This week on our Friends on Friday guest blog post my colleagues, Stan Phelps and Evan Carroll share 3 stories from their new book, Blue Goldfish, providing lessons to help us improve customer loyalty and advocacy. I love their idea of putting systems and processes in place now, so you’ll have a deeper relationship with […]
This week on our Friends on Friday guest blog post my colleagues, Stan Phelps and Evan Carroll share 3 stories from their new book, Blue Goldfish, providing lessons to help us improve customer loyalty and advocacy. I love their idea of putting systems and processes in place now, so you’ll have a deeper relationship with customers. – Shep Hyken
Today’s customers expect a personalized, quick, and consistent experience. We call these expectations the Three R’s. A recent IBM Institute for Business Value report brings this fact into sharp focus:
These trends reflect more than survey results. The Blue Goldfish Project highlighted these trends by examining case studies from 300 companies using technology, data, and analytics to improve customer loyalty and advocacy. The following stories from Blue Goldfish explain each of the Three R’s in detail:
The year was 1981 and a sixteen-year-old Michael Dell, then a high school student, took a summer job selling subscriptions for The Houston Post.
According to Dell in the book, Direct From Dell, “At the time, the newspaper gave its salespeople a list of new phone numbers issued by the telephone company and told us to cold call them. It struck me as a pretty random way of approaching new business.”
Michael soon noticed two common threads. New subscribers tended to be people who had just moved into new homes or who had just married. Armed with this realization, Michael hired two friends to identify how he could find people getting mortgages or getting married. He used a personalized letter for these prospects and sold thousands of subscriptions. Michael earned $18,000 that year, which was more than his high school economics teacher.
Why did this work so well? By knowing more about his ideal customer, Michael was able to eliminate the guesswork and, knowing his prospect would likely convert, spend more time connecting with them on a personal level.
This lesson is even truer today than it was in 1981. Technology has paved the way for every company to know more about their customers and build deeper relationships with them.
In 2013 Amazon released its Mayday button for the Kindle Fire HDX tablet. The single-click support solution allows tablet owners to access an Amazon customer service representative via webcam within fifteen seconds.
The Mayday system helps both parties. Customers get better customer service while Amazon reduces the costly number of unnecessary phone calls. It’s convenient too. Mayday is online 24 hours a day, every day of the year, with a live representative available at any time.
The feature has been a huge hit with consumers. Among tablet owners, 75 percent of customer service interactions now come via the button. Amazon has now extended the service to its Fire phone.
Why did this work so well? It’s because Amazon is responding to its customers at the exact time of need. It’s leveraging technology to cure little problems before they become big thorny ones. The average time it takes for the representative to pop up on the screen is under ten seconds.
In 2008, Disney set off on its Next Generation Experience project with the intent to remove friction from the Walt Disney World experience. The problem, on the whole, was that families spent more time planning and coordinating their trip and less time enjoying it. Less time making memories means less mindshare for Disney and a lesser chance of a return visitor.
WIRED published a lengthy overview of the project in its March 2015 edition and while we can’t go into every detail here, the result of the project was Disney’s Magic Band. The futuristic wristband, a quintessential example of form and function, allows short and long range sensors around the park to identify you.
The result? Magic.
With just this identifier, Disney has eliminated a handful of other items to carry and handle. Park tickets? Ready on the Magic Band. Photo Passes? Tagged to your account automatically. Room keys? Replaced by the band. Fast Passes? Schedule them online and check in with your Magic Band. Cash? Just swipe your Magic Band to bill a credit card on file.
Your lesson here is one of planning and preparation. When Disney set out on this project, they weren’t responding to problems one by one, rather they set out to build a system that removed friction from the Disney experience. This advance planning to eliminate issues and friction for customers is what we can be ready for.
Customer expectations are increasing, and you need to get (and stay) ahead of the curve. Blue Goldfish is all about putting systems and processes in place now, so you’ll have a deeper relationship with customers, respond with impressive speed and accuracy, and be ready, or even ahead of, your customer’s next need. What’s your Blue Goldfish?
Stan Phelps and Evan Carroll are the authors of the book, Blue Goldfish – Using Technology, Data, and Analytics to Drive Both Profits and Prophets.
Read Shep’s latest Forbes Article: The New Moment Of Truth In Business
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