Today’s Wired & Dangerous Customers Want It Their Way and Want It When They Want It!


Early one morning Chip was in his side yard and walked up on a huge elaborate spider web complete with its designer-tenant.  As he approached the artwork, the spider began to vibrate the web sending early morning dewdrops everywhere.  The next morning the web was gone without a trace.  But, nearby was a brand new elegant web spread between two trees.
A friend was checking out of a Ritz-Carlton hotel early one morning.  Half-asleep, she noticed the ever-smiling clerk kept leaving the counter to go elsewhere with each step of the transaction.  It was then that Chip’s friend embarrassingly realized she was at the concierge counter, not at the check-out counter.  She apologized for making the clerk work extra hard.  “Don’t be silly, Ms. Cook,” said the clerk.  “You can check out wherever you like.”
Do your customers get service their way, or are they shoehorned into complying with your service procedures?  Do you[…] Continue…

Customer Volcanoes


Working in Nicaragua we were surprised to see active volcanos with large craters and smoke seething from their tops.  Volcanos usually offer a warning before “blowing their tops.”  Sometimes, it is added smoke billowing into the skyline; sometimes it is a series of minor earthquakes.  When the internal pressure builds to a certain point, fire and heat go sky high; volcanic ash and lava spread way beyond the crater.  The greatest tragedy is that nothing grows in the path of the lava for many, many years.
Customer issues can be like volcanos.  Customers typically provide warnings before they blow their tops. It could be a minor complaint or an unexpected change in buying habits.  It could be an unexplained reserve or shyness on the part of the customer.  If service providers ignore the signs of discontent and fail to intervene, they catch the wrath and heat of customer anger.  Today’s customers sometimes erupt without warning. All[…] Continue…

Innovative Service and the Rules of Combat


Next week we celebrate Memorial Day. We deeply thank all those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country! We also thank those who served for their service. We both had the distinct honor and privilege to serve our country. Chip is a highly decorated Vietnam War veteran.
Several years ago Logan Graves posted the “Rules of Combat” out on his website. We filed the clever set of rules away but have recently dusted them off for a fresh look at innovative service. Here are a few of his rules.

The easy way is always mined. There is an adage that goes “only dead fish swim with the current.”  Innovative service seeks the road less traveled in the pursuit of ingenious and novel.  Today’s wired and dangerous customers are bored with pretty good service.
No combat-ready unit ever passed inspection; no inspection-ready unit ever passed combat.  Innovative service is scrappy and provocative.  It focuses on what works, not on what’s […] Continue…

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