I attribute a great deal of my success to Online Customer Service. When other businesses were asleep at the wheel, I was gaining market share all along. Certainly there have been loads of one shot wonders coming on the scene and making a big splash, and then soon disappearing because their attitude was just to take as much money as they can from people without giving them the service they deserved for their money. I tell you how to avoid that and to do right by your customers to make them long term.
NOTE: Complete transcript available at the bottom of the page.
Screw The Commute Podcast Show Notes Episode 326
How To Automate Your Business – https://screwthecommute.com/automatefree/
Internet Marketing Training Center – https://imtcva.org/
Higher Education Webinar – https://screwthecommute.com/webinars[04:55] Tom's introduction to Online Customer Service [06:18] Taking care of customers with lightning speed [10:02] “What would it take to make this right for you?” [13:15] Tools you can use with customers [15:18] Careful what jargon you're using and what you ask for [21:58] Sponsor message [25:02] Messages on voicemail [26:26] Ask for feedback and send thank you notes [27:39] Extra tips
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Survey Cash – https://screwthecommute.com/325/
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Episode 326 – Online Customer Service
[00:00:09] Welcome to Screw the Commute. The entrepreneurial podcast dedicated to getting you out of the car and into the money, with your host, lifelong entrepreneur and multimillionaire, Tom Antion.
[00:00:24] Hey everybody it's Tom here with episode three hundred and twenty six of Screw the Commute podcast. The title today is online customer service. But many of the principles and techniques work in any kind of customer service interaction. What I can tell you is, is that I've taken enormous amounts of business from other marketers who don't do the things I do. We'll get into that in a minute. Hope you didn't miss Episode 325 survey cash. Can you make money participating in surveys, focus groups and studies? Yes, you can. If you have the right personality and you're willing to prove yourself to the right companies don't get sucked in by the young kids telling you you can't.
[00:01:12] I explained why they can't and and why they can. Then you can in a few minutes on that episode and I'm going to recommend an inexpensive clickbank product to you to get started at screwthecommute.com/surveycash.
[00:01:31] Get that and then get on that episode. I also have a webinar if you want to watch a full webinar on it.
[00:01:39] Now, how would you like to hear your own voice here on Screw the Commute? Well, the show has helped you out at all in your business or giving you ideas that help you start a business. We want to hear about it. Visit screwthecommute.com and look for a little blue bar on the side that says send a voicemail, click on it and talk into your phone or computer and tell me how the shows helped you out. Also, put your website on there so I can give you a big ship.
[00:02:06] Did you hear what I was about to say? I could give you a big shout out on another episode of Screw the commute. I almost said the S.H. word. All right.
[00:02:22] So anyway, make sure you also get a copy of our automation ebook. Oh, my goodness. Talk about customer service. This are these are a bunch of the tools besides the one I talk about today's episode. These are a bunch of the tools I use to react lightning fast and that can make you a lot of money and save you a lot of grief and a lot of work. So grab a copy of that at screwthecommute.com/automatefree. While you're over there, grab a copy of our podcast app at screwthecommute.com/app where you can put us on your cell phone and tablet and take us with you on the road. Does all kinds of cool, fancy things. We have videos to show you how to use it. All right. People are still freaking out on this pandemic, but I am not and my students are not because they have learned to sell things online from their home. They're not forced to go to a work. Screw the commute. Right. I've formalized this training in my school, the Internet marketing training center of Virginia. But you don't have to live in Virginia. It's a distance learning school. But we do have live events. You know, some people are ragging on distance learning. Yeah, that's true for little kids. But for adults, you can get a skill that's in high demand and be making money before the school is even over. He's I mean, we have people doing that and it's a skill that's in high demand. Every business on Earth needs these nuts and bolts things about blogging and texting and shopping carts and email marketing and and websites and all the things you use. This is hard core skills and everybody needs them.
[00:04:12] And you can provide them and you can provide them for yourself if you just want to have your own business and sell stuff online today.
[00:04:20] So check it out. IMTCVA.org and then give me a call if you want to discuss it. It's a great gift for your kids or grandchildren, nephews and nieces. Better, far better than anything you could ever do like buying them a car or something. This will give them a skill that they can make money into the future, not be in debt forever to these four year colleges that just teach them how to protest and then they get out and they're competing for jobs at Starbucks. This is completely different. One of the best things you can ever do for them.
