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Living the dream is published on the 27th of every month by Tania Basheer of Blue Sky Coaching.
by Tania Basheer, Publisher

10 Essentials for Great Customer Service

Vol 6, Issue 10
27 October 2010

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Quote of the month

'Give the lady what she wants!'  

- Marshall Field, founder of Marshall Field's (now Macy's since 2006) a department store based in Chicago, Illinois

Next month's feature:

10 Tips for Transformational Journal Writing

In this issue:


Welcome to Living the dream, Blue Sky Coaching's monthly e-zine, written for small business owners, young entrepreneurs and service industry professionals and filled with cutting edge success tips to help you skyrocket your income, enjoy more personal time and be known as a star in your field. 

If you enjoy receiving Living the dream e-zine, please pass it on to anyone else you think might like to receive it too. Every 50th subscriber will receive a $50 Myer gift card and so will you, if you were responsible for referring them.

You can read all previous issues of Living the dream e-zine any time at: www.blueskycoaching.com.au/ezine.

Hi! from Tania

Hi there, 

While writing this month's e-zine, I took a little break to read some emails. Somehow, mysteriously, I came across a video of some stretches for lower back pain you can do at your desk. Just what I needed! My neck had just started to feel tight. Here's the video in case you're interested. The stretches only took about 6 minutes and felt great.

Actually, this week has been amazing for things turning up just at the right time. The same morning I decided to buy some exercise gear from Lorna Jane, I literally stumbled across their newest Adelaide store! Not bad, given they only opened it 3 weeks ago and I'd only walked twenty metres, from my client meeting to my car, and the store was right there, in between!

I'd also lost my sunglasses that morning and had searched for them everywhere, including inside my handbag at least 3 times. Then, miraculously, when I opened my bag a few hours later there they were, sitting right on top. I had asked St Anthony (according to my mum, the patron saint of lost things) for help finding them, so really I shouldn't have been all that surprised to see them. And, if you ever need a car park, just ask St Joseph for help while you're driving to your destination. Works for me all the time! 

Warm wishes,


Tania Basheer - Publisher
Living the dream e-zine

Feature: 10 Essentials for Great Customer Service

Feature: 10 Essentials for Great Customer Service

I think most of us will acknowledge that we actually buy what we want, not what we need.

So, how do we, as business owners, give our customers what they want? Assuming that our products and services are great value for money, it's essential that we support our products and services with great customer service, every time. 

I was taken aback recently when I saw an employment notice in a Good Life Pizza Restaurant  window (I love their free-range roasted duck pizza, but I digress). It said something like: 'Looking for staff who care about customer service.' Really? What's happening these days, where it needs to be spelled out that a care factor is important in a customer service role?! I've always experienced great customer service at Good Life (no doubt because that's a not negotiable in their business), but sadly, I've experienced some shocking customer service, to the point where a cafe waitress argued with my girlfriend, when she very patiently pointed out that she hadn't actually received what she'd ordered. 

Here are my thoughts on 10 essentials for great customer service:

