How To Win Customers For Life
Buying a car
often sits near the top of the dreaded tasks list for most Americans. I felt the exact same way, despite buying three cars in the past.

Car dealerships and specifically salespeople are typically rated very poorly on follow-ups once they’ve completed the initial sale. But as DFW Car Dealer Carl Sewell writes in his book Customers For Life, one customer is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. The first chapter of Carl’s book outlines the Ten Commandments of Customer service:

  1. Bring ‘em back alive: Ask customers what they want and give it to them again and again.
  2. Systems not smiles: Saying please and thank you doesn’t ensure you’ll do the job right first time, every time. Only systems guarantee you that.
  3. Underpromise, overdeliver: Customers expect you to keep your word. Exceed it.
  4. When the customer asks the answer is always “yes.” Period.
  5. Fire your inspectors and consumer relations’ department: Every employee who deals with clients must have the authority to handle complaints.
  6. No complaints? Something’s wrong: Encourage your customers to tell you what you’re doing wrong.
  7. Measure everything: Baseball teams do it. Football teams do it. Basketball teams do it. You should too.
  8. Salaries are unfair: Pay people like partners.
  9. Your mother was right: Show people respect. Be polite. It works.
  10. Japanese them: Learn how the best really do it; make their systems your own. Then improve them.

Additionally, he writes if you treat your customers right, they’ll want to come back.

“Instead of buying one car from us, and then disappearing forever, the customer returns whenever he needs a new one,” Sewell writes. “Over the course of his lifetime he’ll end up spending a lot of money with us –$517,000 to be exact.”

Cameron Tigg  at Joe Machens Toyota in Columbia very much understands this concept. …

To read the rest, you’ll have to go check out the Miles & Co. blog, where I wrote this as a guest piece.

Beef and Pineapple Red Curry

I was skeptical of this Martha Stewart dish and unsure of how the pineapple, beef and green beans would play together, but I shouldn’t have been. It was amazing! In fact, like so many of our dishes, I was sad there wasn’t any leftovers! Plus, as an extra bonus, it fit the no six diet restrictions!

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1/4 cup red curry paste
1 pound sirloin steak, trimmed and cut against the grain into very thin strips
1/2 pound green beans, trimmed and cut in half crosswise
2 cups large diced pineapple (12 ounces – we just used a can drained of the juice)
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
Cooked jasmine rice, for serving (or regular white rice, or go crazy and make coconut rice!)
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, torn

Directions:
In a large skillet heat oil over medium-high. Add curry paste and cook, stirring, until fragrant about 30 seconds. Add steak and cook, stirring, until browned, 2 minutes. Add green beans and pineapple and cook, stirring, until pineapple starts to release juices, about 1 minute. Add stock and coconut milk and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook at a rapid simmer until green beans are crisp-tender, about 8 minutes. Serve over rice, topped with basil.

My opinion:
Like I said above, I wish there had been more of this dish. It was just enough to serve four adults.

Lamb with Potatoes and Chickpeas
One of the hardest parts about giving up six main food groups and items for baby A (she has protein digestion issues so I’m not eating dairy, wheat, eggs, fish, soy or peanuts) is finding quick, easy weeknight meals. Through a lot of trial and error, J and I have learned that some meals that look easy aren’t and some that look time-consuming are actually simple. This is a simple one. We’d put off making Lamb Tagine with Potatoes and Chickpeas from Williams Sonoma because it looked complicated. We were throughly surprised to learn it was easy and perfect for a busy weeknight.

Ingredients:
3 teaspoons cumin seeds (we used ground)
3 teaspoons coriander seeds (we used ground)
3/4 teaspoons peppercorns (we used ground black pepper)
1 1/2 teaspoons sweet paprika (we used Hungarian)
1 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons salt, plus more, to taste (we used Kosher)
2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 1/2 lb. boneless leg of lamb, cut into 1-inch cubes (we just used stew lamb, which was perfectly sized)
1 yellow onion, julienned
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup water
1/2 lb. small Yukon Gold potatoes, halved (we ended up using a pound and it was perfect!)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish
1 can (15 oz.) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Directions:
In a small fry pan over medium-low heat, toast the cumin and coriander seeds, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a spice grinder, add the peppercorns, paprika, ginger and the 2 tsp. salt and grind until well combined. Set aside. If using ground, skip the grinding step and just combine in a small bowl. Mix with a fork.

