customer service

Worst Words to Hear


What are the worst words you can hear in business?

Let’s face it, ALL of us are in sales.  Everyone….no matter what your position is at any company.  Maybe not in the traditional realm, but everyone is selling something.  Surely, the person that leaves the office or their home each day with samples and an order pad is in sales.  But even if you have a job filing paperwork or answering the phones, you have to sell yourself every day.  You have to convince your customer, boss, and colleagues that you are adding value to the company by keeping up on your workload and by being a good team player consistent with the corporate culture.

Additionally, everyone is on commission. Don’t kid yourself if you have a salary. If your company doesn’t make money, or if your company’s efforts don’t produce enough cash flow, you will be gone. This is even true for the non-profit industries.

“Nothing happens until something is sold.”

Since sales are the lifeblood of any organization, what are the worst words to hear in the sales?

Here they are….

“I didn’t know you sold that!”

Your customers know that you sell (insert your main product), but whose fault is it if they go to your competitor to buy other things that your company offers? It’s your fault!

It is your responsibility to let people/organizations know what you can do for them. If you truly have a competitive advantage over your competition, then let it be known. If you don’t have a competitive advantage, then get out of the way and let those that do have that market share.

If you believe in what you offer, and if you believe that your competitive advantage benefits the buyer, then don’t be satisfied with part time customers. I’ve heard sales people say “I don’t want to rock the boat,” or “I don’t want to be too aggressive.” That’s nonsense. By letting your customer purchase from a competitor that provides less value or a higher price, you are doing your customer a disservice.  

It all boils down to your own belief in your individual and company value proposition.

Amazing Service



As a survivor of the October 2017 firestorm, I have a new perspective on customer service. Over the years I’ve read books and listened to some great speakers on the subject. I have a new perspective – empowerment.

My wife and I were renters in a nice area of Northeast Santa Rosa. After the fire consumed our entire neighborhood, belongings, and family heirlooms, we were forced to find a new rental and start over from scratch. We quickly learned to abandon our ego and ask stores if they offered fire victim discounts.

We quickly discovered a deeper truth of customer service. Here are two true stories….

There is a local deli near my office. When my wife and I went in there, the manager of the store motioned to the cashier that there would be no charge for our lunches. We ate there a few times over the next few weeks. Each time, the manager would take care of our bill. We didn’t ask, he just overheard us talking the first time we came in to eat in the first days after the fire.

The owner of the deli hired good people, and trained them to do the right thing – take care of the customer.

Next story…

My wife and I were wine club members of two of our favorite wineries. We lost our little stash of wine from each recent wine club shipment. So, I called the first winery. I told the manager about our loss and asked if they were doing anything for wine club members to help us out with our loss. He told me that he was allowed to give me a 30% discount. I was already getting a 25% discount from my wine club membership. I said “thank you” and never went in to use it.

I called the second winery and asked the same question. The tasting room employee told me to just come to winery and they would take care of us. So, we went the following weekend.  The owner of the winery came out and greeted us. He was aware of our story. He personally filled out an order form of what he thought we would enjoy. He set aside two assorted cases of wine that was hand selected by him. He did not charge us a penny, but insisted that we enjoy his wines as part of our recovery.

The next day I called and cancelled the membership to the first winery. 

True customer service is about empowerment. Treating customers as you would want to be treated is the hallmark of amazing customer service. Business owners that get it create a culture where the people interacting with the customer have the confidence to do the right thing. They don’t have to get approval. They don’t have to check the policy manual. They are simply empowered.

Forget about the nice words written in your policy manual or on your lobby wall about how important your customers are to your company. Are your employees empowered to make a decision to take care of your customers?

Our Carrier of the Month – NEXTIVA – truly provides AMAZING SERVICE. Check out their video below.

Contact Top Speed Data today to see how you can get AMAZING SERVICE from your phone company!!!

An Angel in the Firestorm


An Angel in the Firestorm

My wife and I were abruptly woken up at 1:20 AM on Monday, October 9th by a lady driving down the street screaming and honking “Get Out Now!! There is a fire behind your house.” That lady is our angel – she literally saved our lives, as well as the lives of our neighbors.  She wasn’t even from our neighborhood.  We didn’t know her. But her consistent honking and screaming woke up our entire neighborhood.  Her house was burning nearby, but she took her time to drive up and down the streets repeatedly.

We returned the next morning to find that literally everything we owned, and the entire neighborhood was destroyed by the fire.  In fact, most of Santa Rosa as I knew it had been destroyed.  After the first few days of outrunning the still burning fires and dense smoke, we found temporary housing.  Then we posted on Facebook to see if we were connected to anyone that knew her name.  Eventually we were able to find her name and we gave her a call the following week.

We told her our story.  We thanked her for saving our life.  There were many tears shed on that 30 minute phone call.She told us that even though she knew her house was gone, she felt that she owed it to our neighborhood to let people know.  She had only lived in Santa Rosa a short while, but she said that she has never felt a stronger sense of community.   Her exact words were “This community has been so great that I felt obligated to do it.  It was my duty….actually my privilege.”

What is your duty?

This lady did not have a duty to drive up and down our streets, but she knew the need.  It was her privilege to go beyond just taking care of herself.

Business application:  

Sometimes we get so busy at work, that we just put our head down and rapidly go through our “to do” list.   And then “IT” happens…. The phone rings and it is a customer with a problem. Customers are people. They are not interruptions.  They are people with real needs and requests.  If you cash a paycheck, it is because your company has customers.  It is a privilege to have a customer call with a request.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we all could take just a moment longer and put ourselves in someone else’s shoes?  I bet we would spend less time reading the policy manual to find reasons why we “can’t,” do something – and we would take a little more time and try to figure out how to make it happen.

When a customer calls with a problem, it may be your duty (job description) to take of them.  But it also may be your privilege!

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