Archive for February, 2018

Emotions Are Your Customer Experience Reality

Emotions are the common thread that bind humans beings.  And it is those very same emotions that are guiding each and every customers experience specific to the points of connection.  Again, points of connection are everything your customers see, hear, touch, smell, taste and feel.

Extensive customer service research by Rosenberg has shown customer behavior can be predicted by emotions.   According to Yu and Dean in 2001, they determined that “The impact of emotions is the best predictor of customer loyalty in the customer interaction process.”

During the last almost 40 years in business, I have spoken with numerous clients and colleagues who shared their own emotional experiences with me specific to bad customer service.  One sharing including visiting a newly opened restaurant and the owner turned away not only this gentleman and his wife, but a family of 5. The owner decided to close early for the day.

Now anyone in the restaurant businesses knows opening a restaurant is difficult at best. This owner’s attitude of closing early started a cascade of negative emotions.  For this customer who experienced a problem (he wanted his need of hunger to be satisfied) that was not resolved is telling a lot of people about his negative emotional experience and he assured me he would never go back to this eating establishment. Lost customer value of 10 years was probably more than $6,000.

Whether the sign states “all employees must wash their hands” to the actual hours of operation, the messages delivered by those signs have established a point of connection with your customer. Your customers do not want to hear (point of connection) excuses.

TAKE ACTION: If you want to leverage the strategic advantage within customer loyalty, then everyone in your organization needs to understand the specific points of connection within the customer experience. Then written goals must be established to strengthen those customer experience connections unless you want a lot of emotionally dissatisfied customers sharing their bad experiences with all of your other potential new customers that you just lost.

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Are You Limiting Your Business Success Opportunities?

Each day thousands of business owners and executives read their profits and loss statements, financial records to sales reports to confirm they are on the road to business success.  Searching and scanning for increases in sales, orders and profits while hoping for decreases in cost of goods sold or other direct costs as well as indirect costs.  Yet, through all this, they are limiting their opportunities for additional success because they are probably missing one figure that never shows up on financial reports.

And, do you know what that number is? And the answer is:

RELATIONSHIPS!

Was that the answer in your head?  Did you think of something else?

Since this figure is not clearly articulated in any of the traditional reporting metrics, what happens is that current problems are really symptoms in disguise. And then the solutions do not deliver sustainable change because the real problem is not addressed.

For example does your small to mid size business suffer from:

  • Lackluster sales problems?
  • Training problems?
  • Employee turnover?

These are just a few of the many symptoms facing most businesses because they fail to understand the purpose of business and hence business success comes from:

Attracting and Maintaining Customers

Customer loyalty or rather the lack of customer loyalty is the real issue.  When businesses realize that:

  • 5% retention in customers can create an increase of anywhere from 25% to 100%
  • To acquire a new customer costs 5 to 10 times more than keeping an existing one
  • Up to 75% of those customers who left you considered themselves to be satisfied

They may leave the 20th century model of customer satisfaction and embrace the 21st century paradigm of customer loyalty as the other critical measurement to business success. The rise of customer retention is probably why sales enablement has become so critical to many B2C and B2B organizations.

To take such bold action requires them to know the following:

  • Average client acquisition cost
  • Average client value
  • Average transaction value
  • Total Revenue Opportunity (based upon lifetime of customer)
  • Customer Loyalty Score
  • Employee Loyalty Score

When these metrics have been established and a plan of action has been constructed from the Senior Executive Management Team that will cascade down through the organization, measuring relationships will become much easier.  And, the business will have a much clearer picture of what it truly takes for business success.

TAKE ACTION Think about both your profits and relationships.  What kind of metrics or benchmarks can you establish to ensure that you are measuring both?

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Are You The Captain Wing-It of Your Small Business?

Do you schedule time with yourself to work ON your small business instead of working IN your business?  In the book It’s Not the Big that Eat the Small, But It’s The Fast that Eat the Slow, the authors reveal that most business executives spend less than 15 minutes a day thinking or even planning for their businesses.

How many times do you tell yourself that you are just too busy to take the time to do whatever you need to do to work ON your business?  You begin to justify your last minute behavior also know as procrastination. Over the course of time, you convince yourself that you work well under pressure, that you can handle anything and this leads you down the path of expending your time on yesterday’s and today’s problems.

Scheduling time is all about having a planning attitude.  Given that attitudes according to Zig Ziglar are habits of thought, most people in business have not learned how to plan their work or work their plan.  The number of small business owners who lack strategic action plans confirms this ongoing attitude. These individuals are engaged in flying by the seat of their pants or what I call being the Captain Wing-Its of their businesses.

Imagine for a moment you are sitting on a plane and hear the following:

Good morning ladies and gentlemen.  From the flight deck, this is Captain Wing-It.  Welcome aboard Fly High Airlines flight number 135 heading for sunny Bermuda…or are we flight number 351 en route to the Bahamas?  You know, we’ve been very busy around here the last few days and haven’t had a chance to file the flight plan just yet.  Oh well, I’m sure we can figure it out! Rumor has it that we’re in for a bumpy ride. We will eventually be departing from one of the available runways and flying in that direction for a while.  It’s unclear at this time which runway we’ll be using and in which direction we’ll be flying. So sit back, relax and enjoy the flight…and again, thank you for flying Fly High Airlines…your sometimes on-time, on-course, on-purpose airline.

Would you feel comfortable flying on this plane?  Are you thinking don’t close the door, let me out?  Why are you having these thoughts?

TAKE ACTION Think about your small business or business related activities.  Most people admit to wasting at least 12 minutes a day. Take those 12 minutes and reinvest them by working on your business unless you enjoy being Captain Wing-It!

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