[00:04:55] All right. Let's get into the main event. Online Customer Service is our topic for this episode, and I attribute a great deal of my success to this topic when other businesses were asleep at. The wheel I was gaining market share all along, yeah, certainly there have been loads of one shot wonders coming on the scene and making a big splash and then soon disappearing because their attitude was just to take as much money as they can from people without giving them the service they deserved for their money. That's why they quickly disappear, because word gets around that they're either out and out fraudulent or just pitifully ignorant of how to take care of customers.
[00:05:40] Either way, they usually don't last long. When you've been in business 44 years, like I have twenty six and a half of them online with no lawsuits, no charge backs chargeback is when you got to call your credit card company to bitch about a company and get your money back. And nobody bad mouthing me except for those scammers I went after and my consumer advocate role. I must be doing something right. And today I'm going to tell you the same techniques and attitudes that have led to my success. If you put them into play, I guarantee you your business will be better off for it. Probably the best attitude you can take towards customer service is that of speed. Now, this applies to both people that are having a problem and people inquiring about your products and services. I equate sales and customer service. I want people from the first time they deal with me and my company to get taken care of with lightning speed.
[00:06:44] This is the Internet age, right? All right. This isn't the Pony Express. And for those of you that don't know what the Pony Express is, Google it. You really won't believe how it used to be with regard to getting information.
[00:06:58] I'll give you a hint. You had to have a horse anyway.
[00:07:03] Speed of response will make you a lot of money and reduce badmouthing of your company when something goes wrong. See, people escalate the problem in their minds when they get no response. And here's an example I did on purpose to see what would happen.
[00:07:20] Back when Sears was around, I was having a problem with the toaster. I bought their. I called the service department and had to leave a message. 24 hours later, no call back, so I left another message saying that the toaster was smoking at the power cord. OK, 24 hours later, no call back. So I left another message screaming my toaster is on fire and that I was going to sue the.
[00:07:51] I got a call back and I've been telling this story about Sears for years in front of tens of thousands of people. Do you think that was good for Sears reputation? Well, we see what's happened to them now, don't we?
[00:08:05] They're out of business. Yeah, there's a lots of other factors. But that one was in Sears control and they did nothing about.
[00:08:14] What about speed, when someone is interested in your products and services, chances are you weren't so unique that they couldn't find similar products elsewhere and they will if you don't respond quickly.
[00:08:28] Plus, if they took the time to contact you, they are most likely the most hot to try to buy the product. If you don't get back to them, they'll either buy somewhere else or cool off and not buy anything at all because you let them lose their enthusiasm for the product because you took too long to get back to them or never got back to them at all.
[00:08:53] Now, another big principle is compassion. Don't blame the customer even if they are clearly in the wrong. It's so easy to get defensive and I do it myself, but only in my mind. OK, I've found that it's much better to say I'm sorry you're having trouble.
[00:09:13] Let's see what we can do to make it right. Let me repeat that right this down. I'm sorry you're having trouble. Let's see what we can do to make this right. And it's in a nice, calm voice and that I'm going to take care of them, say this usually diffuses the anger you may be hearing, although in my business we do a great volume of business with very little trouble.
[00:09:37] Let me tell you something. In all the years I've been in business from retail restaurant speaking business to selling online.
[00:09:48] The next question I give you to use can do wonders for your business.
[00:09:53] It's even worked on drunk idiots used to get in my nightclub days.
[00:09:59] All right, here's the question. When something is wrong, ask the people, what would it take for me to make this right for you? What would it take for me to make this right for you? Now, I wouldn't use this for something I can fix right away. I'd fix it. Let's say someone didn't get their e-book download. I'd say, let me send it to you right now. That's the speed thing. They're right. And I'll stay on the line to make sure you got it. That's the compassion. I want to make sure they're taking care of anything I can take care of instantly is better. That's not what I'm talking about here with that question, what would it take to make this right for you?
[00:10:43] Let's say I accidentally got double booked on a consultation, so one person calls in and I start their consultation and then the other person calls in and my assistant tells them I'm on another call. Well, maybe they specifically booked it on their lunch break and now they can't have their call.
[00:11:02] Clearly our fault.
[00:11:04] Now, as soon as possible, when I get off the console, remember speed, I'm going to call them and leave a voicemail expressing my apology and telling them that I'm going to make it up to them.