  1. Employ the right people in customer service roles: When hiring people for roles it's so important that you you choose wisely. Not everyone is suited to a customer service role and, regardless of the amount of training and support provided, some people will just always be square pegs in round holes. So, hire staff wisely! Make use of one of the many behavioural profiling tools available on the market, such as Harrison Assessments offered by the delightful Don Dobie at Employment Profiling , to assess candidates before offering them a position, and conduct reliable competency-based interviews too, such as those taught by recruitment expert Bridget Hogg of HR Development at Work.
  2. Greet your customers when they arrive. Thank them when they leave: How you greet your customer creates an impression - good or bad - so make a good start by greeting them in a genuine way. Also, always thank your customers for their patronage, order, or even just for making an enquiry or stopping by to look. It could positively influence their decision to come back and buy, and shows something of your character and gratitude for their business.    
  3. Stay in touch: Regularly connect with your customers and keep them informed of anything that might be relevant or important to them. You can do this both personally by calling or emailing them, and by sending out regular updates, catalogues or newsletters, electronically or by mail.
  4. Apologise if there is a problem and fix it quickly: Why are people so reluctant to say 'I'm sorry, we'll fix that for you right away'? People can accept honest mistakes, however, a total lack of acknowledgement of any mistake on the sales assistant's or service provider's part is just unenlightened.
  5. Never judge a potential customer by their appearance: I'm often appalled by the instances of differential treatment I've seen given to customers in clothing and other retail stores. Just because a customer might look good or be well dressed, it doesn't make them any more deserving of a sales assistant's attention. I've experienced being treated like a VIP when I've been dressed in business clothes and heels, and being completely ignored when I've been in jeans. I've had the same amount of money to spend each time, in fact, I've had more time to spend money when I'm not between clients, but guess how inclined anyone is to buy from a person who ignores them compared to when they've been offered personal attention?
  6. Be present, aware and empathetic to your customer's wants and needs: Ask open questions and listen attentively to discover what your customer is looking for and needing from you. I was recently served by a woman who was like a zombie. After I'd made my payment she looked at me quizzically and then asked me if she'd given me my change. She was miles away in her own little world!
  7. Be helpful: If a product isn't in stock, suggest an alternative and, rather than just point a customer in the right direction of a particular item, take them to it.
  8. Make every aspect of the buying experience as easy and enjoyable as possible: Have an easy-to-navigate website, highlight parking options if you're in a busy location, offer assistance in carrying heavy or awkward purchases, provide a play area for children, interesting magazines, a coffee machine, or even have TV in your waiting room or anywhere people need to queue for any period of time. Anything you can do to alleviate sources of frustration will be welcomed and appreciated by your customers.
  9. Give a little extra:  Surprise and delight your customers by giving them something extra or unexpected. It can be as little or big as you like. Something unexpected is a lovely gesture that adds to the pleasure of doing business with you. Just in the last week, I've received a mint chocolate with my restaurant bill, a voucher for a complimentary wheel alignment and balance when I purchased new car tyres (thanks to my gardener Brad of Eco Urban Gardens who pointed out that I needed them - a nice extra in itself!) and convenient, after-hours delivery at home of a framed portrait photo (of the grandchildren for my mother-in-law's 70th) by Photography by Dale.
  10. Follow up: Whenever you provide a quote for work, follow it up within a week. It shows you care about your potential customer, while not following up can signal that you don't really care one way or other. The person might still be interested in buying your product or service. They simply might not have called you yet because they have had other priorities, and as time goes on, if you don't follow them up, they will most likely choose another supplier who does!  

Related tips: 10 Ways to Close the Sale.  

For more business and life coaching tips to help you achieve your goals and create and live the life you've always wanted, visit: www.blueskycoaching.com.au/ezine/index.php. To find out more about how you can work with me personally, visit: www.blueskycoaching.com.au, or call me on 0411 471 941 or (08) 8338 3134 or e-mail me on tania@blueskycoaching.com.au.

Refer a Friend and Enjoy a Shopping Experience on Me!

If you enjoy receiving Living the dream e-zine, please pass it on to anyone else you think might like to receive it too. Every 50th subscriber will receive a $50 Myer gift card and so will you, if you were responsible for referring them. Thank you to everyone who's referred subscribers to Living the dream and helped grow the list to 589. I appreciate your support!

Would you like to be the lucky person to refer subscriber number 600? Good luck!

Join Me at Our Next EFT Circle Monthly Meeting

Following on from the success of 'Coach Week' held in May this year, the International Coach Federation (ICF) has endorsed four special interest groups (SIGS) in Adelaide and I've been given the honour of leading the Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) group. 

The Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) SIG will hold monthly 'EFT Circles' for coaches and anyone else interested in EFT and finding out more about the technique.

Next Group Session: Tuesday 16 November 2010

Time: 7.30 pm - 9.30 pm

Where: The Community Room, Fullarton Park Centre, 411 Fullarton Road, Fullarton SA 5063

Cost: $10.00

RSVP: By Friday 12 November 2010 by email to tania@blueskycoaching.com.au or call me on 0411 471 941 if you'll be attending.

Note, previous EFT training isn't essential.   

* BYO - bottle of water

Theme: The theme for November's EFT circle will be using EFT to support you in your weight loss journey. 

The EFT SIG - What's it all about?

  1. Exploring the many uses of EFT (there will be a different theme for each month's EFT Circle)
  2. For anyone interested in EFT, previous EFT training is NOT essential
  3. To allow coaches and other EFT practitioners or interested individuals to practice and discuss EFT applications
  4. Gives attendees the opportunity to experience EFT as a client
  5. To encourage an open dialogue about EFT and create a strong local EFT support network

If you have any questions at all, please contact me.

