Not long ago, I wrote an article that featured Todd Hopkins, CEO of Office Pride, and his concept of core values being a decision filter. I had the chance to interview him for Amazing Business Radio and he dropped another big concept on us that’s worth bringing to our followers. He talked about an agreement he makes with all his new customers and employees, an upfront agreement tied to future communication. Continue reading
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You’ve heard of the concept of Pay It Forward. Many people use the phrase to describe doing a good deed for someone with no other expectation than that person doing something nice for someone else and so on, creating a chain of good deeds. Don’t pay it back. Pay it forward. Continue reading
Winter travel can be stressful with the concern of weather-related delays and cancellations. On a recent trip that had a connecting flight, I was notified the night before that my first flight was going to be delayed, which made me worry about missing my connection. I called the airlines and they suggested changing my connecting flight to a later one, which I was happy to do. Even though the flight was later, I would still arrive in time for my meeting. The customer service agent was happy to accommodate my request. Continue reading
Earlier this year, I had the pleasure and honor of being the keynote presentation for River Valley Bank, soon to be Incredible Bank, as they merge the names of their brick-and-mortar banks and their online bank. I love that word, incredible, almost as much as my favorite word, amazing. If someone told you the customer service at a bank was incredible, you would only think positive things. What do they do that’s so incredible? I want to try some of what they call incredible. Continue reading
When it comes to taking care of customers, sometimes people go a little further than expected. When asked why, they often say, “It was the right thing to do.” There’s no incentive other than the desire to care for someone else. In a sense, that is what customer service is about. While we may be paid to do a job, sometimes doing something that is not required – and therefore not expected – is what the next level of a good customer service experience is all about. Continue reading
Valentine’s Day is tomorrow. This is the day where we send our spouses, partners, and loved ones a gift. Often it is out of obligation. I have plenty of friends who tell me if they don’t get their spouse some flowers and a card, they will pay for it. So we feel obligated to express our love and appreciation to those close to us. I’ve written several articles about this before, and my favorite one is called The Valentine Obligation. You don’t have to send your customer flowers, but how about an expression of appreciation? It can be something as simple as a thank you note or as elaborate as a customer appreciation event. And you don’t have to send it on Valentine’s Day. Any day is a good day to show some customer love. With that in mind, here are five ways to say thank you to your customers. Continue reading
I’m honored to be the keynote speaker later this year at Office Pride, a franchisor of commercial cleaning service companies. All of the franchisees will be attending their annual meeting to network and learn about the latest and greatest opportunities happening in their industry. My job is to talk to them about customer service.
As part of my homework, Todd Hopkins, their CEO, shared the Office Pride Culture book. As I was reading it, I came across a concept worth sharing. While Office Pride has created a great set of core values, Todd describes them as decision filters. He writes, “Our core values filter the outcome of what we, either impulsively or mindfully, decide to do.” Continue reading
That’s what I heard just before the agent picked up the phone to help me. Just a one-question survey? Sounds short enough. Sure, I’ll give them an extra minute of my time. So after the call, I stayed on the line. What came right after the call was the promised simple question. It may be one of the best feedback questions I’ve ever heard. I put it right up there with the NPS (Net Promotor Score) question, which I’ll share later. Here it is:
“The next time you call us, would you want the same person to take care of you? Push 1 for yes and 2 for no.”
How much do you love the companies you do business with, the restaurants you frequent, or the stores you shop at? How upset would you be if they told you they were going out of business? What if you could save them by giving up something? So, the question becomes, “What would you be willing to give up to continue doing business with them?”
Before I go any further, I might be treading on dangerous ground with the word sex in the title of this article. I always keep my comments squeaky clean, and I hope that no one is offended by the word sex. We’ve become hyper-sensitive about words and I don’t want to upset anyone, especially our friends in HR, but we’re all adults and my reference to the word is, at most, PG-rated.
