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I Know They Bother You, But…
By: Mark E. Brown
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I used to joke with my employees that our business would be perfect if we did not have to deal with customers. But, of course, customers are why we are in business and as a result, they get to dictate how well we do. Because of this position within your company the customer holds, it makes sense to revisit the foundation of your customer service regularly. 

I recently read “Built from SCRATCH,” the story of how Bernie Marcus and Arthur Blank built The Home Depot from nothing into a $30 billion business. They explain their philosophy of customer service as “Whatever it takes.” They will do whatever it takes to satisfy a customer within all human reason; it is taking ownership of customer problem resolution.

But they go beyond just talking about; they live it. They have identified the only six things that a customer wants to pay for at The Home Depot. Here is the customer bill of rights at The Home Depot:
  1. The right assortment.
  2. The right quantities.
  3. The right prices.
  4. Associates on the sales floor who want to take care of the customers.
  5. Associates who have been trained properly in terms of product knowledge.
  6. The expectation that our associates will be there when the customers need them.
Based on those six simple principles, The Home Depot has grown into:
  • The world’s largest home improvement retailer.
  • The fourth-largest retailer in the U.S.
  • The fifth-largest retailer in the world.
  • And, in 2010, The Home Depot was ranked No. 29 on the Fortune 500 U.S. list.
How are you relating to your customer? Does every employee in the company understand your approach to customer service? At The Home Depot, they make every company executive spend two months working in a store. Powerful. It sounds like if you do not have a customer bill of rights, today is a great day to write one.  

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About the Author

Mark E. Brown is a personal branding expert, professional speaker, and business growth advisor. He has owned a number of award winning ad agencies and is the founder of Mark Brown Strategies, a communications and marketing agency. You can follow Mark on Twitter and on Linkedin.  

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