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17 02, 2013

Please Macy’s, Don’t Forget Me!

By |2017-03-03T12:07:02-05:00February 17th, 2013|Categories: Blog, Repeat and Referral Business|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |0 Comments

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Businesses with great customer service stay in touch with their customers.

I  must admit I love the clothes and shoes in Macy’s.

In the 70’s I had a Macy’s credit card and used to receive offers from them. It seemed like once I stopped using the card I never heard from them.  Every time I would purchase at Macy’s the clerk would ask if I had a credit card. I would tell her yes, but they could never find it. I just paid cash, purchased less and wondered how they lost me.

Did  I forget to pay a bill? How could Macy’s lose me?

Yesterday I was in Macy’s Shoe Department and found the most unforgettable pair of shoes. Of course the clerk asked if I had a credit card. This time I decided to say I didn’t have one.

“Let’s get you one, she said, there’s a 20% discount today if you get a new card.”

After 10 minutes of questioning back and forth,  she finally said, “They want to talk with you.” Now I’m nervous. Are they going to announce  over the loud speaker that  Lisbeth Calandrino is a deadbeat?

I thought they would tell me I had an unpaid balance of $10.00 and they’d crossed me off their list. Instead they asked my name, address and phone number and then said they wanted to talk to the clerk.

“You have a card she said, how come you haven’t used it?”

“They won’t let me,” I replied. She laughed and said, “That’s strange.” It may be strange to her, but every time I told the clerk I thought I had a credit card, my purchase was denied.

The clerk announced that Macy’s has decided to send me a new card. (By the way, no 20% discount for me. The 20% discount is only for new card holders.)

I guess they’re trying to tell me  I can’t put one over on them.

So how do businesses lose customers? Do they  decide some customers are better than others? What criteria do they use? Frankly, in this case, I just think it’s a case of not paying attention.  I should be receiving offers and discounts automatically from them.

Great customer service is remembering your customers and staying in touch with them.

White House/Black Market never loses me. Cachet knows where to find me. As a result of their coupons, discounts and special offers, I’m at both  at least twice a year when the seasons change. There have been many times I wanted to charge something in Macy’s and pay it off in two payments but passed on my purchase.

Your most valuable customer is one who has purchased from you. Why would you forget them? They didn’t spend enough?

I’ve told lots of people over the years about my Macy’s credit card problem and have avoided shopping there with my friends   The only reason I was there yesterday because I was doing a SodaStream demonstration.

(By the way, you must see the SodaStream commercial they wouldn’t air on television.)

Consider your past customer is your connection to your next new customer. When my friends want to go shopping, I always say, let’s not go to Macy’s.

When you don’t keep in touch with your customers, they make friends with your competitors. Not going to Macy’s has forced me to check out new stores, and get new credit cards. Oh well, I guess I’m not that important to Macys.

I read a statistic that the average business loses 10% of their customers yearly.

I found some other statistics that might be important to you if you own a business.

  1. 73% of marketing managers of various large companies credit “Repeat purchase behavior” as integral to the definition of successful customer engagement –Forbes Magazine
  2. A survey asking which is the most important marketing objectives, shows that 29.9% think that it should be customer acquisition, and 26.6% think that it is customer retention.
  3. However 62.2% admit that they concentrate on customer acquisition, with only 20.6% focusing on customer acquisition. –Emarketer
I guess Macy’s isn’t the only offender.

Want more information on repeat and referral business? Check out my Surfaces Blog from 2012.

Lisbeth helps businesses build loyal and profitable customers through customer service training and social media marketing. Her book, Red Hot Customer Service is about to be published in its updated version.  To book her for training  or speaking, she can be reached at [email protected].

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20 09, 2011

None Of Us Want To Come In Second Place

By |2017-03-03T12:07:08-05:00September 20th, 2011|Categories: beliefs, Blog|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |0 Comments

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Nobody wants to be second best!It seems that   General Motors Co. wants to tie their union-represented workers  pay to their work performance. This will be a major shift in how generations of  how  auto workers have been compensated.

We are trying  to give hourly workers the same metrics as salaried workers,” GM Vice Chairman Stephen Girsky said Tuesday at the Detroit auto show. “There is a big pay-for-performance element going through the company and there is going to be more of it.”GM wants more flexible pay levels for workers as a way to encourage better performance and avoid locking the company into handing out big raises when the company isn’t performing well, company executives say.

If they change the system they will be able to measure their employees success immediately. I believe they will also build more productive employees.

Does this work ?

The Federal Government tries it on and deals with the conflicts,

You can use pay or other incentives to increase output,

Incentives can be customized for employees,

Linking employees pay to output does more than affect the bottom line of a business, it affects how an employee feels about his performance. Getting a pay check at the end of the week has more meaning when you actually see what you produce. Imagine how farmers feel when their seeds actually produce fruit?

Conceptually one and one make two but if you actually put two  penny’s in a child’s hand, it brings it to reality. Many children are taught at a young age that if they take out the garbage they will receive an allowance, this is linking pay to performance. When I realized the value of money I was enthralled with taking out the garbage and kept asking if there was something else I could do to get paid. I couldn’t wait until I was 14 to start baby sitting. As I “earned from doing” I realized that producing had value and I was capable of producing. I bet that many of you had the same experience. It was all good!

Why don’t more retail stores adopt the policy of performance based pay? I often hear   there will be more competition and  the customer will suffer–why would a salesperson wait on a customer if they weren’t being paid?  I would say it’s part of their job! It’s not easy devising a commission based sales structure but it has a big pay off for the store and the salesperson.

Having had both commissioned and non-commissioned jobs I vote for commission.

I am presently working for SodaStream as a brand ambassador. The product is super, I love doing the presentations and although I am asked to sell at least two machines, I’m not paid for performance. At first I worked very hard to sell the machines and then I realized it really didn’t matter. I decided I needed an incentive so I asked if I could put an affiliate link on my site for  customers. If someone clicks on my link they receive a $10.00 coupon and I receive a few cents. Does it make a difference? It does to me; I know what I do makes a difference, to me and my company and it’s fun. I like being part of the success of a company.

I think salespeople pay more attention to their jobs and their company if they were paid for what they produce. I realize I’m really part of my company’s success.

Selling (and money) is about an exchange. An exchange of value for value. The mere act of selling is a service and can provide value to a potential customer even if the customer doesn’t buy. But, if the customer doesn’t buy, the company goes out of business.

If you want to stay in business my suggestion is you find a way to compensate your employees for actually getting the product in the hands of your customers. By compensating them for what they sell they can actually see that what they do makes a difference to their company.

I didn’t realize that The Home Depot gives quotas to sales people and Lowe’s Companies pay commission in some departments. These are stores that started out by not paying commission and later turned to commission.

More than anything commission builds self-esteem and gives people experience with taking risks. Success is built on risk; why not help your employees learn the principles of success while building your business?

Remember, most of us prefer to be first. There are more kids on Halloween who want to be dressed as Batman than Robin.

I love this quote from Tom J. Watson of IBM:

“Would you like me to give you a formula for success? It’s quite simple, really. Double your rate of failure. You are thinking of failure as the enemy of success. But it isn’t at all. You can be discouraged by failure or you can learn from it, So go ahead and make mistakes. Make all you can. Because remember that’s where you will find success.”

Lisbeth Calandrino is an award winning trainer, author, and blogger. She is  author of the book, Red Hot Customer Service, 35 ways to heat up your business and ignite your sales. In her book Lisbeth outlines the steps for building a successful business with customer service techniques. Lisbeth has been providing custom marketing and sales programs for the past 20 years.


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