Tuesday, December 28, 2010

YOU SHOULD LOVE TO HELP A CUSTOMER



For the maintenance of my car I am using a (very) small garage, which services cars from all brands. There are just three men working there.
The service is good and not expensive. I can even borrow a bike while my car is being serviced.

The best thing is when I have an unplanned visit. I just drive by and ask them to have a look at some problem. Even when they are very busy, the owner stops, laughs and asks me how he can help me. He immediately checks out my car and most of the time solves the problem. For him, the customer is not a nuisance, not at all. It even looks like he likes being interrupted.

He loves to help his customers! That is quite different from a lot of stores where customer service people don’t like to be interrupted at all.  It looks like they don’t want to be bothered at all.
But, hey, it is fun and fulfilling to help a customer! That attitude is a must for success.




GROW YOUR PEOPLE, GROW YOUR BUSINESS!


Featured in Alltop



Tuesday, December 14, 2010

MEANINGFUL OR MEANINGLESS



Last night I did watch TV and I was irritated by the commercials. 7 out of 10 were for perfumes (Chanel, Dior Dolce & Gabbana etc) and the rest was for deodorants.
So, what is the customer need there? Are you smelly? Not likely. Ohhh, I see you are looking for a new partner and you want to be attractive by using a quality perfume/deodorant. But, do you really believe that these odors will do the trick? No, I don’t think so.

The setup of all these commercials is the same. They show a beautiful man and a beautiful woman in a luxurious environment. And they are attracted to each other. The perfume is the key or ......is it?! Who really believes this? I would say that there is contempt for the consumer.
The deodorant (Axe) is even worse. If you spray it on the right places the girls will be flocking to your house.......

These products and their marketing is really meaningless. The money, which they spend on these commercials, could better be given to charity. And their marketing research should be focusing on detecting real and meaningful customer needs. The (collective) intelligence of customers is no longer supporting this humiliating process.

So, stop wasting your time and money and focus on real customer needs and provide meaning to your customers. Real meaning!



GROW YOUR PEOPLE, GROW YOUR BUSINESS!


Featured in Alltop




Tuesday, December 7, 2010

BE A DETACHED OBSERVER, REGULARLY


Mobile technologies have increased the speed of doing business. However, there is also a risk associated with the usage of them. That risk is that you are putting in much more hours in your work. The distinction between work and play is blurring.

How many of you read your messages/email when you are sitting on the couch at night? Are you immediately responding to requests, also in the weekend? Even while traveling we are constantly telephoning, reading or texting.

In business it becomes more and more difficult to distinguish yourself from the competition. But if you are vigorously playing the game, you don’t see everything that is happening on the playing field. You have to detach yourself to see properly. So, you have to make time for this on a regular basis. Blue Oceans don’t pop up by itself. You have to take some distance (in time and space) to see what is going on and to ‘see’ where you can be a real differentiator.

This timeslot will not appear by itself, you have to plan for it. So, start by having one hour ‘freedom time’ in your agenda, every week. This isn’t much, as you consider that the most innovative companies (Google, 3M) have reserved 20% of their time for this every week!



GROW YOUR PEOPLE, GROW YOUR BUSINESS!


Featured in Alltop



Wednesday, December 1, 2010

WALK THE TALK, LITERALLY, ALSO IN SERVICE.



Yesterday I did go to a DIY store to buy an extra heater (yes, winter has fully started here). There were several types available, e.g. Ceramic, halogen, oil. As I had no clue what was good for my situation, I went looking for some help. A couple of isles further I did find some employees and asked my question.
One of them did give me some very good advice on why I needed a heater based upon oil.

But........ they did not follow me back to show relevant alternatives. No, they stayed in their current isle. Clearly there were no oil heaters available; there was nothing in stock. So, I decided to visit another store. And yes, they had a good oil heater available, which I did buy.

What can be learned from this is that they should have accompanied me back to the heaters. And if they, for instance, told me that the new stock would be arriving in a day or so, I would have waited for that. But now I had no clue, so I did leave. They were not really interested in the sale.
Next time, please make sure that you really walk the talk!




GROW YOUR PEOPLE, GROW YOUR BUSINESS!


Featured in Alltop