Specializing in bringing together all components necessary for long term business growth,
profitability and success; and ensuring
that they are working in harmony.

Posts Tagged ‘customer relationships’

However, “we have streamline seats!”

Monday, June 3rd, 2013

Recently I spoke to a friend who works with United Airlines about his employer being at the bottom of the list with recent customer satisfaction surveys. “How is it that you guys have the uncanny ability to find yourself at the bottom I asked?”

He began explaining that the merger between United and Continental has been less then harmonious. “They have wiped out large swaths of the United flight crews he began. So most of our team has been on extended furloughs. When we do work, it is fewer hours then before the merger. Our old United hub, which use to service all of the flights to Hawaii have now been cut to one. Flight crews from Continental are carrying out the other flights. So perhaps one of the reasons why they are at the bottom of the list he continued, has more to do with how they treat us. We get a call that we are to be up by 5:00 am so that we can take off for a 7 o’clock round-trip which takes eleven to twelve hours and then by the time we get back are told that we need to plan on getting up again (same time) for a long international flight. So here we are, trying to keep passengers happy while we are IV-ing on coffee to ensure that we don’t end up sleep walking through the trip.”

So much for the happy merger.

“Oh, and it gets worse, he continued, here is a customer service doosie for you, we have been given strict orders from corporate not to let passengers know that if their 4.99 Wi-Fi fails, then they can get a refund. They need to go to the United website to find out about this!”
After listening to him, I then brought up the other news about how the airlines are still squeezing even more seats into coach. In addition, making the toilets smaller.

“Oh, yea, he agreed. But you see, it is all about how it is presented. We call them Streamline Seats!” Sounds sort of nice don’t you think? He asked sarcastically. Of course, there is the standard corporate propaganda that we hear so much of these days about how it is all in the name of saving the earth – you know green? – smaller seats are good because they have less weight and in turn require less fuel.”

He rambled on, sharing his more frustrations where it was easy to conclude that perhaps one of the reasons that they are at the bottom of the heap is a reflection of how they are also treating their staff. This conclusion is an easy to make, and we see it every day where companies that become too big to balance their budgets with the needs of their customers and employees have an uncanny way of hurting their long-term performance.

And regarding the rationale for why seats are smaller, as with other businesses making boxes smaller, or suggesting that your towels at the hotel you are staying at needn’t be refreshed daily – really has less to do with going green (saving the environment) but saving green (money to their bottom line)

What is it I do? And, what is it I want to do?

Monday, April 8th, 2013

Recently I conferred with a friend where I suggested areas in her business strategy that I felt I could further advise her.
From issues in business culture to resolving expansion challenges, I shared stories of previous engagements. I then turned our conversation to a business model I had been developing with previous business partners (a model in her sector) that I had always believed that had we continued – would have been immensely successful.

In earlier discussions, we also entertained the idea of utilizing my firm’s services to the benefit of her marketing and funding strategies. Therefore, I confidently assumed that she was already aware of “what I do.” However, as we broadened our discussion to other possible areas of strengths I could offer her she looked at me and simply asked, “What is it you want to do?” “I mean”, she continued, “you have shared stories about what you have done, but you have never told me what you really want to do?”

For a few minutes, I was dumb founded by the question. “Why doesn’t she understand what I do I asked myself?” Who else is there that still doesn’t get it? “Or is the question specific to “what is it I want to do” in the immediate case of the conversation?”

Ironically, later that afternoon I received a call from a respected business colleague who conveyed his own frustration with the same dilemma. “I am good at technology, analytics, problem solving and have a large roller-dx of investors.” But it seems like everybody just wants to put me in a box” he exclaimed.”
To his point, I suggested that he clarify his list of deliverables which are tied in with his love for what he does.

So here is what I want to do:
Bring my specific skills and talents to the benefit of engagements, which allows me to enjoy and profit from using them. Once again, my skills and talents include long and short-term business strategies, which are complemented through marketing and creative advertising.
Building on these attributes include, the capacity to assess employee morale/performance as well as increasing customer retention. (Remember, no advertising or growth strategies are meaningful unless both employees and customers are happy.) Finally, a qualified list of contacts and resources are also available/when required –as part of services provided.

Engagement requirements are not just the amount the financial reward, but that I stand to truly benefit clients objectives from the use of my skills and talents. If not, then I am not interested.
Having multiple business skills does not make me a Jack-Of-All-Trades. I am not. I am not claiming to be a plumber also or software designer too. Nor do I repair cars or build electrical grids. I am however, an expert at taking a full and complete look at a business so that one piece of the flywheel supports the other.

Marketing needs to bring market share. However, when the market share is realized then the company must be ready for the growth that follows – and this is the philosophy I have built my practice on.

As indicated on our website, the mission is:
“Specializing in bringing together all components necessary for long-term business growth, profitability and success; and ensuring that they are working in harmony”.
What part of that do I love? All of it! Because it is all-inclusive for a company’s success!

So what about you? What are the things you are good at? Are their additional services your business can offer which are truly co-complementary? Are you really good at it, or do you need to take some time to further develop it? Whatever you chose to offer, be sure that it diversifies your services in a positive way, which is consistent to providing the best resources available.

What are you wearing?

Monday, March 18th, 2013

Mark Zukerman arrives on Wall Street wearing a hoodie and tennis shoes. While he is still dressed like an adolescent teenager walking into your local high school, those around him are decked out in $1000, 00 plus business suits.

On a hot afternoon day with temperatures exceeding 100 degrees, I drive onto an auto dealership and am greeted by a salesperson wearing a shirt and tie. His face is sweating from standing outside in the sweltering sun. When asked why he was dressed so uncomfortably he replies, “it’s the dress code sir, we have to look professional.”

Something is out of whack!

There is a growing trend of young successful business people looking like “adolescent slobs” while poor car sales representative are required to work in a “clothing imposed sweat lodge,” – just doesn’t seem to add up. What gives?

We recently went to a nice restaurant in downtown Austin where the total tab for two of us came to $183.82. When I rose to go to the restroom, I was appalled at one person dinning across from us in shorts and flip- flops. Standing in the entrance waiting for their table were two more, this time in tank tops and blue jeans. The restaurants manager explained that this was part of the new norm and that everyone needed to be tolerant or each other’s preferences. No, I am NOT tolerant because dressing up for nicer occasions (and seeing that others also engaged) in a traditional norm of social etiquette. In essence, the slobs are ruining the experience for the rest of us by cheapening the experience and the restaurants stand to lose their credibility for what they are charging. After all, ambiance has always been part of the dining experience, hasn’t it?

On the other hand, silly corporate policy always amazes me. I chose not to get out of my car when I was greeted by the sweating car sales representative because I was so disgusted by the dealerships dress code policy. A few days later, our neighbor shared a similar story about the same dealership. “I don’t know why I left she said, I really liked the person who was helping me but after I got home and shared my experience with my husband, I realized it was because it made me so uncomfortable watching him wearing that shirt and tie in the Texas heat, that I did not want to stay.”

Consciously and sub-concisely, consumers make their buying decisions. Sometimes it is about ambiance, other times it might be about how he or she feels when interfacing with a company representative who is obviously miserable. Either way, it affects sales.

In the meantime, Zukerman could periodically rise to the occasion when attending an event and oppressive corporate dress policies might want lighten up a little bit.