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Great Post!

I agree with the comment by Vaibhav Domkundwar: never get into arguments about cause of the problem. In fact, you have opportunity to gain the customers trust by listening and hearing what they're saying, so you can win your customers for long relationship.

Great points. Its funny how these simple things also get ignored by companies in pursuit of new customers and more revenue. I'd like to add another point which has worked very well for us: turn every mistake or problem with the product or service into an opportunity to win over your customers for the long term. In case of a problem or mistake, take immediate and full responsibility for resolving it at the earliest possible, communicate every step of the way and don't get into arguments about the cause of the problem (definitely not until you have fixed it). Doing this just seals your relationship with your customers for the long run.

Unfortunately I've had many unpleasant experiences with customer service reps at other companies. Their quality of service, or rather lack-there-of is motivation for me to step it up and not do the same to my clients! After all, it's the companies whose customer service rocks that I ultimately remember and evangelize on a daily basis. Take your experience with apple for example, remember when you wrote about that a long time ago?

On point #3, I used to think that I was being bothersome in over-communicating at first (hey, I was young). Now I sent status updates via email each and every morning, and if a problem arises, I bring it up along with an outline of the steps I'm taking to clear things up. I've come to find that people appreciate me a whole lot more for those things. They're little things, but they've earned me a great deal of appreciation. People respect my time because I put in the extra effort in letting them know that they're being taken care of!

All in all, I think that word-of-mouth marketing is one of the best forms of marketing. And if anyone took the steps you've outlined here and implemented them, well, I think they'd see an improvement in their word-of-mouth marketing efforts.

FYI: if that's your own photo and quote, I do believe I owe you credit :-)

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