Roy's Blog: June 2012

June 28, 2012

How to AMAZE your customers - hire “human being lovers”

Rule #1 of the four step practice to AMAZE customers is to hire people with the innate desire and ability to serve and please others.

Why is it that we run into service people who obviously hate their job and would rather be working with technology than real people?

Why is it that frontline positions are filled with people who have a lot of seniority in an organizations but basically don’t like working with other people?

Who don’t like humans?

Ever been in a restaurant and have been afraid that the server would either throw something at you or subject your underdone steak to the population residing on the floor of the kitchen?

First of all, there is no more important position in any organization that one that deals directly with the public.

These people should be called, as Tom Peters once called them, Supreme Commanders. They literally control all aspects of an organization that involves its brand: honesty, integrity, caring attitude, responsiveness and overall service quality.

In any call Center operations, reps handle thousands of “moments of truth” every single day! Do you think they could influence customer perception toward the Company and subsequent decisions to buy a product or service?. No question.

Second, why would the leadership of the organization put anyone into such an important job if they didn’t have the requisite skills and attitude to serve other people? Beats me but they do.
I believe this dysfunctional behavior is due to the fact that they look at these positions as entry level junior jobs rather than a career destination, responsible for influencing customer loyalty and long terms profitability.

There are 3 actions you can do to make sure you get people obsessed with serving people in frontline positions:

1. Ensure the recruitment guide asks the right questions to expose this virtue. I find that there are many of what I would call hygiene questions asked, but rarely do I find that the ‘love’ questions are absent to any sigfnificant degree.

2. Come right out and ask the candidate “Do you love people?” and then ask them to describe 3 situations that proved it. You can tell quickly if the person is suitable to turn loose on your most valuable assets (customers) or not.

3. Have a senior person (an executive leader is the best choice) in the organization to participate in the panel interview process.
This achieves three purposes:
- it shows people in the organization that hiring frontliners is a critically important matter
- the candidate understands how serious the organization is about getting “people lovers” in these positions
- it enhances the richness of the interview itself in terms of the questions senior people bring to the table.

Can you train people to like people?

My experience is a resounding NO! You either have a natural inclination to like humans or you don’t; no amount of training will change that.

Training might influence how you behave and as long as the customer interaction is scripted you might get away with it.
The reality is, however that customers can’t always be scripted and sooner or later the trained frontliner will have to rely on their innate abilities to handle the customer in an elegant and memorable way.

So where do you find them?

You should always have a frontline recruitment program underway to ensure that you are gathering the best peopple lovers you can to fuel the funnel created by employee turnover.

Tag ‘em early by going to schools at all levels and spotting the chosen ones.

Cheers,
Roy

Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

  • Posted 6.28.12 at 07:08 am by Roy Osing
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June 25, 2012

This is what happens when you surprise people

A mind-blowing service experience is never created when people get what they expect.

Give ‘em what you have led them to expect; they will be satisfied and will give you a “C"on your service report card.

Blew me away

— A household move from Vancouver to Toronto on-time, on-budget with nothing damaged.
— A friendly server at your favorite restaurant.
— Food that is ok.
— A clean hotel room.
— A return telephone call that was promised.
— A flight that leaves at the promised time and lands with your baggage.
— A financial plan that delivers the promised financial benefits.
— Fixing a service blunder made by your local retailer.
— An online purchase delivered when promised.

No big deal. After all, you expect these things. And when they are delivered you are probably more relieved than anything else.

If you want to dazzle someone, blow them away, leave them breathless or WOW! them, you have to do something they DON’T expect.

You must surprise them with a spontaneous act.

A random act of caring.

It’s not about exceeding expectations. Trying to do more of what a person expects is not a good investment of resources. All it does is earn you a stronger “C” on your report card.

Earning an “A” on your service report card in fact has nothing to do with meeting expectations whatsoever.

