Friday
Mar192010

How to Make Something Free and Valuable

 

Although a very scarce resource, water is a commodity.  Everywhere you turn, you will see water bottles for sale.  How do you choose one over the other?

 

I was looking for food and drink while travelling to a speaking engagement away from home.  The food hall had many many choices.  Where should I go?

 

A small retailer grabbed my attention with the bottle pictured above.  It was stacked with about 20 others in a generic refrigerator. I chose this store.

 

This bottle speaks to me (not in a small voice in the back of my head).  The bottle tells me about the store.  It tells me that someone has made an effort to stack this bottle.  It allowed me to make a small connection with the staff.  It stood out.

 

The bottles represented perfect imperfection.  My daughter coined this phrase. Although they were all the same, they were all different - in the same way.  

 

I bought the drink, but also bought my food there, expecting that it too may have a personal touch in preparation - which it did.

 

Here is the point.

 

In order to stand out, you do not need to spend money.  It's just about effort.

 

What can you do to put in a little extra effort for your customers?
Is it a personal note to accompany a delivery?
Is it a random phone call to say hello to a client?
Is it a piece of insight?
Is it an article you read online?

 

None of this costs money. It's free but valuable - do it.

 

How to Make Something Free and Valuable from Steven Di Pietro on Vimeo.

Posted via email from Service with Purpose

Thursday
Mar182010

Jet Blue flies high with customer service perks

Just check Terminal 5 at New York JFK airport for the state-of-the-art facility geared for efficiency and customer comfort. In 2009, JD Power & Associates, a global marketing information service which measures customer satisfaction based on millions of consumers annually, rated Jet Blue " Highest in Customer Satisfaction" among low-cost carriers in North America. Jet Blue serves 60 cities with 600 flights daily. All passengers have assigned seats; all fares are based on one way and an overnight stay is not required. They provide the most non-stop departures from JFK to Florida and rank as the 7th largest carrier in the US. Jet Blue delivers service differently than most low-cost carriers. Where other companies have decided to cut back and charge passengers to use blankets and pillows while flying, Jet Blue, in the quest to become America's Favorite Airlines, boasts their Customer Bill of Rights aimed at " bringing humanity back to air travel." On Valentine's Day, 2007 an ice storm in the northeast set the venue for a customer service disaster when hundreds of passengers were held captive on the tarmac and thousands of travelers were stranded in airports. In order to regain their credibility,  instituting a Customer Bill of Rights now offers full refunds, re-accommodations due to Jet Blue cancellations within 4 hours and even refunds due to "controllable irregularities." There is now compensation for departure delays,  overbookings  and on board ground delays. If a customer is involuntarily denied boarding because of a Jet Blue overbooking, the company claims to reimburse a passenger $1,000. The airline brags about "lots of legroom" and for a small additional fee promises to provide " even more legroom." Attention getting promotions last week celebrating Jet Blue's  ten years of service included $10 thank-you fares on all remaining seats between NY JFK and the airline' s first ten destinations. Complimentary in-flight email and instant messaging known as "Beta Blue",  first checked bag free, 36 channels of Directv, 100 channels of XM Radio, and unlimited named snacks are advertised on their website. On overnight flights, the airlines supplies a "snooze kit"  that contains an eye shade and earplugs.  Before arriving at the morning destination, airline attendants hand out hot towels, coffee, tea, orange juice or water. Jet Blue's promise of  "Happy Jetting" may indeed be a reality. photo credit: albertopveiga Possibly Related Posts:
Delta Gets Proactive About a week ago, I received a letter from Delta... Do toll-free numbers help customer service? I have often considered toll-free numbers to be part of... Amazon Thinks Ahead I like Amazon.com and I've never been ashamed to admit... http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/ServiceUntitled/~3/MB4cNfQ-f8E/

Posted via email from Service with Purpose

Thursday
Mar182010

Service Distribution - Be 'the' Bridge, not a Car


 

Would you rather be a car or a bridge?

 

I recently had the good fortune of connecting a client with a supplier.  The connection was valuable to both parties, and I took a margin along the way.  All of a sudden I became a Services Wholesaler.  No work, just connections.

 

Value is created by connecting customers with producers.  You can do this directly - by opening a store and being a car, or by being the Shopping Mall.  We see many examples everyday.  Blogger, airports, franchise systems, real estate agents, and brokers.  The distributor builds the bridge, for other businesses (cars) to drive over.

 

Sometimes you may not even have to refer business.  You can simply be the Bridge between ideas.  If you supply services to a client, it may simply be to provide the gift of insight.  If you supply goods, it might be an insightful gift to demonstrate other uses of the product.

 

Just like a bridge, becoming a distributor requires the following:
  1. Vision
  2. Investment - big up front investment - in time and/or money
  3. Skill - in building the connections, but also the subject matter
  4. Time - and patience
  5. Maintenance
If one of the thousands of daily delivery vans didn't make it's journey across the Sydney Harbour bridge, no-one would miss it.  If the bridge disappeared, it would be dramatic, and catastrophic.

 

The bridge is a monopoly, and not quickly replaceable.

 

Are you a bridge or a car?

Posted via email from Service with Purpose

Wednesday
Mar172010

One way to focus on the customer

Short post, but fundamental question. We wonder how to get staff to focus on service. How to you get a wary employee to actually care for the customer and serve. I don't know where I read this but there is one thing every supervisor can say to their front line staff. Imagine that every customer has a sign around their neck saying the following. "Make me feel important"

Posted via email from Service with Purpose

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