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"Why Choose Between Fun and Content When You Can Have Both"

If you want customers to rate your business a 10, do this!

Upon check-in at a NYC hotel the other day I came upon the sign shown.

I like that tComfort Ratinghey acknowledge not being perfect. I like that they tell me the staff works hard to provide a great experience. I like that they want me to share any issues that might be making my stay less than warranting a rating of a 10 on any survey that I may receive.

But here’s what I really want to see. I want to see the sign that tells the staff what they can do to ensure I have no issues. I want to see the sign that tells staff to greet me with enthusiasm when I walk through the lobby, to ask me if I need any recommendations for dinner or entertainment. I want to see the sign that says get out of the seat and off your lazy butt (and phone) when a customer stops by the desk to ask you a question.

Fixing issues will not get a 10 rating from me. Having no issues might get you a 9. Having great people who really work hard to provide an experience worth telling others will earn you a 10 from me.

Oh, and that sign does not have to be a physical sign. That sign can be actions. But if it is a physical sign I want it posted where I can see it and refer your employees to it.

So for any businesses asking people to rate your business and employees a 10, maybe it’s first time to discuss how you can make that customer feel like you deserve a 10. You shouldn’t have to ask people to give you a 10, you should just start offering Level 10 Experience.

 

P.S. I work with employees looking to deliver customers a better experience. Get in touch and let’s talk! about how I can work with your team to get those 10’s you’re seeking.

The best baked potato. EVER!

This afternoon I ate the best baked potato. Ever.

It wasn’t at a big ole fancy restaurant. It wasn’t one I cooked for myself. It wasn’t even one my mommy made for me. It was at Wendy’s.best potato ever wendys

  • It wasn’t cooked to perfection. As a matter of fact I am certain it was nuked, given the steam that came from it.
  • It didn’t come with fresh sour cream, but that packaged stuff that has been sitting around for who knows how long
  • I even think the butter was some scary chemically substance

But it was the best baked potato. EVER.

How can this be, you’re asking?

While sitting and eating my potato a manager came up to me and asked “How is your baked potato today, sir?”

Was I in a fast food (or whatever they call it these days) restaurant? Now I don’t frequent them often, but in all my years on earth no one in a management (or any) position has ever come up to me in fast food restaurant to ask how my meal was.

Don’t know whether it’s part of the Wendy’s training or if Narcis did this on her own. But why can’t more businesses have their people step out from behind the counter and find out what customers are experiencing?

  • Imagine if when you left a movie someone was there to ask what you thought?
  • Imagine as you pulled out of the park (that you paid to enter) the ranger or staff member made you stop to see if you had a great day?
  • Imagine if the dealer service department asked me what I most liked about my car rather than just processing my car into the queue.

 

Imagine if you could have the best something EVER. Somewhere. Or better yet, imagine if you could offer someone the best something. EVER.

 

 

How about we just do less with less?

While talking with a new client the other day she vomited the words that make my head spin: we’re going to have to learn to do more with less. I heard those words a lot during the global financial meltdown that happened a few years ago. As your co-workers were sent to the unemployment lines the marching orders from the CEO, HR, your boss, the governor, etc was we’ll have to learn how to do more with less.

Why can’t we do less with less? Do Less

How come no one seems to take the tough times to ask themselves what do we not need to do any longer? Maybe we should be asking ourselves what things really aren’t important and question the things we are/were doing only as an attempt to validate our existence? Perhaps a question that should be asked in offices everywhere is whether or not anyone would really care (or miss) if a certain daily, weekly or monthly report wasn’t issued. Or what about the weekly sales call, the  one where everyone is doing sixteen other things while on the, not contributing and rolling their eyes. (Yes, they are.) Why not switch it to every other week?

The next time someone says to you we need to do more with less get brave, push back, and ask why can’t we do less with less. Or better yet maybe it’s just a good idea every so often to look at the work in front of you and question its necessity and value.

Now once you get rid of the unimportant stuff start working on new things that will make a difference, differentiate you and once again get people excited.

Your chicken ain’t that good. Your customer experience is even worse.

It started with a deceptive marketing campaign. Please take our survey and you will get a code for a free meal the next time you come in.popeye

First of all, I know the importance of surveys to a company so I shared my comments. Towards the end of the survey it asked if you would like to give your email address to receive promotions. I chose no. Well it seems that if you don’t give your email address, no code for your free food. Didn’t say that anywhere. Not how Starbucks does it. Or Dunkin Donuts. Or Burger King. Take the survey and your free code appears on the screen in front of you.

A call to their customer hotline. Thought they might want to know about the glitch. (I also wanted what was promised me.) Person tells me “higher ups” can only help me. Would I like to leave my name and contact information. Nah, got no time for you. Bye. I’ve got a better chance of reaching the higher up on my own than you taking my information. Oh c’mon, you know I am right.

I email the CEO. So easy to find people’s email addresses these days. She ignores first email. Second email I make a snarky comment about her being the “beacon of customer service.” I get a call from someone 30 minutes later. How to win friends and influence pissed off people.

