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The end of year silly season has come and gone once again. Now is the time to re-group and assess how it all went.

Here are 3 questions all service business owners should ask themselves.

Am I proud of how my staff (and myself!) performed during this busy time? 

Make sure you look into your business from a customer’s point of view.  Did your team treat every client or potential customer with sincerity, gratitude and respect?  Did you see each customer leave your business smiling and grateful for the assistance they received?

Think of your own experience in a business that didn’t meet your needs, where staff looked too tired, flustered or too stressed to provide you with memorable service. Use this as a measurement when thinking about your own performance.

If your employees did not perform to your standard, address this now. Do not make excuses: “it was busy”, “they are tired”, “everyone is tired” – Look at your business with out emotional interference.  Don’t let your emotions open up the playing field for your competitors.

Did I convert my opportunities into 2013 sales relationships?

If you didn’t read Tough Cookie Marketing’s past post How to make your Christmas rush last all year ,  we spoke about the GOLDMINE of potential customers you have coming your way.  Did you take advantage of the new faces coming in to your business?   Did you sign up new members, mailing lists, engage return opportunities?  Did you make that one-off experience at your business one they will remember and tell their friends about?  If your answer is sadly NO, then don’t despair.  You can still work on these relationships, but you must act now while your customer’s memories are still fresh.

1. Contact any first time clients that visited over the past 6-8 weeks, and invite them to join your mailing list. Offer them a small gift or discount as a new comer’s “welcome”. Don’t be afraid to tell them you want to create an on-going relationship with them. (Remember – Sincerity!!)

2. Contact people who purchased gift vouchers from you and offer them an up-grade or discount to enjoy themselves, since they used your business as a gift to someone else. (Don’t forget to invite them to join your mailing list!)

3. Send a post-Christmas thank you card to your regular clients.  Now that all the other festive cards have been discarded and forgotten, a non-Christmas “Thank you and best wishes for 2013” will make an impact.  Make sure it’s personalised and send something they can redeem in the New Year, perhaps at a time that trade may slow a little or your off-season.

What did my competitors do that I loved?

Never be afraid to watch what others are doing and appreciate what they may do better.  I purchased a gift voucher from my local Brazilian Beauty store upon the request of my sister as her Christmas gift.  Apart from the gorgeous gift card in a special glossy cover (gift vouchers are getting more and more fancy aren’t they?), what was particularly memorable was that they entered my purchase into my sisters customer file.  Should she lose her voucher, she can still redeem her gift.

This business really wanted to make sure they honored the gift.  Now this is how you create great relationships.  How many times have you read on the bottom of your gift “lost vouchers will not be replaced”?  Grrr.

If you see a great idea that would benefit your business, Adopt it. Fast.

Best of business success in 2013!

More customer service, service industry and marketing ideas can be found at www.toughcookiemarketing.com, please pop on over, we would love to see you.

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