[00:11:17] See, that's the concept of speed again, plus a new concept of giving extra stuff of value to make up for your mistake. What will I give them? Let's talk about that when I do get them booked again, I'm going to immediately apologize for the mistake and ask them the question I just told you about. What can I do to make this right?
[00:11:43] Here's the most interesting thing over many years of doing this, not once, not once has the person asked for more than I was willing to give them, I might still give them more to hammer it into their head that I'm going to take responsibility for my mistake and go overboard, taken care of them.
[00:12:05] Maybe they ask for an extra consultation. I might say, no, that's not good enough. I wasted your time and I know how important it was for you to talk the other day during your lunch time. So I'm going to give you two extra consultations. How about that? They are usually flabbergasted that I would do that, and here's another concept to keep in mind a company is judged not on how it acts when everything is going smooth, but how they act when something goes wrong. Keep that in mind. It can mean a lot of money to you. Plus, you have.
[00:12:44] They have the personality for this, right, if you don't get someone else that has a more nurturing personality to handle it, if you're an arrogant prick and and I know plenty of them. All right. It's going to show in the way you treat customers. So you need to get someone with a more pleasing personality to handle these issues.
[00:13:04] Ok, now we've covered some bigger concepts like speed and compassion and questions and what you're willing to give to make up for your mistakes. Let's look at some tools you can use to take care of the speed issue without costing you a fortune in hiring a bunch of people.
[00:13:24] One of the things you can do is put a frequently asked question section on your Web site. Now, putting it on there in a certain way, which I've covered in other episodes, can actually help with your positioning and Google. That's another issue. But frequently asked questions can take care of people immediately.
[00:13:43] Now, if people can find the answers in a hurry to common questions, they don't need to call you and eat up staff. Time for the simple stuff, say. Now, chat boards are a fun way for people to get instant service 24/7, and some studies say that 85 percent of customer service will be done with bots by the end of this year.
[00:14:10] So chatbots are free or cheap way to instantly let people interact with it. And it's fun. You can have a little thing like my little chat bots called Screwy and you can go to Facebook.com/Antionandassociates and say hello to send me a message and we will answer.
[00:14:32] You instantly say knowledge bases are another way. You can go more in-depth on answering questions related to your business. Live chat is where a real person responds to inquiries, but don't listed on your site if you aren't going to have someone there to answer questions and make darn sure the person knows what the heck they're doing.
[00:14:56] I mean, you'd be better off not having live chat at all if the person is clueless about your business. This infuriates me when I'm typing out my problem and the person doesn't have a clue about what I'm talking about.
[00:15:11] Whoever is operating the chat must know what's going on or be able to find it fast. All right. Now, here's some big no no's with regard to customer service jargon.
[00:15:24] Don't use jargon that the customer may not know about. For instance, if you have a hosting service and someone calls in and you immediately start saying, well, do you know, what version do you have? Are you manage to dedicate hosting? And they're like, what?
[00:15:40] I have no idea what you're talking about. Just ask him for their customer number and you look it up.
[00:15:46] They don't expect them to know all this stuff. It just frustrates them even more. And chances are, if you're hosting service, they're not calling you because they're happy something is wrong and they're freaked out and they may not know what they're doing. So avoid jargon.
[00:16:03] Find out kind of as you talk to the person, how savvy they are on what they say, and then you can add some jargon if it makes sense, but don't write off the bad things that they know what they're talking about.
[00:16:18] Never ask for full customer information. Their email is OK.
[00:16:24] Their telephone number maybe, but don't ask for their full credit card number that they signed up with last four digits at the most numeral, the last four numbers don't ask for their Social Security number. Nobody does this kind of stuff. That's good, you know, smart in customer service. So you freak them out if you're asking for too much personal information, just enough to get to their account and see what's up.
[00:16:51] And please don't tell them you're going to do something and then not do it. That's the kiss of death. You must absolutely do what you say you're going to do. I got to tell you about Verizon. I just did a video that Verizon people are morons is getting lots of views on YouTube.
[00:17:13] Right. And I put the parentheses, not installers. They're usually pretty competent. People know what they're doing, but everybody else know they're idiots and they have no conception of.
