By Nancy Friedman, Keynote Speaker, Customer Service Expert, President, Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training

There are 3 valuable items customers want BEFORE the product or the service. They boil down to three basic wants comprising of what we call the R-T-C factor: Relationship, Trust and Consistency.

1.  R – – Relationship

Building rapport is an overlooked art. Call many companies and the first word shouted at you is: “Name?” No “nice to meet you by phone” or even a “good morning.” There’s very little rapport building found in today’s customer service. Relationship starts within the first 4 to 6 seconds of a phone call or within 30 seconds for an in-person visit. That sets the stage for the rest of the transaction. Plus, it lays the groundwork for possible future business. Rapport building and relationships are vital to every communication exchange. It’s a simple basic process. Yet not taught in our schools.

 2.  T – – Trust

If the customer is unable to trust what you say, the relationship will melt to zero. Gaining the trust of your customer is the KEY to relationship. From following through when you promise to call or fulfilling the company’s guarantee statement, creating trust is vital. If those trusts are broken, it’s a big fence to mend. Keep your word to gain the trust of your customer. They need to know they can count on you. Before any sale, a customer must buy YOU.

3.  C – – Consistency

The McDonald’s hamburger in Cancun, Mexico tastes the same as the one in Des Moines, Iowa. Why? Consistency. The taste will be the same in each of the stores.

And your business needs to run with the same consistency. It shouldn’t matter who the customer talks or interacts with on any one day. I’m skepical when someone tells me to “be sure to talk to Joe. He’s the best there is.” I’d rather hear, “you can talk to anyone in our office.”

In summary, YOUR  R – T- C Factor is what customers look for and deserve in their transactions with your company.

Nancy Friedman

Nancy Friedman

Communication and customer service expert Nancy Friedman, The Telephone Doctor, founder and chairman of Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training, is back in the saddle again. Well, back into live onsite programs, and still offering her ZOOM programs, in a cost saving manner. Whichever you choose, onsite or Zoom, you’ll be glad you did. The reviews are excellent, and audiences have loudly applauded her in either area. Sales, customer service and communication skills are her area of expertise, and she welcomes calls, texts, or emails. You can reach her directly at; through the website at, where you can sign up for her newsletters; or call/text directly at 314-276-1012 central time. Bring it on. Whether you need a keynote speaker or workshop/breakout speaker on customer service and communication skills, you’ll make a great choice.