Deliver what you promise and add the surprise element if you want incredibly loyal fans who will tell everyone they know how great you are.

Cheers,
Roy

Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

  • Posted 6.25.12 at 11:22 am by Roy Osing
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June 18, 2012

10 proven ways to surge your organization to the next level

If you feel your organization is hovering above the same level of performance year after year, try these 10 breakaway actions.

They will give you new life.

1. Renew your strategy every year if you want to avoid it becoming stale. Never assume that what got you to your present point will work going forward. Environmental conditions change; an organization’s strategy must as well.

2. Focus your time and attention on the 3 things that will deliver 80% of your results. The biggest impediment to progress is trying to take on too much; to chase possibilities which of course are too numerous to handle with limited resources. Be clear on the few objectives that must be achieved if real progress is to be achieved.

3. Modify your business processes to enhance the service experience for your customers. Being easier to do business with has significant payback from increased customer satisfaction and loyalty.

4. Cut the crap and grunge that gets in the way of achieving progress. Let go of the old stuff that is no longer relevant in order to have sufficient resources to meet tomorrow’s challenges.

5. Put the priority on executing your plan. Don’t spend all of your time on trying to get your plan perfect — it will never happen. Perfection doesn’t exist. Get your plan just about right and apply your energy to executing it.

Next level

6. Set cost objectives. Define the cost envelope that you can afford. Build your organization within this envelope. Cost should be an input to your organizational planning, not an output.

7. Adjust your strategy as you learn from execution. Execute — learn — adjust. A viable strategy is the result of paying attention to how well you implement it.

8. Target your current customers to achieve your sales objectives as opposed to putting all your eggs in the new customer acquisition basket. Create personal solutions for them. Give the special deals to them. If you don’t keep your loyal base, there won’t be a higher level to climb to.

9. Start building a culture based on creating memorable experiences for people. Lose the product flogging mentality. The secret to loyalty is surprising your customers with what they DON’T EXPECT.

10. Sell intimate relationships, Don’t flog products and services. Trust that deep relationships will spawn a healthy long term revenue stream.

A tough journey. But well worth the time, effort — and pain.

Cheers,
Roy

Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

  • Posted 6.18.12 at 10:37 am by Roy Osing
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June 14, 2012

What happens when you make a high definition moment?

A high definition moment is an interaction between a customer an an organization that is jam-packed with emotion.

HD Moments either leave your customer breathless or pissed-off. Gasping or in pain. Dazzled or postal. They are vivid in terms of the feelings that are created between person and company.

They are of such high resolution that the picture of what you are experiencing is easy to describe and relate to others (both good and bad news depending on the outcome).

HD Moments are, as SAS CEO Jan Carlzon coined “Moments of Truth” when advocacy bonds are established with customers or enemies are created.

Or as Seth Godin proclaims, when sneezers who spread your good word to others are born for your organization or protestors scream how crummy you are.

HD moments

HD moments are strategic.

Loyalty is either created or destroyed. Any organization must as a strategic imperative create HD moments for their fans if they are going to thrive and survive.

How do you create HD moments?

It’s about building a team that can create these kinds of feelings every time their organization touches their customers:

> HAPPY
> AMAZED
> WARM
> FUZZY
> DAZZLED
> BREATHLESS
> GASPING
> SURPRISED
> IMPRESSED
> MAGICAL
> SMITTEN
> HONORED
> IMPORTANT
> HEARD

How often have you felt this way when doing business with a company? How often have you felt warm and fuzzy when interacting with an automated voice response system? Never I suspect.

Consider the HD moment as the driving force in architecting customer interactions in your organization.

Assign a senior person as The Chief High Definition Moments Officer to make it matter in your organization and establish a high priority for it.

Recruit people who are at ease with honouring others. Establish rules and policies that leave your fans breathless.

Engineer automated systems to surprise people.

Cheers,
Roy

Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

  • Posted 6.14.12 at 10:00 am by Roy Osing
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