T: (08) 8338 3134

M: 0411 471 941

E: tania@blueskycoaching.com.au

Looking forward to seeing you there! 

Enter My Spring Coaching Competition Now!

Enter My Spring Coaching Competition Now!

Enter now at: http://www.blueskycoaching.com.au/special.php for your chance to WIN 2 business or life coaching sessions with me plus a copy of 'Getting things done: the art of stress-free productivity' by David Allen. Valued at over $300!

Winner drawn 30 November 2010.

Getting things done can transform the way you work and live, showing you how to pick up the pace without wearing yourself down.

Learn how to:

  • Apply the 'do it, delegate it, defer it, drop it' rule to get your in-box to empty
  • Reassess goals and stay focused in changing situations
  • Plan and unstick projects
  • Overcome feelings of confusion, anxiety and being overwhelmed
  • Feel fine about what you're not doing. 

Previous competition winner: C.Rugari

Next Month: 10 Tips for Transformational Journal Writing

Next month Soli Goodes of Journal Junky will be a guest writer, contributing my feature article. In our next issue I'll also share with you several journaling resources to support and propel you towards reaching your goals and dreams.

Sponsors and Advertisements


Building High Performance Customer Service




Exceptional customer service begins with employing and retaining the right staff. Research shows that a person who enjoys their role is 4 times more likely to succeed.

Placing any employee in a customer service role under the guise of training is dangerous. Some simply don't want to be there. Their needs don't match yours.

Our profiling service accurately matches and predicts success based on researched behavioural templates reflecting high performance. Customer service roles demand high 'wants public contact, warmth and empathy, helpfulness and diplomacy' characteristics, to name a few. Each role has a unique set of traits to ensure you employ and develop only the best. Ongoing strategies to assist retention are also available.

Contact Don - Employment Profiling - 0408 740 700

Mention Blue Sky Coaching and receive a free pen and a 15% discount - 1st profiling assignment.

www.employmentprofiling.com.au or www.harrisonassessments.com



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Recruitment Interview Skills for Managers and Recruiters 

Wednesday 10 November, 9.15 am - 4.45 pm


What are the biggest recruitment mistakes?

  1. Not developing a list of key competencies - so you don't know what you are looking for.
  2. Not conducting competency-based assessment (relying on a 'does your face fit' interview instead which results in 'square pegs for round holes'.
  3. Not having trained interviewers who know how to conduct a competency-based SOAR interview.
  4. Recruiting people who you want to 'let go' 3 months later because they don't fit your culture.

Are you interested in developing your interview skills so you know what evidence to gather and what to listen for in an interview?

Do you want to be able to conduct a valid and reliable competency interview?

Enhance your questioning techniques by attending this one-day workshop 'Interview Skills for Recruiters and Managers.'

Date: Wednesday 10 November

Time: 9.15 am - 4.45 pm

Where: Education Development Centre, Hindmarsh SA

Cost: $499 (includes lunch, snacks and comprehensive workbook)

Group discounts available for 2+ persons.

To Book: Complete the booking form here

To book an in-house workshop, call Bridget for more details on 8322 8455.



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Using my journal, I have come from being a drug-dependent drop-out, to a happy, whole human being. I've written my way to a healthy, happy, passionate life I love - Soli Goodes, Journal Junky.

Now, it's my mission to help you master the power of journal writing. Learn how with your copy of my Journal Junky Gift Set.

Comprised of the deceptively juicy Informal & Inspirational Guide to Journal Writing, packaged with a gorgeous 192-page, soft leather wrap companion journal in your choice of four decadent colours - avocado, bone, cherry and chocolate.

You'll enjoy every page as you discover how to write your dream life into being.

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Reading this ad? Then why not place yours here. Do you have a product, service, workshop or special offer that you'd like to let hundreds of entrepreneurs, SOHO business owners, busy professionals and business executives know about? To find out more about advertising in this e-zine and to reserve your spot for next month, e-mail Tania your details today at tania@blueskycoaching.com.au and include 'e-zine ad' in the subject line. As a subscriber to this e-zine, you can receive f.ree advertising, based on availability, if you submit your advertising copy to me by the 20th day of the month.

Advertising Disclaimer: Blue Sky Coaching does not endorse or represent the accuracy or reliability of any of the advertisements included above or the quality of goods, services or information obtained by you in connection with engaging the services of or purchasing goods from the above suppliers.

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