Make ‘Service’ Extraordinary –Farquharson/Tedesco

When did ordinary customer service become extraordinary? When did getting a client on the phone become akin to winning tickets in a radio station promotion (“Congratulations! You’re the 25th caller!”)? Somewhere along the line what was once expected in everyday business disappeared. Perhaps people got too busy or maybe the basics were no longer deemed as necessary, but we now live in a sad world where “No problem” has replaced “My pleasure” and essential customer needs go unanticipated and therefore unmet. Perhaps the better question to ask is, how can you benefit?

Customer service died at roughly the same time when common courtesy became uncommon. The goal of voice mail was once to get someone to call back. Today, when that actually happens, you’d be wise to purchase a lottery ticket. You’re on a roll! The I, me, my world we inhabit has given rise to a new breed of rude. But cynics beware: In every problem there is an opportunity!

Three true stories. Three customer service nightmares:

A guest is staying at the Holiday Inn in Independence, OH, and the power goes out in the middle of the night. Okay, that’s fine. Lying in bed that morning, the man runs through the list of what’s to come once his feet hit the floor and ponders the implications of an electricity-less existence: Cold shower, a challenging shaving experience, dressing in the dark, no coffee…NO COFFEE!!!???

Must. Warn. Others.

Calming down and eventually peeling himself off of the ceiling, he remembers that the Holiday Inn in Independence, OH, probably has staff working on the problem. That thought gives him the confidence to get out of bed. Picking up the phone, the conversation went like this:

Them: “Front desk…”

Him: “Hi. What can you tell me about the power outage?”

Them: “The entire hotel is out.”

As a 30 year sales veteran, Bill has the perspective of a been-there, done-that sales rep in the commercial print arena. Following sales fundamentals and giving unapologetically "old school" advice, he writes and speaks in an entertaining fashion to make his points to sales people and owners who sell. "Bill Farquharson will drive your sales momentum."
T.J. Tedesco is a sales growth, business strategy, marketing and PR consultant operating at the intersection of clear vision, compelling content and effective outreach practices. For nearly two decades, T.J. has been an independent consultant and sales growth team leader. Previously, he sold commercial printing, graphic arts machinery and supplies, and finishing and bindery services. T.J. helps North American companies with content development, Web and print design leadership, nurture marketing programs, sales coaching, sales team alignment and business strategy. Since 1996, T.J. has worked with more than 100 clients on retainer, 80 percent in the graphic arts industry. T.J. is author of "Win Top-of-Mind Positioning," "Playbook for Selling Success in the Graphic Arts Industry," "Fire! How Marketing Got Hot," "Direct Mail Pal" and four more books published by PIA. He can be reached at (301) 404-2244 or
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