Roy's Blog: August 2010

August 31, 2010

Do you know how to WOW! a customer?

A dazzling service experience has a very specific outcome for the customer. They are left respected, cared for, sometimes speechless and gasping for breath.

Dazzling moments are created by people. People who actually care about human beings and who get joy from serving them.

In his book Linchpin, Seth Godin talks about the emotional labor that is expended by artists in giving a Gift to others. In this case the Gift is the experience delivered to another human being without any expectation of a return for the favor other than enjoyment.
Gift givers are the serving folks we all must covet if we want our organizations to be remarkable, memorable, indispensable and around for a long time.


There are two key things we need to keep in mind as we aspire to giving a Gift of a Dazzling Moment:

First, focus on the individual. BE PeRSONAL. Look for ways to make the experience they have with you more personal. Look at the experience from their point of view and ask the question “What could we do to make their experience more enjoyable, easier and respectful of their time with you?”.

And make sure you are flexible in how you treat people recognizing that each person is unique and should receive their own personal brand of service. Workshop the BE PeRSONAL task with your team and ask a sample of your customers how you can make their experience with you More personal.

Second, keep it SiMPLE. A dazzling moment is about simple human acts: caring, smiling, respect, humor and enjoyment. These outcomes don’t require a complex set of service algorithms and procedures. In fact quite the opposite. Complexity breeds confusion and separateness for people.

SiMPLE service acts create closeness, intimacy and happiness.
Consider the Godin “Gift” metaphor. What simple Gifts can you give to your customers while they grace you with their presence? Human-to-human kindness? Goes a long way to keep ‘em coming back.

Here are a few PeRSONAL and SiMPLE acts that I have personally experienced:

- quoting my name off of my credit card/debit card receipt after a retail purchase.
- having a bottle of wine (based on my personal preference) waiting for me in my stateroom on a cruise.
- picking up and returning my vehicle for a scheduled servicing.
- faster delivery of a purchased product than what I was promised.
- getting the first round of cocktails free when we return after a lengthy absence to at our favorite lounge in Whistler.
- receiving a SURPRISE 10% off of our drycleaning bill to thank us for being loyal customers.


Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

  • Posted 8.31.10 at 11:23 am by Roy Osing
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August 25, 2010

Why treat your really best customers as special?

After one of my Execute First: Plan Second seminars a lively discussion ensued over my practice of selecting WHO you want to SERVE in your strategy and then treating these folks in a special way - unlike the way you would treat the rest of your customers.

The principle I s that you need to carefully select the customer group that you want to apply your scarce resources to - typically the group that has the greatest potential of satisfying your growth goals - and then loving them to death in order to create raving loyal fans.


This one particular woman was very uncomfortable with the prospect of varying the way she treated her customers and in particular doing something ‘out of the ordinary’ for any particular group. In fact she said she wouldn’t feel right doing it.

Of course, to many businesses selecting a particular group of customers to treat in a special way is a new approach. Retailers generally don’t do it. Everyone is treated the same way whether they are high value customers (i.e. people who generate significant wealth for the business) low value or no value.

I think there are a few reasons why they choose not to vary the way they treat their customers:
> they don’t know who their high value customers are. They are not able to identify them.
> if they DO know who they are, they don’t spend any time trying to discover the secrets of this Class A group. If you don’t know their Secrets it’s tough to give them extraordinary treatment.
> they don’t have a great deal of repeat business so they don’t think the discipline is worth it.
> it’s way easier to treat everyone the same.

Regardless of the reason, creating unique experiences for those customers who give a business a disproportionate amount of revenue deserves different treatment.

If you don’t, expect your “treat everyone the same” strategy to see many of your top customers opt-out of your business. You’ll be left with the vagrants and an unhealthy bottom line.