That person basically tells me I didn’t look hard enough and somewhere it tells me you must give your email address or no code. It’s nowhere to be found. Or it’s buried somewhere that the customer can’t find it anywhere.  But………..she wants to send me something. I don’t need her to send me anything. I need them to stop deceiving people.

A few days later I receive gift checks to be spent in “participating locations” along with a letter from someone in Marketing who says he has spoken with franchisee about my unpleasant experience.

IDIOT! I didn’t have an unpleasant experience with the franchise. I had an unpleasant experience with your deceptive marketing promotion on the back of your receipts.

Fast Forward: I had a hankering for fried chicken. Well it seems no locations in my area are participating. Not even the one where I supposedly had my unpleasant experience. Now in all fairness one restaurant manager took them after calling the franchisee at home to see if he could accept them and how they should be tendered on the register. Of course the people behind me in line were rather annoyed as all order taking came to a halt for 10 minutes as we waited for the manager to figure out what to do. I’m not kidding!

3rd email to CEO:

First deceptive marketing practices. Then gift certificates sent yet no locations seem to be “participating.” I’ll be sending them back to you personally. Maybe you can find a location near you to redeem them.

No need to respond. You just became a great example for my clients on how not to treat a customer.

 

Some things to think about:

  1. Make things easy for your customers like Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts and Burger King. Promises with stipulations or information that is not easily found is not the road to customer loyalty
  2. When a customer has a concern/issue/challenge there’s a really good possibility that others do as well. A REALLY good possibility. Don’t dismiss things as isolated incidents or one crazy person. Investigate.
  3. If you’re going to tell customer that they are wrong (and customers are wrong) why not have your facts together and be able to show them. “It’s there somewhere” is not what you tell a customer. EVER.

 

Doesn’t matter. Fried chicken is bad for you anyway. It was probably a higher power’s way of telling me not to eat that crap.

Oh and by the way, I even sent them screen shots of their survey to let them see firsthand what the customer was seeing. Thought that would help them. They seemed disinterested.

 

Why your great idea might be going nowhere

A couple of years ago I was introduced to the FourSight Thinking Profile. Like Meyers-Briggs and DISC and others it didn’t really tell me anything I didn’t already know. Although it was one of the more fun approaches.

At the end of the assessment you are scored and ranked/classified on four preferences. The Preferences are Clarifier, Ideator, Developer and Implementer. My scores revealed that I am an Implementer and Ideator. They were too close to pick one over the other.

As I said I was not surprised by the result. So I thought.

I knew this about myself. It’s how I was able to start the nonprofit DoubleDDiner.org as quickly as I did. It’s how I was able to take the idea for Diary of the Happiest Employee On Earth from concept to published book in a few short weeks.

This morning I was having breakfast with a friend and colleague who was sharing a few ideas with me. One idea is pure genius! She shared how she and another friend come up with lots of great ideas and then do nothing. I would bet if they took the assessment they would both be Ideators.

I am currently working on a very fun project with three friends who are all Ideators. Sfoursight inspiredo we have 3 full Ideators and one 1/2 Ideator / 1/2 Implementer. Guess who became the project manager? Guess who gets to crack the whip? Guess who gets to scold people when they’re not meeting the deadlines on their tasks?

But it’s all good. Because I know this about them. They told me their preference. We even talked about it early on when this project was just an alcohol and candy induced dream. And then it was crystal clear that for this idea to go from dream to reality the 1/2 Implementer would have to step up!

Many of you reading this have taken personality profile assessments. You’re an ENTJ, INFP, ABCDEFG, High D, Low S, a Clarifier, a 1234567, etc! And while you may know what you are………..you need to take the time to know the personalities, preferences, or whatever other buzz words and phrases are used on a particular assessment to describe the others on your team. You need to see what is missing from your team and go out and find or hire those people. Because understanding all that removes all the aggravation, gets to the fun and takes a project to completion!

In a big organization it is easy to find people to add to your team once you figure out the type of thinking that is missing. But what about when you’re a small organization? Or an entrepreneur? Last year I realized I needed two coach/mentors. One for my creative side; the other for the what I like to call the “crappy business development stuff I don’t want to deal with” side. One keeps my Ideator/Implementer side thinking bigger. The other pulls me back to reality when necessary.

I hate seeing great ideas go nowhere. And I can only hope that my breakfast partner reads this (okay, I am going to make her read it) and starts connecting with people who can make her idea a reality. Because if she does nothing with it I may just have to steal the idea from her. Remember, I’m an implementer and I think it’s a winner!

Don’t let your great idea slip away. Don’t let people steal your great idea. Find the people who round out your thinking, whatever that thinking may be!

And if you’re interested in learning about Foursight get in touch with my friend Russ. I have no relationship with FourSight and get nothing from this post. Well maybe Russ will buy me some Freeze Dried Corn from the Chicago Spice Company if you decide to do business with him.