Some people claim that customer service is getting worse. I disagree. Customers are getting smarter and expecting more. The customer service “bar” is raised by great companies who teach us what good customer service should be. And, when there is a customer service “horror story,” it seems to stand out much more than when everything is right and works the way it’s supposed to. Continue reading
“People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.” That quote comes from Simon Sinek, author of the book, Start with Why. This quote makes me think about the different reasons behind why a customer chooses to do business with a company. There are plenty of them to consider, so I put together a short list of some of these Whys: Continue reading
If you compete head-to-head with your competition, you may win or lose. If you compete by being different, you stand out. And, that’s a win. Continue reading
In the past few months leading up to my new book, The Convenience Revolution, I’ve focused on ways to be more convenient for your customers. I’ve shared six Convenience Principles and numerous examples and case studies. The goal is to eliminate friction. What I haven’t done is talked to you about what causes friction. Continue reading
In the past, I’ve written and talked about “Telling Your Story.” The idea is that you look to create the “legendary” type of stories that come from your employees and set the bar for the customer experience you want to deliver. Probably the best example is the famous Nordstrom story where a customer returned a set of used tires to a Nordstrom – and the store employee gave the customer a refund. We all know that Nordstrom doesn’t sell tires. If you don’t know the entire story, you can simply Google “Nordstrom Tire Story” and you’ll find plenty of information confirming the validity of the story. Continue reading
Customer loyalty… This is what companies strive for, to create loyal customers. Some companies have earned a reputation that keeps bringing their customers back, again and again. How do they do it? Continue reading
As most of you (hopefully) know, my latest book, The Convenience Revolution, is all about making the customer experience as frictionless as possible. In the book, there are six Convenience Principles with plenty of examples, and many of our followers have read my articles and watched my videos on these powerful concepts. The other day I was interviewed and asked, “How does one get started?” Continue reading
Back in my college days, I remember how easy it was at 11:00 at night, while studying for a test the next day, to order a pizza from Domino’s. I just picked up the phone and in less than thirty minutes, it was delivered. Today I do the same thing. I pick up the phone and order a pizza – but I don’t have to… pick up the phone. Continue reading
Our mantra at Shepard Presentations is to Always Be Amazing. Those three words are very important. They are totally consistent with what we stand for, what I write about in my books and articles, and how we conduct ourselves at work every day. It’s simple…
- We want to be amazing for our employees.
- We want to be amazing for our clients.
- And, we want to teach our clients to be amazing to their customers, clients, guests, members – and anyone else they do business with.
I had the wonderful opportunity to interview Sam Stern, a principal analyst at Forrester Research for my Amazing Business Radio show. One of the ideas we discussed was Daniel Kahneman’s Peak-end rule. The short version of this concept, applied to customer interactions, is that customers judge their experience on how they felt at its peak and at its end. Continue reading
There is a lot we can learn from great companies, big and small. Many books have been written about companies like Disney, Nordstrom, Ritz-Carlton and Apple. And, once we learn how they do it, the key is making it work for our companies. It’s not about just learning, but also about executing what we learned. Continue reading
The Pasta House Company is a local chain of Italian restaurants that have been around since 1974, since I was just a kid. On Monday nights they had – and still do have – an “All You Can Eat” special. I loved that. All the salad, pasta and garlic bread you could eat for one low price. When I was a teenager, my buddies and I would all meet at the Pasta House on Monday nights to take advantage of the special. I say “take advantage” because we would starve ourselves all day, waiting to unleash our hunger on the delicious spaghetti and ravioli the Pasta House served. We did this every week, and every week the manager and servers were happy to see us. Continue reading
On a recent trip to Africa, I had the pleasure of meeting the Governor of Oyo State, Nigeria, the Honorable Abiola Ajimobi. He had a commanding presence and shared many insightful thoughts. I asked what made him successful, and he quickly responded with the following response: “Good leaders don’t take people where they want to go. They take them where they need to go.” Continue reading