[00:17:27] Of doing what? I mean, this just amazes me if I say I'm going to call you back in ten minutes and I never call you back, that just doesn't fly in my mind. I can't believe what kind of idiots are being hired to do this, what kind of low life people with, you know, what kind of ethics that they have that they would. I mean, I'd literally start you know, I take copious notes when I'm dealing with a company because I know they're full of crap. And so I you know, I actually say and this is another good tip for everybody out there. Any time you're dealing with the electric company, the cable company, anybody make copious notes and repeat them back to the person. So I might say, OK, Joe, I am noting that I talk to you at eight fifty two a.m. on August 25th. And you said this. Is that right, Joe? Yes, Mr. Antion. That's right. OK, great. All right. So you're going to I even said this after a while. So, Joe, you're a man of integrity, right? What's he going to say? No, I'm a jerk. I'm an idiot. That Verizon. I heard. So I say you're a man of integrity, right? Well, you just told me that you're going to call me back in about ten minutes. Are you actually going to do it?
[00:18:48] Yes, Mr. Antion, then 45 minutes later, no call next day, no call.
[00:18:55] All right, so people are just full of it.
[00:18:58] How can you be like that as a person? You should go back to kindergarten and start learning some ethics and manners and and some I don't even want to call it. I get so frustrated. So here I am again, blasting Verizon for hiring idiots and not requiring them to do what they say they're going to do. You know, so I don't care about Verizon. Some pencil pushing idiot that's probably got the job from nepotism. Doesn't care. Making a big paycheck doesn't care. The people working out of their homes don't care. There's no repercussions that I'm calling them idiots. They're anonymous, right? They probably gave me fake names. But I mean, I have all this written down over the course of a month where they would they canceled an appointment. I'm sitting here waiting for them. July 8th is exactly when they had the appointment. No show, no call.
[00:19:56] I call them up. Oh, well, the supervisor canceled that. What do you mean? Well, for what? Well, I don't know. We'll find out.
[00:20:05] You're going to call me back? Yeah, I'm going to call you back. They call back? No, I got it all written down.
[00:20:11] So I just got so frustrated. I made the video show and all this, you know, not all of it. I couldn't possibly put all of it on a video. What idiots they are. All right. So if you're any Verizon executives here, this I'm giving you the finger right now. You're just you're a lowlife scum that doesn't care about anything. You just want to grab the money, you know, so so that's not the way, you know, when companies get so big, they just don't care. They figure, screw you. What are you going to do about it? Screw you. That's the way they feel. Well, folks, if you're listening to this podcast and you're a small business, you can't act like that just because they can. And they got monopolies and they got, you know, billions of idiot investors investing in them, then that does not you say you can't act like that and get away with it.
[00:21:00] So screw you, Verizon. You're morons, you know, you and your lowlifes for treating people like that.
[00:21:07] All right. So that's my little rant on Verizon. So for you folks, do what the heck you say you're going to do and you will thrive in your business. The small business say once you get that big, you can turn it. It's like those guys, too, if you got a monopoly and just screw people if you want to. If you can sleep at night. I couldn't sleep at night doing that to people. So that's why I you know, I can't stand corporations because they're a bunch of people that are incompetent together, working together because they couldn't do anything on their own.
[00:21:43] Pretty much. All right. So that's my story and I'm sticking to it. All right. So if you want to fight on how to do it now, I've got it. I got another section here for you. Let me look at my notes here.
[00:21:55] Oh, yeah. Here's some here's some other things I'm going to give you after I tell you about my mentor program. So if you want a straight shooter, somebody is going to tell it like it is. It's been a multimillionaire for twenty years to teach you this stuff on. You know, this is just one little sliver of all the things you can learn to make money online. Get into my mentor program. It's the longest running, most successful ever on the Internet. It's at greatInternetmarketingtraining.com. I had somebody tell me the other day what the site looks kind of old, you know? I don't know.
[00:22:30] Yeah, well, I ask them if they would like to trade bank accounts and they said, yep. So so, yeah, that site is just to tell you what's in the program and where I send people to study certain modules. That's not the modern sites that we make and it's just not not needed for that particular site. It's just got seventeen years worth of, you know, information in there.
[00:22:55] So so I spend my time on the stuff that's that matters. Put it that way and I'll teach you that to.
[00:23:03] So check it out at greatInternetmarketingtraining.com is the only program of its kind, and it's the longest running, most successful, most unique Internet and digital marketing program ever.
[00:23:15] You can bring anybody on Earth and and compare their program to mine.
[00:23:21] And I will blow them away. Blow them away.
