‘The Customer Rules’: a How-to For Better Business

March 8, 2013

You may wonder why Lee Cockerell, the author of audio book ‘The Customer Rules: The 39 Essential Rules for Delivering Customer Service’, is worth listening to when it comes to the subject of keeping customers happy. Many won’t recognize his name, but he was actually the Executive Vice President of Walt Disney World Resorts from 1994-2006. And since Disney strives to be the happiest place on Earth, it stands to reason that this man knows a thing or two about customer service. Luckily, he has decided to share his expertise with the world. And for business owners that are just starting out, as well as those who are facing issues in this area, this is one audio book that delivers the goods thanks to a hospitality industry veteran with more than forty years of experience under his belt.

The setup is simple enough: there are thirty-nine chapters in the audio book, each one featuring a rule that will help business owners ensure not only that customers keep coming back, but that they never have any reason to check out the competition. It’s important to understand that in a free-market economy, consumers are always going to have choices. However, you can get an edge over the competition in a consumer-driven society by offering something that the other guys don’t. You don’t have to have the best products on the market. Even if your goods or services are fairly similar to what others are offering you can still outshine them when it comes to customer service. And Cockerell will teach you how with thirty-nine simple guidelines to follow.

The audio book comes with chapter headings like “Customer Service is Not a Department” (chapter 1), “Ask Yourself, ‘What Would Mom Do?'” (chapter 5), “Hire the Best Cast” (chapter 9), “Listen Up” (chapter 17), “Make Yourself Available” (chapter 21), and “Never Say No – Except ‘No Problem'” (chapter 34), just to name a few. They sound like simple mantras, and yet, there are so many businesses out there that neglect the first rule of customer service, the one that virtually encompasses all others: the customer is always right. Of course, it’s not quite that simple, but Cockerell is here to give you the information and advice you need to offer the best possible customer service.

Consider, for example, that you must first put into place policies that lay out your guidelines for how to treat customers. They could include treating them as people rather than problems, for example. From there you’ll need to hire the right employees, as in those that take their job seriously and are committed to providing customers with the best experience of their lives. But you also need to train them, and continue training them, to make sure that they know how to act in every situation (like dealing with irate customers, for example). And then you need to make sure that help is available whenever your customers need it. This is how you impress the public, gain patrons, and turn your customers into brand ambassadors that will spread your name as a trusted source. You might get similar advice from a firm of New York orĀ South Jersey business advisors, but when the former EVP of Disney’s hospitality branch offers you the wealth of his knowledge, it might not be a bad idea to listen up.

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