(Time to read this Blog is about 3 minutes)
Before we get to the main topic, here are a few things to get you thinking:
- My Quote of the week:
“Everything that happens between ‘intent’ and ‘delivery’ is PROCESS. Process ain’t sexy …but I don’t want to fly on an airline that doesn’t have it. It’s process that stops that plane from falling out of the sky”.
- Quick Biz Tip: Here’s a great discussion to have with your Team to emphasize what can happen to your customers and your business when you ‘mess up’ as individuals, or as a Team:
Back story: Air Canada ‘lost’ our checked luggage on last week’s vacation trip with grandson Gus to the Dominican Republic. It didn’t get put on the plane…and wasn’t sent to us the next day, as they promised. In fact, our luggage didn’t make it out of the Toronto Airport. It sat there, in Toronto, lost in a sea of suitcases, for 6 days.
The inconvenience, stress, frustration and hours wasted trying to track and retrieve it and re-purchasing needed items, severely affected the enjoyment of our trip. Fortunately, we had packed some clothes and our essential meds in our carry-on bags.
So, here’s a great topic to discuss at your next Team meeting.
When we ‘mess up’, what financial, emotional, physical, inconvenience and wasted time ‘pain’ do we inflict on our customers?
When we ‘mess up’, how does that damage our brand reputation, hurt our sales and bottom line, or the environment…and how does ‘messing up’ stress our Team members?
What are some of the ways we ‘mess up’…and how will we fix that?
- ‘Live’ Conferences are back! After 2 years of virtual Zoom Conferences, ‘LIVE IS BACK’! We’re getting lots of bookings for Keynotes and interactive Workshops at live events!
For a list of our most requested topics and to chat about ‘possibilities’ for your next business or Association Conference, call us at 416-252-3703 in Toronto, Canada, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Here’s a staff summer ‘Thank You’ tip from one of our readers. A few times each summer, hire an ice cream truck to come to your business at lunch or break time to serve free ice cream treats to your Team. Then you pay the bill. Make sure they have non-dairy treats for your vegan and lactose intolerant folks.
Now, to this week’s important topic:
What neat things could you do to make your customers feel more ‘special’ in 2022?
Our customers have ‘4 currencies’ in their lives…not just one. A ‘currency’ is anything of value to us that we don’t have enough of. The obvious currency is money, but there are actually four things that we don’t have enough of…
- Feeling safe (physically and emotionally safe)…and,
- Feeling special.
There are huge business opportunities in helping people feel more special. In the Western world, a major chunk of the money we spend is for no other reason than to feel special.
A $26,000 automobile will get us everywhere we want to go, safely and on time. It will even have air bags and air conditioning. But, for many people, it just won’t make them feel ‘special’ enough. They need to spend $50,000, $80,000 or $180,000 to feel special behind the wheel.
Many folks (not me) cheerfully pay $250 for a $40 windbreaker because it has a designer name scrawled across the back in 4-inch letters. WOW…they pay 6 times more, just to feel special. And don’t even get me started on $800 ‘designer jeans’. They’re jeans folks…get over it.
As a marketing guy, I love the whole ‘designer label’ thing. Find a niche, tell a story, build a brand, charge a premium price…I get it. But as a human being, philosophically, I’m appalled that so many people can only feel good about themselves while pretending to be somebody else.
So, people desperately want to feel special. A few years ago, I did some coaching for a major yacht retailer. At a big international Boat Show, towards the end of the week, they were trying to get some prospects back to the Show to close very big ‘deals’ on multi-million-dollar yachts. I suggested they offer to send a limo and driver to pick up these folks and bring them back to the Boat Show. Then have the company President meet them at the door and escort them to their booth (you don’t want them to end up in a competitor’s booth)…and then have the limo take them home or back to the office when they’re ready to go. People who spend millions of dollars on a boat want to feel special. End of story.
Years ago, in my days as an award-winning fashion retailer, we offered a choice of 4 free beverages, electric massage chairs for husbands and boyfriends, a Pirate Ship play area for kids, change tables with free diapers, wipes and cream for babies in distress and a magic sign that invited customers to ‘Please take as many items in the change room as you wish!’ No competitor had the insight or the guts to do this stuff. Women loved it and thousands of them drove up to 3 hours for an experience that made them feel ‘special’.
When we bought our waterfront condo here in Toronto several years ago, our Real Estate Agent ‘thanked’ us with a one-year social membership at the nearby Yacht Club. That made us feel special.
It always amazes me that when I rush into my dry cleaners to pick up my clothes, they’re always right there at the front of the motorized rack. As I approach the counter, Mr. Chen, reaching for my cleaning always says, “Good afternoon Mr. Cooper. Your cleaning is right here at the front.” I’m always at the front…I love it!
He never asks for my little ticket (which I’ve always lost anyway) and I never have to wait while he searches for my stuff. It saves me time and somehow I feel special! How does he do it? He makes a point of observing and memorizing what car his regular customers drive and as soon as he sees them pull into the parking lot, he rotates the rack so that their clothes are at the front in order to, as he put it, “Create a small blessing in people’s busy day!”
Whether your business is large or small, whether what you sell is expensive or not, your customers want to feel special. Learn from Mr. Chen…learn to recognize them, know them and honor them with ‘small blessings’!
Just returning phone calls or answering emails quickly and doing what you say you’ll do will make people feel special. When we don’t share our customers’ sense of urgency, we dishonour and stress them.
So, what neat little things will you do in 2022 and beyond to make your customers feel more special? Sit down with your Team and ask for their help in coming up with ways to make customers feel more special every time they touch your business in any way.
I’d love to hear from you about little things you do to make your customers feel special. Email me at email@example.com.
That’s it for this week…
Stay safe…live brilliantly!
Donald Cooper speaks and coaches internationally on management, marketing, and profitability. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org in Toronto, Canada.