Roy's Blog

June 16, 2014

It’s the little things that haunt you

Like eliminating the free coffee and making people pay $1.50 a cup or chase the coffee cart to get a complementary cup (cause they’re trying to recoup costs).

Like charging for renting an umbrella for the day when inclement weather hits during your vacation (cause they don’t trust that you will return it).

Like having to present a credit card to be served at an outside lounge location (cause they think you will leave without paying the bill).

Like charging seniors for a wheelchair (cause they want to balance their budget).

Like refusing a mother to board a Ferry because she was 10 cents short of the fare (cause it’s a STUPID Rule).

Like refusing to sell a T-Shirt on display (cause they don’t want to deplete their display inventory).

Like having no idea who you are even though you have done business with them for 10 years (cause they don’t care about YOU).

When will businesses realize that delighted PEOPLE control their destiny?

Take a look at the “little” things you are doing for efficiency, cost and control reasons.

You may be penny wise but pound foolish.

Cheers,
Roy

BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

Other articles you might like…

12 reasons why marketing has to change to survive
How losing made me a better leader
You service cars, you SERVE people
Brand what you do and get credit for it
Are you in the product or experience game?

June 9, 2014

Are you in the product or experience game?

Most organizations are product and service focused.

They push what they produce or supply at you. They claim their stuff is the best value at the cheapest price.

Research has proven conclusively that people get more long term gratification when they spend money on EXPERIENCES. A family vacation. A Zip-line ride. Fishing off the beach with the grandchildren. A 4-hour snorkelling adventure? A movie with someone you love.

Sure, a new SUV is exciting at first but it doesn’t take long before it becomes a used car.

With customer gratification comes loyalty, which means that organizations must focus on experience creation if they want to stand-out from the competition and thrive.

A number of companies are waking up to the importance of experiences to their overall marketing program by appointing a Chief Experience Officer (CXO) to be accountable for the creation of “memorable moments” for their customers. Marriott is one example. Their “EVP, Chief Resort Experience Officer Marriott Vacation Club International” sets the tone for what’s important to Marriott and what customer success looks like.

The CXO works across the organization to ensure that all functions work synergistically to provide a seamless dazzling experience for the customer. Not an easy task to be sure but one that is critically important to move the focus away from flogging products and services.

Dip your toe in the experience pool.

Declare that EXPERIENCES are your end game.

Establish accountability at the most senior level in your organization.

Do it NOW!

Cheers,
Roy

BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

Other articles you might like…

12 reasons why marketing has to change to survive
Are you an old school leader?
You service cars, you SERVE people
Brand what you do and get credit for it
Your customers are your most valuable assets

June 2, 2014

Brand what you do and get credit for it

If you’re like most organizations, I suspect you do many things for your customers under the general term of “Service”.

You provide training. Consultation. Opportunities for them to connect with other professionals in a conference setting. Advanced notification of new products and services. Free product trials. Technical expertise. Maintenance service. 24X7 access to your resources.

You create VALUE that your customers love, but YOU take for granted.

It’s ok to do this, but you need to get CREDIT for it.

The way to do this is to:
1. DEFINE the value you are providing as either a feature or a package of a number of service elements.
2. BRAND it. TAG it with a name that Is BOLD and resonates with people.
3. Build it into your overall value proposition and COMPETITIVE CLAIM.
3. COMMUNICATE it to your target customers.

Here’s an example.

Suppose I routinely provide my high value business clients a half-day seminar and teach them basic business practices. I could brand this “The BE DiFFERENT Business Learning Experience”.

I now have a choice of how to market the service.

I could include it in a package with my basic business advisory services with a value proposition “With every advisory engagement I will include The BE DiFFERENT Learning Experience for the senior management team”.

Or I could market the seminar separately for an added price.

The important thing is to claim the value you provide and receive the business benefits from doing so.

Cheers,
Roy

BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

Other articles you might like…

12 reasons why marketing has to change to survive
You service cars, you SERVE people
How to develop an employee performance plan
What customer service is NOT

May 26, 2014

You Service Cars; You SERVE People

Organizations today are challenged to create strong customer loyalty.

In the face of empowered and knowledgeable customers, fickle customers (who will leave you in a heartbeat for better treatment) and hyper-competition (the rate of new business formation has increased like never before) there is a struggle to get the right formula to both attract new customers and keep the ones you’ve got.

What’s the answer?

You need to look at your Serving Business as having two components.

The first component, Core Service, represents the basic foundation of your business. It is your basic product or service without which you simply don’t have a business. In the telecom world Core Service could be defined as a stream of wireless data. In finance it could be investment advice. And in software development it could be a smartphone operating system.

Your customers expect your Core Service to work according to specifications. They EXPECT uninterrupted wireless data service; they EXPECT the financial plan to deliver the benefits promised and they EXPECT a working O/S 100% of the time.

As a result when you provide working Core Service you get a ‘C’ on your Serving Customers Report Card and no more. However, when your Core Service is NOT working as promised you get an ‘F’ on your Report Card; they leave you and they don’t go quietly, telling everyone how bad your organization is at serving customers!

Bottom line: your Core Service has to work ALL the time as promised.

But don’t expect loyal customers when you do.

Loyalty comes from the second component of Serving Customers - The Service Experience.

Whereas Core Service is WHAT you GET from an organization, the Service Experience is HOW you FEEL when you get it. Or it’s is the way you are treated by the organization when you do business with them.

If the service experience you provide is memorable; if it takes their breath away; if it blows people away; if it WOW’s them; if it ‘DAZZLE’s’ them, you get a ‘A’ on your Report Card.

And you are rewarded with customers telling others how great you are; they stay with you at least until you deliver a de-dazzling event which puts everything in jeopardy.

So, how to create customer loyalty?

Provide Core Service in a satisfactory manner ALL THE TIME - consistency is key here. Once you have risen to this challenge you have earned the right to move on to loyalty building by providing DAZZLING Service Experiences every time a customer touches you.

Cheers,
Roy

BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

Other articles you might like…

Gems of leadership from Grandma
How to develop an employee performance plan
What customer service is NOT
What or your “return on customer”?