Roy's Blog: March 2017

March 27, 2017

How to AMAZE your customers in 4 easy ways

There are two elements to a service strategy: core service and the service experience.

Core service is the basic product or service you provide the market; your dial tone so to speak. Without your core service you don’t have a business. Clean hotel rooms, dial tone, accurate financial advice, working stereo systems and 24X7 cable service are all examples of core service.

Interestingly, customers expect your core service to work every time, and when it does they give you a ‘C’ on your service report card. Customer loyalty is unaffected; it neither goes up nor down.

The source of customer loyalty is the service experience; dazzling a customer will get you an ‘A’ on your service report card and they will keep coming back and tell everyone else how wonderful you are.

The objective, then, is to deliver your core service seamlessly and consistently 24X7X365 AND to dazzle and amaze the customer when you do it.

How does an organization create dazzling experiences?

1. Hire human being lovers. Can you dazzle a customer if your frontliners have a fundamental dislike for humans? No. Creating memorable experiences for customers requires employees who want to serve; they want to take care of people.
Look at your recruitment programs. Do they explicitly look for this attribute?

2. Recover: fix it and do the unexpected. Service mistakes happen in any organization; what’s critical, however, is what you do when they occur. The amazing thing is that customers are more loyal after a successful service recovery than if the mistake never happened at all! How to recover?
Fix the mistake FAST and then blow them away by surprising them with something they DON’T expect.

Dumb rules

3. Kill ‘dumb rules’. Do you have policies that don’t make sense to customers? The rules, policies and procedures that piss them off royally? Seek them out - ask your frontline - modify or get rid of them so they are not a source of aggravation.
Policy creation should be driven from the customer’s perspective not internal staff groups who are constantly in the control mode.

4. Bend the rules; empower the frontline to ‘say yes’. You can’t dazzle customers if your frontline is enforcing rules all the time. Allow them a bit of flexibility to bend the rule when it makes sense to do what the customer wants and delight them in the process.

Organizations that build culture around these 4 attributes are loved by their customers.

And they win.

Cheers,
Roy

Sales blogger


Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

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  • Posted 3.27.17 at 04:16 am by Roy Osing
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March 19, 2017

How to eliminate the crap in your business

If your new strategy development process does not deal with the CRAP you need to eliminate, it will surely fail.

There is no way you can renew your strategic direction and target new customers and re-vector your competitive claim if you continue to do things that were part of your old plan.

You simply do not have sufficient resources and bandwidth to do it all, and even if you did, the past will create inertia that will prevent you from moving to a new place.

CRAP

So, treat CUT THE CRAP as a fundamental part of your strategy building process.

Once you have charted your new course, include CRAP analysis in your execution plan.

What things are you now doing that are no longer necessary? How can they be eliminated? What resources can be made available to your new strategy from CRAP activities?

Create a CRAP list and make it long; create a KEEP list and make it small.

Make it tough on yourself to retain CRAP. Subject each CRAP item to rigorous review before deciding to KEEP it. Remember CRAP represents potential resources to get on with new projects.

And beware of those who possess the CRAP.

These custodians of the past are people who are comfortable handling past activities; they enjoy them and they don’t want to change.

They are managers of irrelevance and are critical to the CRAP elimination process. If they are permitted to continue to do their thing they will infect others in your organization and prevent them from taking on the new direction.

Identify these folks and manage them: either reassign them or, if they are unwilling to move to the future, exit them with dignity from your organization.

Designate a cut the CRAP champion for the task; make it a senior person in your organization that has the tenacity, perseverance and currency with employees to give the job the credibility it deserves.

Charge this person (make it a critical component of their performance and compensation plan) to make it happen. Review progress regularly. Communicate results to the organization.

Make it matter to everyone. When someone tells you they don’t have the resources to execute the new direction ask them how much CRAP they have eliminated.

Make the organization accountable to CRAP elimination.

Cheers,
Roy

Sales blogger


Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

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  • Posted 3.19.17 at 06:18 am by Roy Osing
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March 13, 2017

6 unbelievable ways leaders can destroy creativity

Innovation is crushed.

