Are You Meeting or Exceeding Your Customers’ Thresholds for Service Delivery?

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We are seeing a lot of threshold alarms these days. Highway freeways tell us “minimum speed 40 mph.” It is a way of keeping horse-drawn buggies off the road. Minimum orders signal that only volume purchases are allowed. Even Disney has threshold alarms that say a child must be “this tall” to get on a particular attraction. As her two older sisters zipped past the “this tall” sign, it promoted my youngest granddaughter to say, “Tell them that scary things don’t scare me!”
Customers also have minimums. Their pursuit of effortless, fast-paced service has shortened their wait clocks and adjusted downward their hassle monitor. Their standards for letting service providers into their game has ratcheted dramatically up. They have no tolerance for toil, no interest in insipid, and no patience of the pedantic. And, when their mediocre meter goes off, they alert all in their cyber reach to stay away.
Today the customer tells us it’s[…] Continue…

Does Your Customer Journey Have Too Many Hoops?

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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,[…] Continue…

Beware of Assumptions About Your Customers

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We were working in Philadelphia and stayed at a chain hotel that did not have the practice of sliding the receipt under your hotel room door the morning you checked out.  When we met in the lobby at 5 am to catch the first shuttle to the airport for an early morning flight, neither of us had a hotel receipt.  
“Why were our receipts not under our doors this morning?” John asked the way too perky front desk clerk.  The answer: “We want you to come by our front desk to get your receipt so we can bid you a proper farewell.”  John was not amused.  “I think if you asked your guests,” he pointedly told the front desk clerk, “I guarantee you they will tell you that the last thing they want at five in the morning rushing to catch the hotel shuttle bus is a proper farewell!”
Never assume you know what customers value.  The fun-loving Frisbee wasn’t always a toy.  Customers changed its character completely.  William[…] Continue…

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