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 service’

Unintended advertising can occur with an act of goodwill

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

Sweet Love 1

Every year businesses spend a significant amount of capital on advertising. This is generally a necessity if the business is going to grow and flourish. But how much of this investment could be saved by deeds of good will?

Recently I was lost trying to find a location which was not there. What started as a simple fifteen minute errand soon began devouring my days schedule like a wild pig.

Finally in desperation, I walked into Sweet Love and Sugar Britches, a cute store with lots of cool stuff. Walking through the door I noticed the great smell. Behind the counter, stood a pretty woman with a warm smile. “How may I help you she asked?” I explained my situation and with absolute perseverance she bravely launched into over thirty minutes of trouble shooting until she resolved my problem. “Ok, she said, holding up the map she had drawn, began to explain until I understood how to get there. Better yet, she had also ensured that when I arrived, a real person would be waiting to greet me!

She spent real time going on a mission to help me find my missing location. While she did, I was able to walk around her beautiful store and pick out Christmas presents for family members. I can honestly say that I will be back! In addition, I am excited about sharing my experience about finding a great place to purchase cool things with my friends and neighbors.

Next time you are in Round Rock Texas, go a block south east on Mays Street, just past Round Rock Avenue and check out Sweet Love and Sugar Britches. Inside you will meet a wonderful person who is the store’s owner. Bring your wallet because you will definitely end up purchasing something. Thirty minute of her pleasant time and assistance and look: “I am happy to share my story. How’s that for unintended advertising?”



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Marketing Strategies and Customer Retention

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013

What good is a business concept without advertising?

What good is advertising without returning customers?

And what good is success without a long term strategy?

Effective advertising needs to reach your intended market – it requires consideration for the ideal ingredients to make this happen.

Maintaining and growing customer share is a result of perceived value, great service and an engaged team who are there to serve

Success comes when you offer great products and services and as a result, the customer falls in love with you!

Now – you have built a solid model for growth – knowing how and where to grow is the next part that is both fun and tricky.

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)

Complements to Whataburger

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

I want to complement Whataburger on a couple of things. No, they are not a client so this is not intended to be anything other than an acknowledgment of the following:

Recently, I had a great customer experience with them. Because I need to watch my sodium intake, I requested that the fries with my order have very little salt. Instead, I received my combo meal with one cheeseburger, a drink and fries – (with too much salt.)

After bringing it up to the manager (more, for letting them know that this could be a problem that they may not aware) she inquired what my total order was. Upon reply, she promptly re-entered the order in the register and Bing! – brought up $6.37 – which she returned.

I thanked her and stated that it was not my intention to be reimbursed for an entire order, and that I just wanted them to know about the salt issue for future purposes. She just smiled and said, “No sir, we want you to be happy with your entire order and if not, then want to make it right for you.”

I gladly accepted her generosity and told her that Whataburger had just earned “a customer for life.” In addition, I have shared this story with many people and am now telling you, the readers as well. From What-a Burgers competitors to phone companies to other businesses in other sectors:

How many times do you (the customer) just want to be treated right? How many billions of dollars are spent needlessly trying to woo or woo back customers? How much would be saved – and gained – if other companies took care of their customers the way Whataburger took care of me?

Finally, unlike so many TV ads that I immediately mute, I absolutely love the What-a Burger ads! Talk about an ad campaign geared to the Texas consumers – and I am not even a “good ole boy!” Kudos to the Ad Agency who is carrying out their campaign.  Someday I would really enjoy the opportunity to meet the voice over guy in their ad. In the meantime; I applaud one company for honoring their promise to provide something they promise “just like you like it!”

Too phoned to listen

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

Picture this: A small business owner is paying for professional services. It could be a meeting with an attorney, an accountant, a marketing strategist or business adviser. In the middle of a critical discussion pertaining to the survivability of their business, the vibrating of his/her I-phone goes off.

On another occasion, I hired a service provider to help troubleshoot a problem I was having with my laptop.  Just in the middle of seeking clarification to a very important issue, there it came the vibrating from his I-phone. “Sorry, he said, looking at his phone, it’s another customer; I need to make sure I am available”.

In each case, the message was clear, the meeting in the present was not as important as the call on the phone.

Many of the small business owners find themselves caught in this trap while they continue to complain that a problem is not being solved. These problems were in fact being addressed  when their phones buzzed!

Message? It appears that the phone is more important than the solution. Worse, each call they thought they needed to check cost them billable hours they are most likely charged for.

As for the service provider, his phone caused him to lose me as a client.

Phones and other tech essentials are important. Nevertheless, smart business people benefit from learning how to control their environment so that they are in control of their business. Otherwise, their business is controlling them. Controlling the phone is an important first step! This goes back to the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People – one thing at a time.