Creativity is stultified.

Employees are reduced to cogs.

Fresh thought is constrained to a minimum.

Barriers to new ideas are erected.

These results are often the product of leadership behaviour even though they are completely at odds with what leaders openly espouse to employees as the culture and values they seek to establish.

These six actions will effectively kill any desire for individuals to freely express themselves; they will suck every morsel of originality from their bones.

1. Say “That’s not the way we do things around here” whenever someone presents a new idea.
This is the hold-on-to-the-past move that will shut out people from even thinking about new ways of doing things. It’s ok for a leader to honour the past, but they must say “goodbye” at some point to enable the organization to continually renew itself and survive.

2. Measure employees on how well they follow internal policies. If you manage performance and compensation on how well people “Color inside the lines” and conform to existing rules they will be be solely internally focused and unlikely to advance changes to keep pace with the dynamics of the external environment.

3. “De-reward” people for making mistakes in the pursuit of excellence, quality and perfection. Emphasize the importance of “getting it right the first time” rather than trial and error. Communicate examples of employees making mistakes to show what is not ok.

4. Insist on arduous analysis of every change being contemplated regardless of complexity. Impose a strict business case process that emphasizes analysis methodology rather than enabling fast and easy decision making.

Job description

5. Recognize people for the ways they relentlessly practice the internal rules of the organization. A “Best Rule Follower” award program always gets the message across that doing what the rules say is more important than using individual judgement and expression.

6. Never allow people to step beyond their immediate role boundaries. Focus everyone’s attention on their job description. Keep their blinders on; never allow them to think beyond to discover the NEW art of the possible.

Do you witness any of these actions in your organization?

If you do, you are witnessing the annihilation of original thought.

Cheers,
Roy
Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

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  • Posted 3.13.17 at 04:16 am by Roy Osing
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March 3, 2017

Marketers should appeal to the heart not the mind

We live in a product flogging world.

Products are pushed at us. Technology rains down on us through mass communications.

What businesses supply (as opposed to what we want) is jammed down our throats with the hope that we will bite-and-buy what they offer.

Today more than ever, however, purchase decisions are motivated by what people want and desire, not need.

People buy on the basis of what they yearn for and ache for; to achieve happiness in a world with pressure and stress on their lives.

Product flogging is intrusive and completely out of sync with this reality, and is a recipe to fail.

Happiness is driven by what we experience rather than what we consume in material goods. Fond memories of a family vacation are long-lasting. The new car is fun for a while but soon feels no different than just the one we just traded in.

This is a game-changer for product floggers. Rather than push features, technology and price, the challenge is to create broad-based appeals to the full spectrum of feelings that an individual has.

The marketer’s objective in this sense is to elicit a positive emotional response from the customer, rather than satisfy a consumer need.

“When people were asked to recall their most significant material purchase and their most significant experiential purchase over the past five years, they reported the experiential purchase brought them more joy and enduring satisfaction, and it was clearly ‘money well spent’ compared with the material purchase,” wrote Thomas Gilovich, Professor of Psychology, Cornell University in Determinants of Happiness.

Furthermore, experiences create more happiness than material goods because they are a personal expression of what we desire. They belong to us alone and no one else.

Memo to marketers: forsake your flogging ways and start creating personal experiences for your customers.

Keep Maya Angelou’s words in mind: “... people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

The payback is long-term customer loyalty; the better they feel, the longer they stay.

Customer loyalty

These 3 steps will get you started.

1. Establish the EXPERIENCE CREATOR POSITION in marketing to augment in the standard product management role.
These are the experience packagers; the folks that integrate, brand and price the value elements necessary to deliver the complete experience that customers covet.

2. Include FEELINGS as a key element of marketing research. What experience would make someone happy, special and fulfilled? What does the person crave?

3. Measure the EMOTIONAL ELEMENT of your experience packages; “How did it make you feel?” not just “Did it meet your needs?”

The world is full of floggers.

If you want to make a difference and stand-out from the flogging herd, let experiences guide you.

Cheers,
Roy
Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

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  • Posted 3.3.17 at 01:45 pm by Roy Osing
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