In a tagine over medium-high heat, warm 1 tablespoon of the olive oil until almost smoking. Working in batches, brown the lamb on all sides, 3 to 4 minutes total. Transfer to a plate. If you don’t have a tagine, we used our most favorite pasta pot.

Add the remaining oil and the onion to the tagine or pot, reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring, until translucent, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic and the spice mixture, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is caramelized, about 2 more minutes. Add the lamb, water, potatoes and the 1/4 cup cilantro and bring to a simmer. Cover the tagine or pot and adjust the heat so the mixture gently simmers. Cook for 45 minutes, then add the chickpeas and lemon juice. Continue cooking until the lamb is tender, about 45 minutes more. Taste and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper.

Garnish with cilantro and serve. Accompany with couscous or rice. Serves 4 to 6.

My opinion:
I LOVE this dish. It’s flavorful and warming and just delicious. It’s as good cold as it is right from the stove.

Pan roasted chicken and leeks
Now that we’re getting more comfortable with the No Six Diet restrictions, we are also getting a little more adventurous with adapting recipes. J bought some leeks for another recipe we scrapped and we weren’t entirely sure what to do with them. Luckily, my mom was visiting and suggested a chicken and leeks dish that she’s made several times. It turned out perfectly!

Ingredients:
3 slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
4-6 chicken breasts, cut in half
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper (to season the chicken)
3 cloves garlic, smashed or a teaspoon and a half of minced garlic
1 bunch leeks, white and light green parts only, halved lengthwise and sliced
2 tablespoons corn starch
1 cup low-sodium chicken stock
6 ounces sliced button mushrooms
1/2 cup dry white wine

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Put the bacon in a large heavy-bottomed ovenproof skillet (we used out cast iron dutch oven) and cook over medium-high heat until some of the fat renders, about 5 minutes. Push the bacon to the side of the pan. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, then add it to the pan and cook, turning once, until it starts to brown, about 5 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan. Stir in the garlic and leeks, then arrange the chicken on top of the bacon-leek mixture. Whisk in the corn starch in the chicken stock. Add the stock and wine to the pot. Transfer to the oven. Set the timer for about 20 to 25 minutes. Check the chicken and if the broth has mostly evaporated, add more stock to keep everything moist. Cook for another 15 to 20 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. Serve over rice.

My opinion:
I couldn’t get enough of this dish! I wished there was more!

Emails are a necessary evil. Like it or not, it’s how people and organizations communicate in 2015.

If you want to unsubscribe, CAN-SPAM makes it super easy. In a nutshell, the 2003 CAN-SPAM act (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing) sets the rules for commercial email (including small businesses and non-profit organizations), establishes requirements for commercial messages, gives recipients the right to have you stop emailing them and spells out tough penalties for violations.

So rather than just hitting reply and asking to be removed, or worse replying with STOP like you would a text message, scroll to the bottom of the email and look for messages like this one from the Home Depot:

Home Depot Unsibscribe

 

Or this one from Groupon:
Groupon Unsubscribe
Even Facebook has an easy unsubscribe:
Facebook Unsibscribe
Avoid looking like you’ve never used email and if you want to unsubscribe, scroll to the bottom of the email and follow those directions.

About Aurora

My father named me after Sleeping Beauty. The princess theme stuck. Unfortunately, the only castle I can claim is the one in Disney Land. These are the musings of a princess without minions, knights or fairy tales. I have to do my own bidding.

The views in this blog are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer or clients.

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 50 other followers

pinterest

Follow Me on Pinterest

Archives

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 50 other followers

%d bloggers like this: