Volume 21 December 17, 2002
Message From Charles Loew
Comments From Our Readers
New On The Maset Web Site
Helpful Hints from fellow Practitioners
New Truths on Quality
Top Ten List
Feature Of This Issue
Coming in the Next Few Issues
Welcome to MASET News. A monthly publication dedicated to the communication between MASET and our many interested friends, customers and potential customers
MESSAGE FROM CHARLES LOEW:
I would like to wish everyone a very happy holiday season. As I travel the world, it is interesting to find that every country and every religion has a time of significant celebration between October and March. Each has a special name and a special set of traditions associated with it. But each of them is a time of celebration with family and friends. We at Maset would like to join all of your family and friends and wish you good tidings at this time of the year.
We also celebrate the ending of this year and the beginning of a new one. I hope that the past year has been good to you in every way. For most of you in the business world, it has been a rough year. I wish you all a better New Year in health, happiness, prosperity and financial success. I look forward to seeing and/or hearing from many of you during the next few months. May 2003 be one of the best years of your life.
It is really true how much people influence others' lives. The following was sent to me. I hope you enjoy it and pass the message on to others.
I have a list of folks I know...all written in a book, and every now and then...I go and take a look. That is when I realize these names...they are a part, not of the book they're written in....but taken from the heart. For each name stands for someone...who has crossed my path sometime, and in that meeting they have become...the reason and the rhyme.
Although it sounds fantastic...for me to make this claim, I really am composed...of each remembered name. Although you're not aware...of any special link, just knowing you has shaped my life...more than you could think.
So please don't think my greeting...as just a mere routine, your name was not...forgotten in between. For when I send a greeting...that is addressed to you, it is because you're on the list...of folks I'm indebted to.
So whether I have known you...for many days or few, in some ways you have a part...in shaping things I do.
I am but a total...of many folks I've met, you are a friend I would prefer...never to forget.
Thank you for being my friend!!
Customer complaints "the opportunity of a life time"? Yes! Customer complaints provide us a second chance to impress our customer. We messed up the first chance and we lost 95 % of those we messed up. Now we can salvage this small 5 %. But if we do satisfy these few who complain, they will become very loyal long-term customers. Read our Feature Article to find out more about how to handle these "special customers"
COMMENTS FROM OUR READERS:
"Nice comment "The small minority aiming at disruptor of progress and peace due to fundamentalist ideals' in your last news-mail." - Germany
"Just a quick note to wish you a happy Thanksgiving and to let you know that I enjoy your newsletter - it is a good reminder to stay positive and to continue the improvement journey. I have forwarded your newsletter to others in Australia." - Australia
"Number 3 of your suggestions last month was and is so true for me." - New York
NEW ON THE MASET WEB SITE:
As the holiday season is upon us, we have decided not to add any new items to the website. However, in January we have a number of additions planned. Watch for the next issue of the Maset News.
HELPFUL HINTS FROM FELLOW PRACTITIONERS:
If you want a more relaxed meeting, place a jar or two of jellybeans or mints, et cetera on the conference table. Occasionally, offer them yourself to the participants. By serving them, you relax them. Also, having them pass it around helps to keep them involved with the other participants.
NEW TRUTHS ON QUALITY:
After a point, customers will no longer detect.
Customers will see incremental improvements In better pricing, delivery and performance.
TOP TEN LIST:
Key Learnings in - Success
The last ten of twenty one Suggestions for Success
1. Commit yourself to quality.
2. Understand that happiness is not based on possessions, power, or prestige, but on relationships with people you love and respect.
3. Be loyal.
4. Be honest.
5. Be a self-starter.
6. Be decisive even if it means you will sometimes be wrong.
7. Stop blaming others. Take responsibility for every area of your life.
8. Be bold and courageous. When you look back on your life, you will regret the things you didn't do more than the ones you did.
9. Take good care of those you love.
10. Don't do anything that wouldn't make your mother proud.
by: H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
FEATURE OF THIS ISSUE:
TRACK A COMPLAINT UNTIL YOUR
CUSTOMER COMES BACK
by Ron Kaufman
When you reply to a customer complaint, what do you hope will happen next? In many cases, the answer is "nothing".
People who respond to customer complaints often measure the effectiveness of their apology and explanation by the silence
that follows the reply. After all, if the customer does not complain again, then he must be satisfied, right? We must have done our job well, right? Silence is golden and no news is good news, right?
Customers who make the effort to complain demonstrate a powerful interest in your improvement. If they didn't care, they simply wouldn't bother to tell you (95% just walk away). But complaining customers DO care enough to speak up, write down, and bring their grievance to your attention.
When you reply and the next result is silence, have you genuinely resolved the issue? Is your customer truly satisfied? Or has he simply gone quiet, and maybe gone away?
If you are making a sincere effort to respond to customer complaints, then take that effort one step more. Track complaining customers until you are absolutely SURE they have come back.
You run a restaurant? Be sure they come back for dinner. You work in the airlines? Make sure they got back on board. You work in a bank? Check if they are still making deposits, writing checks, using your credit card or ATM network. If they ARE back in your business, then your complaint response was successful. If not, your recovery effort remains incomplete.
My friend Steven Howard puts it this way: "A customer is not a customer until she buys from you the SECOND time. The first time she is only a "trial user". The second time she becomes a real "customer". The third time she qualifies as a "repeat customer" and, over time, may become truly loyal."
Key Learning Point: Complaining customers are more active and vocal than most. Your response should not shut them up, it should win them back.
Take this Action Step: Start tracking the return and repeat
purchases of your complaining customers. If they come back and patronize you again, you are on the road to great reward. If they go away and don't return, your "complaint reply system" is not working as it should.
Follow up with complaining customers who do NOT return. Find out what you could have done, or should have done, to truly recover their business. Then implement their suggestions -- and keep on tracking. When your complainers consistently come back as repeat customers, your complaint response effort is doing the job. If so, you are set to grow. If not, it's costing you a lot.
Copyright, 2002, Ron Kaufman.
Ron Kaufman is an internationally acclaimed innovator and motivator for partnerships and quality service, and the author of the best-selling book, "UP Your Service!" and the FREE newsletter, "The Best of Active Learning!" Visit his Web site at http://www.RonKaufman.com.
COMING IN THE NEXT FEW ISSUES:
Training for Manufacturing Management
Ethics in Business
Sourcing assistance in China
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