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One of my clients Todd Walker of Network Communications (They publish monthly real estate books that market residential properties.), had a great comment about how he takes care of his customers, the real estate agents and brokers that buy the ads in his books. He asks them, “Do you want me to be good to you or good for you?” Think about that question for a moment. Being good “to” the customer means you take care of them, give them great service, etc. But being good “for” the customer is different. It is helping them or enhancing their experience. Sometimes it is easy to enhance an experience or increase the value of your products or services by just making suggestions or helping the customer. Other times you have to sell more. Up-selling sometimes scares salespeople, but it has to be done. It is a disservice not to up-sell the customer when it is appropriate and necessary to the success of the product. As mentioned above, Todd sells advertising in a book. Being good “for” the customer means the salesperson can help design the advertisement for the customer. They may even suggest a larger advertisement, not because it brings more revenue to Network Communications, but because it will truly create better results for the customer. The sales rep is helping the customer receive maximum impact for the advertising dollars. How about the server at a restaurant that suggests that the guest try the new appetizer? The server could just take the food order, but instead is suggesting something that might add to the enjoyment of the meal. Yes, it adds dollars to the check, but it also enhances the experience. Recently at a retail golf store I saw the salesperson sell some expensive golf clubs. What compelled the customer to buy the clubs on the spot was when the salesperson said, “I could sell you these clubs today and I know you would be happy with them. But I won’t sell them to you until I make sure they are the right clubs for your golf swing. So, let’s step over to our practice facility and make sure you are comfortable with these clubs.” Fifteen minutes later the customer felt like they had a golf lesson—with clubs that would help improve the game. Sold! Let’s take Todd’s question a bit further. The question is really a philosophy. There really isn’ t a choice. The customer deserves to have both. We should be good “to” and “for” the customer. That is what Todd intends. Posing it as a question is only for the benefit of the customer. In conclusion, don’t just take care of the customer. Help the customer. Don’t just be good “to” the customer. Be good “for” the customer. Show value, create an experience and always strive to exceed their expectations. Shep Hyken is a customer service/CX expert, award-winning keynote speaker, and New York Times bestselling author. Learn more about Shep’s customer service and customer experience keynote speeches and his customer service training workshops at Connect with Shep on LinkedIn. (Copyright ©MMXI, Shep Hyken)

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