Entries in service (5)

Not even Monopolies are immune

You're not immune!

What's safer than the Taxi business right?

Well in San Fransisco, Taxi business has dropped 65% as their customers move to Uber, Lyft and Sidecar,

Why? Because the Taxi service was renowned as being shit, and the newcomers used technology & service to scoop up the business.

You still need to serve people well, even in a licensed monopoly. You're even more exposed if your in a small business.

65% revenue drop. Ouch.

That's why I do what I do. It can be fixed.


Picture credit

All is not as it seems - beware fake customers

You see the perfect couple at a party

You see a powerful executive walking down the street.

You see a skilled tradesman working on a job.

And what happens?  There is admiration.  Well earned admiration.... but

In customer service and sales we get put off by these traits and we make the wrong assumptions.

The married couple might be putting on a show, the executive might be one step away from being fired, and the skilled tradesman might be completely unhappy with his job.

All is not as it seems, so in customer service and sales, don't judge your customers.

Don't assume they know what they want.

Don't assume they are above you.

Don't assume they are below you.

Just let the situation develop, and get to know them.  Look through the show.

How to Buy Loyalty - a simple example

Every business wants loyalty.  Improving loyalty is one of the greatest leverage tools in business.  My upcoming eBook will explore how to get loyalty, but this example got me a little excited.

You could consider buying loyalty with pre-paid pricing.  The customers can purchase their own loyalty by paying upfront to be a ‘member’ in order to receive discounts.

Asking customers to pay for loyalty is different to earning it because 1) it creates greater perceived value of the benefits, 2) it allows you to give more immediate benefits, and 3) you get money up-front.

E.g. Perisher Blue ski resort allows customers to pay $48.00 upfront and the first six days skiing in the season are reduced by $20 each, days 7-9 are discounted $60.00 each.  In a competitive market, competition is removed. 

Related article: How to double your income in three years

Why Sales and Service are Like Picking Fruit

Some business owners and Sales Managers approach selling like harvesting fruit.  The manger explains the processes and ‘strategies’ he will employ to grow sales.  Initially these strategies are like picking low hanging fruit off a tree.  Reach up and grab the business.

Once the low hanging fruit has been picked, you have to reach further and further until the fruit is beyond your reach.  The sales managers then adopt a technique taught to me by my father, shake the tree, then after that fruit has been harvested, you take a stick to the base of the tree and pick even more fruit.  Although the fruit is not quite ripe you can shake it down.

After the first stick is used, my dad would say you hit the tree harder and harder.  Don’t hit is too hard too soon or you will use or your energy he would say.  So you hit the three, grab some fruit, hit it harder, grab some more, then you find you are hitting the tree with all your effort for a few measly pieces of fruit.  High energy, and low return.

Then you grab a bigger stick, and the fruit starts to fall again.  But the stick is heavy and you start to damage the tree and could compromise next year’s crop.  But sometimes the temptation is too great so you hit the tree harder and harder with bigger and bigger for less and less return until either the tree breaks, or the fruit stops falling.  Each time the tree is hit, it will provide some fruit, but also takes away from tomorrow’s harvest.  Eventually the tree has no more to give.

The Sales meeting is the same.  The rah rah manager tries to do different things each week. He hits the tree harder and harder, then gets a bigger stick.

You may recognise the pattern.

The answer is not for more effort, but for less effort.  Start serving and listening to customers.  The highest level of service and sales is the one with the least effort.

More posts to follow on Integrated Service and an example of how to avoid shaking the tree.

This Weeks Blog Summaries

In case you missed this weeks's blog posts, here is a summary.


1) Selling is Not an Insult


Research shows that 56% of customers accept Cross Selling as part of retailing, and 25% are glad to be given the opportunity.

The Point: Don't presume you know what the customer wants.  Let the customer decide.


2) The Guru in your Midst


How to get your unqualified, but experienced staff to sell to any customer so the customer cannot refuse.

The Point: Get staff to recognise that customers see them as the experts, and will listen.


3) Control Yourself


Customer service is the art of saying "I want to make you happy" when you really want to say "I want to drop you from a great height."

The Point: In a bad sales or service situation, you can only feel these emotions if you give yourself permission to feel them.


4)  8 Customer Service Implications of Facebook’s Social Plug-ins from #F8

Facebook just launched a new service allowing websites to put a “like” button on each page.  It means that every time you click ‘like’ your Facebook friends will know.


The Point: It’s getting harder and harder o hide bad experiences, and good ones are amplified.

5) Is Your Customer Service Going Too Far?

In the race to be wonderful at Service, some organizations have gone too far with promotions, loyalty cards, surveys, and pestering questions during the service (e.g. dinner).

The Point: Service is about meeting the customer’s expectations every time.  You don’t have to be great every time.

6) Service V Servitude

Explores the difference between serving your boss (or customer), and being a slave in servitude.  There is a big difference, and it translates to the quality of the service.

The Point: Service comes from wanting to serve the recipient, not from wanting to serve yourself, for your own interest.