Are Your Customers Jumping Through Too Many Hoops?

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colorful plastic toy bangle on white background

I once had a wonderful colleague whom I worked with as a co-facilitator of workshops with senior leaders.   He was a very bright and confident presenter who could lead a spirited discussion with the most challenging participant. He also loved to tell stories.

His stories were typically long and detailed. But, he never learned an important storytelling principle: enchanting participants to join him on a long, detailed fable only works if the story’s punch line is insightful or compelling enough to make worthwhile the trip through its intricate details. He has now retired and only worries about the attention span of his grandchildren.

Customers are a lot like workshop participants required to sit under the influence of a storyteller with a minutia problem. Most service has service hoops customers are required to jump through. Fortunately, customers are more than willing to jump through hoops—a lot of hoops. However, hoop jumping wears[…] Continue...

Are You Sending Signals That You Trust Your Customers?

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Stop SignFour-way stops are exercises in decorum without supervision! Every driver knows the rules about who goes next and who has the right of way should turns be involved. There is no traffic light or police officer to ride herd over the proper behavior. And, at four way stops drivers are more careful and courteous than they might be with yellow traffic lights.

Customers love to be trusted. The newspaper machine trusts you will take only one paper when you could take the entire stack to share with your friends. The open air market assumes no one will shoplift an apple. Are there ill-mannered thieves who greedily hoist their way onto the system? Of course. But, the typical customer who is trusted responds by refusing to game the system.

Trust begins with the attitude you, your employees and your processes display toward customers throughout their journey across your organization. Signage, for instance, communicates a lot about your attitude toward customers.[…] Continue...

What Attitude Are Your Employees Choosing?

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positive

You are in complete control of your attitude. Victor Frankl in his classic book, Man’s Search For Meaning, described how prisoners at the Auschwitz concentration camp in World War II determined their longevity by the way they imagined their future. The book has sold over 10 million copies. Camp survivors did not let their cruel guards determine their attitude toward life. While they had no control over their physical fate, they did have total domination over how they emotionally viewed their fate.

Customers today have changed. They are Picky–more cautious in the choices. Made smarter by the internet, they are empowered and emboldened to accept nothing short of value. It has made them Fickle—quicker to leave if unhappy. Forty four percent of customers stop doing business immediately after a less than satisfactory experience and another 15% exit as soon as their contract is up! Customers are Vain – they expect personalized service[…] Continue...

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