My message to this retailer:
>> know your high value customers.
>> keep track of how much all of your customers spend with you. Focus on the precious few that give you 80% of your revenue.
>> keep records of what products they buy. The more you know about their purchase behavior the better you be at delivering dazzling service to them
>> get to know your “top guns” by name. And their spouse. And their children.
>> discover their secrets. Be a note-taking maniac.
>> ask questions. Show an interest in them as human beings and what they are all about.
>> really LISTEN to them.
>> problem solve. Amazing what happens when you help them out.

The ‘Worthy’ deserve your special attention.

Do it and separate yourself from most others who won’t do it cause it’s too much trouble and takes too much time.

You will be astounded by the return!

Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

  • Posted 8.25.10 at 01:00 pm by Roy Osing
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August 20, 2010

Marketers: how to pick the right customers to target

An interesting blog article by Seth Godin. where discusses that marketers really have a choice On who to do business with and an array of tools to attract the fans they want - price, product features, distribution channels and so on.


Seth doesn’t go far enough.

Customer selection is much more than a marketing task. It is a fundamental element of an organization’s strategy. And the selection decision needs to be integrated with the overall direction the company intends to take.

The strategic game plan process involves answering three questions.

These two questions are inextricably linked and work hand in hand to decide who you choose to serve.

1. HOW BIG do you want to be? Start with your overall growth goals. Do you want to grow top line revenue by 10% over the next 12 months or 25%? It makes a difference. A 25% growth target is more aggressive and more risky and will require a different strategy than a 10% growth goal.

2. WHO do you want to SERVE?
This is the customer selection decision. And it needs to b made within the context of the HOW BIG question. This is where Seth oversimplifies the issue.
The customer choice needs to be made within the context of HOW BIG. It can’t be made on its own using micro-marketing tools. A 25% growth goal requires a customer group that has the latent potential to deliver that type of growth.
Selecting a group of customers based on any other criteria will result in missed financial targets.

Choose a group of customers that has the inherent capability to satisfy your growth goals,

THEN use marketing tools to attract and keep them.


Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

  • Posted 8.20.10 at 12:00 pm by Roy Osing
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August 18, 2010

11 proven ways to save a colossal service blunder

Chip Bell, in his customer service book, “Take Their Breath Away” refers to the process to ensure that the appropriate organizational mechanisms to recover from a service mishap, broken promise or breakdown as ‘Betrayal Management’.


Here is my short-hand version of the leadership acts that must be played out if dazzling recovery is to be a way of life in any business:

1. Service strategy - dazzling recovery doesn’t happen through serendipity. It requires a comprehensive strategy defining the outcomes expected and the way to achieve them. Focus on EXECUTION. EXECUTION.

2. Togetherness - the relationship between the customer, the breakdown event and the organization must be TIGHT. Seamless recovery demands all components working unbelievably well together.

3. Connectivity - establish hyper-communications to enable the recovery process: customer contact when the disaster event happens, follow up, status reports and final resolution.

4. Secrets - if you don’t know the secrets of the person screwed over, you have little chance to dazzle.
Find out what would the customer would NOT expect. Remember, a Dazzling Recovery = Fixing the mistake + Doing the Unexpected.
The Surprise Factor.

5. Problem solving - amazing skill wanted in this area that are second-to-none.

6. Celebration - recognize and reward Service Recovery Heroes.

7. Story telling - dazzling recovery stories are continually filling the airwaves breathing life into the Recovery Strategy.

8. Training - give employees the skills to EXECUTE dazzling recovery is a high priority.

9. The right to act - empower people responsibly to ensure that the earth is moved to enact the dazzle process.

10. Measurement - set recovery objectives and measure constantly. Post results in the workplace.

11. Accountability - bake recovery expectations into leader performance plans. Make it matter.

Finally, make sure you have people in the recovery process that “like humans”. Employees that actually care about rectifying the breakdown event and going the extra mile to blow the customer away are needed.

Human being indifference will only result in a more infuriated customer who will leave and tell others how bad you are.


Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

  • Posted 8.18.10 at 10:36 am by Roy Osing
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