 hours to emails, calls or texts.

2. The no-argument rule AKA the customer is always right. Good, bad, indifferent, right or wrong -- the customer should be treated with the utmost respect at all times. You and your team should be informed and instructed to absolutely never argue or fight with a customer, period. Be agreeable, be wrong if necessary, but remember, the customer is right. You will ironically discover that a "validated" customer will quickly and easily calm down.

Those two small changes in behavior and attitude cost you nothing, but payoff big in return and referral business. You don't need to hire a customer service specialist or spend money to institute policies. All you need to do is communicate. These two steps alone will make a tremendous difference in customer experience with your company.

How to Implement Millimeter Changes in Business - Marketing

If you've read my book It's All About the Millimeters then you know that the "millimeter approach" is about small changes to achieve big results. In business any change can be done if you take it a "millimeter" step at a time. The good news: your team will be less intimidated by change (people often fear change instead of embracing it). How can you apply the "millimeter approach" to business? Let's first start with an integral part of any business -- marketing. We will take the next few blogs to walk you through the creation and implementation of a first-class marketing campaign designed to increase visibility for your business and generate opportunities and sales.
Let's begin with the premise that you don't have a marketing plan or your marketing isn't working and you need a new plan. How can you use the "millimeter approach" to implement a new marketing program? Start small, which is always the first step. 
Step 1: Hire or contract with a marketing professional.
Are you drawing a blank? Don't know of any marketing agencies or professionals?
Step 2: Ask your fellow business owners for recommendations. Look for three qualified professionals to meet with and discuss your needs. (Hint: break this down into small steps. So make it a goal to call one person a day until you find three people.)
Step 3: Meet with each person. Here is a big tip: Let that person tell YOU what he or she can do to effectively market your business.
Step 4: Hire the qualified professional.
Step 5: Your new marketing pro's first task should be to write a 12-month marketing plan. Meet with him or her and describe your overall goals for your business. Let this person use their expertise to define strategies, objectives and tactics. Keywords: strategies and tactics. You will want to hear those words used. If you don't hear those words, you may have hired the wrong candidate.
Step 6: Give the professional a deadline to see a first draft.
Step 7: Review, approve and implement based on tactics.
Hint: your marketing plan should feature a month-by-month timeline to roll out tactics. This timeline is your "millimeter approach" to executing the marketing plan. Ask for one to be included in your marketing plan.

Why Setting Goals is Important to Your Success

Do you set goals? I don't mean New Year's resolutions (don't confuse the two). I mean actual goals. The most successful people typically set goals. Setting and keeping goals is important -- it gives you a target to strive toward. To achieve big goals that might be intimidating, the best approach is to take my "millimeter approach" to achieve all goals (either big or small). 

How do you use that technique? Start with the goal. What is it? Let's walk through the process of how to set any goal to achieve it by using a "millimeter" approach.

Step 1: Define the goal.
Step 2: Break the goal down into action items (daily action items) or "millimeter" steps toward the goal.
Step 3: Write (writing is more powerful to cement the goal in your brain) down an activity on your calendar to help you move daily toward goal achievement. Daily goals are the "millimeter" steps.
Step 4: Make sure you accomplish that daily tasks.
Step 5: Check if off your list.
Step 6: Repeat the next day.

To achieve a goal using the "millimeter approach" makes it less intimidating. Also, daily goal achievement allows you to realize progress toward goal achievement. Each small goal builds toward the bigger goal. Really big goals may take more time, but you'll feel satisfied as long as you know you are taking daily steps. It's like a dot-to-dot: you can't see the big picture till you connect the dots. Each goal helps create that big picture achievement. Also, each daily goal achieved keeps you persisting. Persistence is the key to most success. So create, work toward, and persist on your goals to succeed.