Make It Easy


Thursday, May 10, 2001

Dealing well with
customers can bring in
repeat business

Here are more suggestions to make it easy for customers to do business with you:

Make it easy for customers to say good things about your business.

When I arrived in Hawaii in the late '70s I noticed how fluid the social circles are in Hawaii. This is most evident at a baby luau.

Everyone attends these events, and we really don't care about the reason, we just want to get together and party.

We eat, drink and we talk. Mostly we grumble. We name companies, and we name names.

Every bad customer service experience becomes entertainment at the baby luau.

I created the term "Baby Luau Effect" for the way we send messages about good and bad companies, and I began to use it in my training sessions.

So, how's your baby luau reputation doing?

If you have been in Hawaii longer than a week, you have figured out that none of us actually buy services because of advertising.

If we need a new roof, new plumbing, a car, a new bank account, a doctor -- what do we do?

We go to a friend and say, "Eh, you wen' get your roof done las' year, yeah? Who'd you use?" THEN we go to the ads to find the business that was recommended.

And we avoid the companies our friends disliked.

Baby luaus can be the death of your company or boost your business.

We are not like the mainland, where a dissatisfied customer will tell 12-18 people.

If your employees treated one person badly, that person may go to a baby luau and tell 350 people about it.

And you never know how long that negative advertisement will last.

In Hawaii, "we nevah forget!"

The upside of the baby luau, is this: If you give consistently good and friendly service, people will be proud to recommend you.

In Hawaii, we like to be helpful.

Give customers a reason to recommend you and your business will soar.

Next week: More tips to make your customers happy.

Beth Terry is president of Pacific Rim Seminars.
This column is excerpted from her upcoming book,
101 Ways to Make Your Life Easier. Send questions
on management, customer service and other issues

E-mail to Business Editor

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