We Never Considered the Customer

'We never considered the customer' was what I heard a high powered set of Regional Managers say to me after I presented my workshop on Service with Purpose.

The group have had years of training, and exposed to all the tools (from personality profiles to different coloured hats).

However, they forget that customer service is always about 'me'; being 'me' as a customer, as well as 'me' the server.

The well trained servers are taught to understand their personality profile, how they interact in a team with different profiles, and how to be productive (within their personality profile).

What they didn't appreciate (but understood) was that you also have to find clues as to the customer's profile. But the customer doesn't get 'evaluated', you have to take clues.

Each Customer has a different profile and each presents differently.

Yes it's all about me the server - my salary, promotion, not doing wrong etc. But remember the customer is also thinking about themselves - their needs and wants.

The only way to serve is to get yourself out of the way and only think about the other 'me' in the interaction.

Posted via web from Service with Purpose

20 Questions any Entrepreneur Should Ask Themselves.

People often ask "Have I got what it takes to start my own business?"

The 20 questions below will give you a good idea.  I've answered it myself, not be be self-indulgent, but to show how it works.

Dan Isenberg asks, in the Harvard Business Review for you to ask yourself if you can answer "yes" to this list of statements before deciding whether or not to become an entrepreneur.  Now - you don't have to answer Yes to all of these.  But it gives you an idea of what you're in for.

The most recent company I started was a Mystery Shopping company, and my answers are below.

    1. I am willing to lose everything. - Hmm not quite, but I took a big punt.
    2. I embrace failure. - as much as I hate it - yes
    3. I am always willing to do tedious work. - yes
    4. I can handle watching my dreams fall apart. - not really, but I learnt coping mechanisms.
    5. Even if I am puking my guts out with the flu and my mother passed away last week, there is nothing that will keep me from being ready to work. - Yep
    6. My relationship/marriage is so strong, nothing work-related could ever damage it. - absolutely
    7. My family doesn't need an income. - No
    8. This is a connected world and I don't need alone time. I want to be reachable 24/7 by my employees, customers, and business partners. - correct
    9. I like instability and I live for uncertainty. - correct
    10. I don't need a vacation for years at a time. - although I go on many vacations (more for my family), I don't need them.
    11. I accept that not everyone likes my ideas and that it's quite likely that many of my ideas are garbage. - correct
    12. If I go into business with friends or family, I am okay with losing that relationship forever if things end badly. - no friends or family.
    13. I don't have existing anxiety issues and I handle stress with ease. - I don't know if I'd call it 'ease' but I cope pretty well with stress.
    14. I am willing to fire or lay off anyone no matter what — how good of a friend they are, if they are my own sibling, if they just had a baby, if they have worked with me for 20 years, if their spouse also just lost their job, if I know they might end up homeless, if they have cancer but no outside medical insurance, or any other horrible scenario millions of bosses and HR people have faced countless times. - Yep.
    15. I am okay with being socially cut–off and walking away from my friends when work beckons. - Yes, though I'd rather not.
    16. I love naysayers and I won't explode or give up when a family member, friend, customer, business associate, partner, or anyone for that matter tells me my idea, product, or service is a terrible idea, a waste of time, will never work, or that I must be a moron. - I can handle naysayers.
    17. I accept the fact that I can do everything right, can work 70 hours a week for years, can hire all the right people, can arrange amazing business deals, and still lose everything in a flash because of something out of my control. - this is so true, and I accept it.
    18. I accept that I may hire people that are much better at my job than I am and I will get out of their way. - always.
    19. I realize and accept that I am wrong ten times more than I am right.- I am so wrong, that I employ people to stop me making decisions.
    20. I am willing to walk away if it doesn't work out. - Yes - though it would hurt.

Posted via email from Service with Purpose

Fancy Getting Mystery Shopped by your Incognito Boss?

I've been running a Mystery Shopping company for over 5 years now.  I've never heard of this incredibly simple concept I read at Newsok which involves the CEO going into the front-line as with a fake name and ID in order to see exactly what happens.

It was noted that "one store where he went undercover was their No. 1 seller of coffee — far outpacing the other stores. His desire was to "understand what it was about the coffee at this store that made it so popular.”

As he worked his shift, he quickly learned that the coffee was only a small reason why customers flocked to the location in droves.

The reason wasn’t the coffee. It was the store worker that knew each of her customers by name, by story, even so far as coming across motherly to some.

Morning commuters came for hugs and conversation just as much as they came for the coffee. She had worked at that store for 18 years, and it showed. The CEO walked away with a huge lesson: It isn’t just about customer service — it’s about customer relationships.

Of  course it shows that service is more than a transaction, but it's something many CEO's could consider.

Posted via email from Steven Di Pietro's posterous

What is Service with Purpose?

To understand Service with Purpose, you need to understand each separately, then what happens when they are combined.

Service is a matching process of stuff (needs and wants) as well as personalities.

The 'stuff' includes the widget, distribution, delivery and price, but also a matching of minds, of personalities.  These must be matched to the Customer's needs and wants.

After the offer is matched, the personalities must match.  The matching of personalities requires staff and ultimately results in customer engagement.

A transaction occurs when the needs and wants are met.  Great service happens when there is a meeting of minds.

When all is done you have Service with Purpose as a methodology, but also, as an attitude.

Posted via email from Steven Di Pietro's posterous

6 Reasons why Customers leave

Why do customers really leave?  Here is an extract from a post by Copyblogger who reference Dan Kennedy as the "Sovereign of Sales Letters". (Or maybe that’s the Duke of Direct Response.)

Customer leave for one of the following reasons:

  • 1% die. Until we figure out how to cyborg ourselves, there’s not much we can do about this one.
  • 3% move. Offline, this is due to geography; online, it’s due to shifting interests. You must do all you can to hold the attention of your audience. Some loss is acceptable over time, but stay remarkable and you will minimize the losses.
  • 5% switch to something else due to a friend’s recommendation. There is no more valuable referral than that from a friend. Yet, if your customer is truly happy with your product or services, the odds of them leaving are slim.
  • 9% switch to a better product or service. The best way to fight this is to make sure your products, services, and offers are simply the best around.
  • 14% leave for general dissatisfaction. Again, it’s a good idea to trim the tribe, as you’re never going to please everyone. However, if a customer leaves, make sure you did everything within reason to keep them.

All together, those five reasons only add up to 32%. A staggering 68% of customer loss is due to indifference.

If I don't like a service, I don't argue, I don't make a scene, I don't tell them how to fix it.  I just don't come back.

You can stop doing one thing, and do another.  Don't wait for complaints, or compliments to act. Don't give customers more or less than they require, just give them what they want: everytime.

Posted via email from Steven Di Pietro's posterous

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