Jerry Weinberger, Senior Director of Customer Service and Retention at Webs, Inc., is Chair of the final judging committee for the support awards categories of The 2012 American Business Awards, the premier business awards program in the U.S.A.(The final entry deadline for 2012 ABAs is April 25; request your entry kit today.) Here Jerry shares three ways businesses can attract and retain new customers through good customer service.
What are your top 3 tips to small businesses and entrepreneurs on how to attract and retain new customers through excellent customer service?
- Treat customers right.
Communicate with customers the way you would with a friend. Use conversational language in both verbal and written communications with them. Customers aren’t impressed by “corporate speak” anymore, and they don’t understand half of it anyway. Just tell it like it is, and have fun with your communication when you can. Customers LOVE it.
- Listen to your customers, constantly.
Customers will always tell you what they want. If you decide what the customers want without talking to them, you’ll be wrong.
- Hire the personality and values, not the skills.
Don’t hire anyone for your Customer Center who doesn’t genuinely care about taking care of customers, or who finds it difficult to smile. Empathy, passion, understanding … call it what you will, it’s either there or it isn’t. You can teach someone about procedures, guidelines, workflows, systems, or about a new product, but you can’t teach someone how to care.
What item of news recently caught your eye and why?
I came across two different articles in the past month that highlighted the fact that customer satisfaction isn’t the right metric to measure anymore. I’ve always had the drive for high customer satisfaction levels running through my veins, so I was more than a bit shocked to see those words in print. According to these articles, the focus should instead be on loyalty, such as in the Net Promoter Score. Definitely something to think about!
Do you have a favorite app or blog?
MakeUseOf. It’s a constant learning experience for me.
If you could choose another profession, what would it be?
What quality or qualities do you most value in your business associates?
Integrity, honesty, and being passionate about customers.
As someone at the top of your profession, what keeps you inspired or makes you hit the ground running in the morning?
The opportunity to exceed someone’s expectations each and every day.
About American Business Awards Support Award Categories:
The ABA support categories highlight contributions made by support staffers through recognition awards. These categories recognize all administrative support including secretary of the year, production support, security, maintenance, and research members.
About Jerry Weinberger:
Jerry Weinberger joined Webs in 2010 and is currently responsible for Customer Service/Support and Retention for their 50 million customers. For over 20 years, Jerry has been responsible for leading Customer Care organizations. He has run single or multi-site Care operations for such powerhouse companies as Federal Express, MCI, and Fleet Bank. During his tenure with those companies, his leadership resulted in sustained service levels and customer satisfaction ratings that were among the best in the industry. Since joining Webs, Jerry’s Customer Support team has won two Stevie® Awards: one for Support Team of the Year in The 2011 American Business Awards, and the second for Customer Service Management Team of the Year in the 2012 Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service.
About Webs, Inc.:
Webs is the world’s most popular do-it-yourself solution to creating a free website, having served over 40 million users. Webs enables small businesses and entrepreneurs to easily make a great-looking website and project a professional image. The Webs family of products--including Webs, ContactMe, and Pagemodo--provides small businesses with simple and cost-effective ways to launch and grow their companies across web, social, and mobile platforms. Founded in 2001 by the Mokhtarzada brothers, Webs is funded by Novak Biddle Venture Partners and Columbia Capital. For more information, visit www.webs.com.