Roy's Blog: July 2014

July 21, 2014

Marketers: what is value?

I dislike product floggers who flog what they supply at the unsuspecting consumer or business.

I love value creators who serve the individual wants and desires of others.

What is value?

One way to think of it is what you get.

The other is what you give up by not availing yourself of what is being offered; it’s the opportunity cost or lost by not buying.

“By NOT purchasing the Whistler Mountain Adventure Package you miss….” is a perverse way to communicate the value of the package as opposed to “This is what the Adventure Package includes…” that talks to the elements or components of the package (one night stay, breakfast and gondola ride to the top of the mountain for example).

I think the former approach does a more effective job in expressing benefits received and hence value delivered.

It forces you into talking about the experience missed rather than the package elements supplied.

What do you think?

Cheers,
Roy

BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

Other articles you might like…

Can you say your company is the one and only?
Marketers: 7 things to stop; 7 things to start
If you want to be customer focused DON’T say…
Do you really want to be “serviced”?

July 14, 2014

If you want to be customer driven DON’T SAY…

Most statements organizations use to express their strategy to serve customers are simply not believable.
They raise expectations.
They are hollow claims.
They all say the same thing.
They are cliches that add to the clutter.

Some of the more commonly used slogans:

“We provide excellent service”
“We are customer focused”
“We are a customer-centric organization”
“We exist for our customers”
“We exceed customer expectations”
“We put customers first”
“Customers decide what we do”

Save your breath unless you can come up with something more substantial that at least people are willing to listen to; they don’t turn off.

I like this: “... we’re on a journey to put customers first…”

It IS believable because of the “journey” reference. It implies that this organization is not there yet so mis-steps can be expected along the way.

It also declares that there is no end point; that putting customers first is a lifelong task. It never ends.

Cheers,
Roy

BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

Other articles you might like…

You can’t succeed if you’re invisible
Can you say your company is the one and only?
Marketers: 7 things to stop; 7 things to start
Do you really want to be “serviced”?
The stand-out leader’s mantra

July 7, 2014

Do you really want to be ‘serviced’?

“I promise to service you.” or “I promise to serve you.”

Which sounds more appealing? Which sounds more sensitive to your wants and expectations?

Do you really want to be “serviced”?

Customer “service” in most organizations involves the application of the company’s service structure to people. It subjects them to the rules, policies and practices the company has created to control the customer engagement process.

It boils down to a set of policies being applied to everyone regardless of circumstance. How often have you heard: “(Even though I know it’s stupid) It’s our policy.”?

And yes, control. Policies for the most part are intended to minimize risk (for the company), increase efficiency (for the company), maintain or reduce operating costs (for the company) and create consistency (for the company).

What’s missing?

Service is ALL about the company yet it implies that it is all for the customer. Nonsense!

If you REALLY want the customer to come first, you need to subordinate the company to a serving role. And you need to start talking about “serving customers” not servicing them.

What it means to serve:
1. The customer is engaged to determine what the company’s rules, policies and procedures look like.
2. Employees are driven to “say yes” to every customer request whether it satisfies a policy or not.
3. Frontline conversations with customers always include the question “How can I help you?”.
4. The measure of the customer engagement is whether they were dazzled, not how proficiently the rules were applied.

Do you service or do you serve?

What do you think is the winning approach?

Cheers,
Roy

BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

Other articles you might like…

Can you say your company is the one and only?
Marketers: 7 things to stop; 7 things to start
The Deadliest Sin in Business
Gems of leadership from Grandma

The BIGGEST mistake companies make
Welcome to flatland
It’s the little things that haunt you

June 30, 2014

The BIGGEST mistake companies make

When I help companies develop their growth plan, they are very tempted to consider an acquisition as a fast and easy option. After all, if you want to grow revenues by $10 million over the next 24 months, why not buy a customer base that would yield that amount?

“Buying” customers may appear like low hanging fruit to achieve your growth intentions but it isn’t.

On paper, a merger might look like it was made in heaven but it rarely is.

The synergies cited and the common denominator between the two organizations often understate or mask the real challenges facing the marriage.

Integrating a new organization into an exiting one is NOT easy. Culture, operations, policy, systems and procedures differences make the combination anything but seamless and the acquired customers are often affected.

The difficulties in merging the entities are visible to them; their service is impacted and their loyalty wanes. There is no guarantee they will remain after the dust from the merge settles.

The intended growth plan is NOT realized.

There is no low hanging fruit when it comes to growing your customer base.

Nurture and expand your Tribe; those current customers who are with you because they know you and CARE about what you do.

Provide them with more personal solutions; packages of value that will excite them and motivate them to spread your word to others.

Build your Strategic Game Plan around organic growth; it is a more certain future for you.

Cheers,
Roy

BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

Other articles you might like…

Can you say your company is the one and only?
Marketers: 7 things to stop; 7 things to start
12 reasons why marketing has to change to survive
Gems of leadership from Grandma

Welcome to flatland
It’s the little things that haunt you
Are you in the product or experience game?