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Whatelse

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March 18, 2022
2 min read
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Back in October of last year, we talked about the difference between "do you need help?" and "How Can I Help?"

One elicits a yes/no response, while the other (in most cases) garners a response that is actionable, ex: "chop up these onions..."

Regardless of what business you are in, we are all in the business of customer service - aiming to be as helpful as we can to the client, customer, or donor we are interacting with.

To that point, if "How can I help?" is the starting question, "What else...?" can be the most fruitful way to close your engagement - a great customer service tip.

Putting It Into Practice

Consider the following exchanges - the first, with a grocery store butcher counter worker (that is not customer service focused), and the second, a small independent butcher shop employee - dedicated to his trade (and his customers).

Exchange 1

[Customer walks up to the counter]

Butcher: What can I get you?

Customer: I am making a meal from a recipe that requires a 7-pound rump roast.

[Butcher pulls a roast from the display, carves off the excess, wraps it, and hands the customer exactly what she asked for]

Butcher: Here ya go... Have a nice day.

[Customer takes the package and walks to the front of the store to pay] 

+++

Now, let's see how introducing our customer-focused verbiage changes the arch of the engagement...

Exchange 2

[Customer walks up to the counter]

Butcher: Hi there, how can I help you today?

Customer: I am making a meal from a recipe that requires a 7-pound rump roast.

[Butcher acknowledges the mention of the recipe and is interested to learn more]

Butcher: Oh nice!  What are you making?

Customer: It's a pot roast recipe, I'm trying it for the first time and I hope I don't mess it up.

Butcher: Oh you'll be fine!  The trick is to seal in all the juices first by searing all the sides before adding your stock.  We actually sell some large tongs that are really handy for doing just that! 

[Butcher wraps up the meat and hands it to the customer]

Butcher: What else can I help you with today?

Customer: Where can I find those tongs you mentioned?

Butcher: Isle 2, and my name's Joe in case there's anything else I can help you with - just give me a hollar!

Customer: Thank you Joe!  I will let you know how it turned out next week!

+++

See how this customer service tip of just a few more lines of dialogue not only yielded a bigger sale to butcher number 2, but it also created a trusted relationship that will carry through to future visits and opportunities?

So, what else can you be talking to your clients, customers, or donors about? Do you have a great customer service tip you would like to share?

Thank you for reading and make it a great week!

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