Roy's Blog: Small Business
April 29, 2013
Innovation is critical to the success of any organization. But the process must be guided by a context, a philosophy and strategy to BE DiFFERENT from The Competitive Herd.
Here are 6 Rules to keep in mind:
1. It is critical to establish a context for Innovate! Idea generation and brainstorming is a waste unless it is guided by strategic direction. Use your Strategic Game Plan (SGP) as the frame to drive your Innovate! activity.
2. Every SGP has a number of Objectives with accountability and time-frames assigned. Establish specific Innovate! Objectives in your SGP to focus on the specific elements which require you to create a “new box”.
3. Target your Innovate! Objectives around Your ONLY Statement. It should be your beacon to follow because it establishes your unique position in the market. Many organizations follow Best Practices. This is OK if you want to improve delivery of your Core Service but it’s NOT OK if you want to stand-out from the competition. Copying a Best Practice is a catch-up game at best. Follow your ONLY Statement.
Roy’s Innovate! Rule: Consider Best Practices to deliver flawless Core Service and your ONLY Statement to leave The Herd.
4. Develop your People Plan to acquire and develop the Innovate! Skills and Competencies you need (as defined by your SGP).
5. Design Reward and Recognition Programs around your Innovate! Objectives. If you don’t, you will do nothing but encourage the status quo.
6. Leverage your Customer Learning (link) capabilities to drive the Innovate! process. Use both Analysis and OBSERVATION to know everything there is to know about The WHO you have chosen to serve. Follow their lead.
Innovate! with urgency.
Don’t ponder too long.
Your SGP is your lifeline.
April 22, 2013
A Moment that a customer is blown away by, remembers and tells others about can’t be boxed. It can’t be time-bound. It can’t be created with an employee trying to get a customer “on and off” the phone in 20 seconds or less.
It can’t be engineered or architect-ed. It can’t be manufactured from a blueprint. It doesn’t come from a can.
A Magic Moment is created when someone “puts in the time” for another person with caring and thoughtful behavior. It’s created through a process of listening, asking questions and responding with a Serving attitude.
It can’t be managed with efficiency in mind.
Magic Moments Quick Hits...
Remove time restrictions on people who deal with customers. Let them take as much time as they need to serve them well and diver the Magic. Adopt the Zappos model.
Establish loyalty- building outcomes as the prime objective of any customer contact not how long it takes to “unload a customer”.
Redefine how you use “work force management” to manage your Call Center. These are useful tools to diagnose problems and issues but they shouldn’t be used to drive behavior of the Call Center Rep.
Hire employees with a proven track record of taking care of others. You can teach them your business but you can’t teach them to be Magicians.
Empower people to do the right thing for a customer, not enforce rules and policies that do nothing but piss them off.
Encourage the surprise element in serving customers. What can be done to surprise a customer in a Moment?
Recognize and reward Moment Magicians. Make a BIG deal of treating them as heroes.
Talk to customers. Mechanized touch points don’t create Magic. They try to push people in the Herd which people despise.
April 15, 2013
Here is dead-on commentary from Terry O’Reilly, Author of The Age of Persuasion.
- “It’s not so much the creativity of the ads, it’s that they’ve nothing unique to say.”
- “The world has come to look like a NASCAR driver’s racing suit, with every square inch occupied by a logo.”
- “Every ad, no matter how entertaining is an interruption.”
- “The Great Unwritten Contract... promises that advertisers must give you something in exchange for their imposition on your time, attention and space.”
- “Telemarketers (Salusbury Steakus Interruptus). Telemarketing breaks the Unwritten Contract, disrespecting the customer and interrupting without apology. It breaks all the Rules... It isn’t pleasantly surprising or polite, or humorous or meaningful. Telemarketers make no attempt to build a relationship With their clients, nor do they try to… offer something in exchange for the customer time. They don’t give you anything. They just call to take.”
- “A Brand is more than an abstract idea, a slogan or logo. It’s an experience that appeals to the senses and emotions.”
- “... if the pitch is fleeting, so is the loyalty.”
- “... advertising only helps a bad product fail faster.”
- “Competitive advantage goes to those who create an experience that appeals to MORE senses.”
- “Rules are what the Artist breaks. The memorable never emerged from a formula.”
- “Logic and over-analysis can immobilize and sterilize an idea.”
- “Execution becomes content in a work of genius.”
- “In communication, familiarity breeds apathy.”
- “Imitation can be commercial suicide.”
Great notions to keep your communications Relevant and Unique.
April 8, 2013
We all have our Comfy Food. Food that makes us feel good. Food that takes away the pain when we hurt. Food that smooths the feelings of anxiety and apprehension when we are in a stressful situation.
Ice cream. Banana Splits. Chocolate. Cheese Cake. It’s different for everyone.
But when we discover our Comfy Food, we rarely go to anything else. If chocolate ice cream soothes us, we tend to stay with it.
People in organizations behave similarly. They get on a track that is familiar. They repeat the things that worked before; things that they know and understand.
They don’t venture out of their comfort zone. It’s risky out there. It’s unknown. It will feel different. We might not succeed.
Unfortunately, Comfy Food gets in the way of taking on the new stuff that will help us and our organization grow. We don’t have sufficient time at our disposal to both continue to eat Comfy Food AND try new Food that will supply us with a different experience.
Make a choice.
Choose Comfy Food. Stay with the tried and true all the way to the bottom.
Choose The NEW and open up the possibilities to grow and flourish.