[00:23:24] All right. Because of the value we give in the way that I take care of people and everybody here takes care of people because it's it's one on one.
[00:23:33] See, nobody at my level will even talk to you, let alone teach you something one on one.
[00:23:39] See, I hate I can't stand group stuff because half the people are bored and half the people are lost. So, yeah, I guess if it's real cheap, yeah. You can get away with it i you're some, you know, person that doesn't want to give good value. Yeah. You could grab some money that way, but that's not the way I roll. I want people to have success and in fact my program that what makes it so unique is that I tied my success to your success so I don't get my big money unless you make big money, which totally foreign concept to most of the people at my level, they want all the money up front and screw you.
[00:24:17] I don't care if you make it or not say, well, that's not the way we roll and you get total one on one training and tutoring for me and my entire staff that I have trained.
[00:24:29] So nobody does that. Plus, you have an immersion weekend at the great Internet marketing retreat center after the pandemic's over and you have time in our TV studio, just totally unique program. So anyway, check it out at greatInternetmarketingtraining.com, and you get a scholarship to our school, which you can either use yourself if you want even more training or gifted to someone. And they will thank you for it because they will have a skill that's in high demand.
[00:25:02] All right, let's get back to the main event here.
[00:25:07] I put my notes over here, here's a couple other things that you can do. One of the things that drives me crazy also is when I hear a voicemail message and the voicemail message says, I'll get back to you at my earliest convenience. All right.
[00:25:23] They don't say my earliest convenience, but they say I'll get back to you at my earliest convenience. Well, what kind of message does that send in the people?
[00:25:32] Well well, I guess you're a bother to me. And when I when I can fit you in, I might call you back. That's the kind of message you're sending, that you're a pain in my neck. And I wish you'd just disappear. That's what you're sending. Here's what my voicemail message says. I'll get back to you as soon as humanly possible. What does that send the message, it sends a message that I'm going to take care of you as soon as I possibly can. I want to take care of you. I'm not going to I'll put myself out to take care of you. Say that's the message it sends. So change your darn voicemail.
[00:26:09] If you have that stupid, you know, I'll get back to you at my earliest convenience will screw you. I'll call somebody that's going to take care of me. Put it that way. Hey, I got an extra word screw in there for screw the commute. I like that.
[00:26:26] Ask for feedback, ask people what they think about your company, you know, you see that a lot on these online things. Now you take a survey afterwards, but, you know, the surveys are pretty lame usually. Did you like us?
[00:26:38] Oh, yeah. I click at five, you know. Did you not like a click of one? But there's no place to really tell you what you what happened, what you thought about it.
[00:26:47] So that's kind of lame. So make sure if you asked for feedback, people can actually give you feedback that could could help you. Send thank you notes to people I know in the beginning when I first started, I was writing hand notes to people. Now I hate these send out card things. That's the most impersonal crap I have ever seen. People begging me to promote that. When I get one, I don't even open it. I know it was just you had a couple of buttons on the computer and pretend that a handwritten fake handwritten note. I mean, no, don't bother if you're going to do that. I don't care what send that note people what they think, you know that to me, it's you know, it's just ridiculous to to pretend that's going to make up for a handwritten note to somebody. Give discounts, like I said, if you make some mistake, give people discounts, give them extra stuff, use feedback forms, customer surveys, questionnaires, ask them on the phone when they complete their order, you know, ask him what they think, what they need and listen and don't get defensive. And lastly, build relationships with people to get to know them a little bit, know where they're from. You know, if they've got kids and and keep notes on these things and say this is how you build customer loyalty, because if you're in business long enough and you're doing a lot of business, you will make mistakes. I have made mistakes. We keep them to an absolute bare minimum, but they happen. And so what you're willing to do about it is important. But if you have relationships with people and you've treated them great and and and said nice things and treated them really beautifully over a long period of time, they're less likely to jump ship.
[00:28:40] They'll be more loyal to you then go on and just, you know, getting rid of you because you made one mistake and then go to somebody else where they have to start over, build the relationship. So that'll help you a lot. All right. Well, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.
[00:28:54] I know I got on a big rant in the middle of that, but it just, you know, these big companies don't see how they're infuriating people and they don't seem to care, which makes it even worse. All right. So don't let that happen to you and your company.
[00:29:09] And I will catch you on the next episode. See you later.
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