Communicating that Customers Matter

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In the last few months, we have visited several C level officers of client companies.  Most executive offices today are smaller than in past years and have interiors that are no longer decorated to communicate importance and prestige.  Most C level offices are supported by an administrative assistant that could have written the book on great hosting.  Some C level offices are on high floors and have superb panoramic views.  There is always one feature that makes the offices very different—what the C level leader chooses to display on the office wall.
 
Some have framed stock certificates of each of the smaller companies the organization has acquired.  They are typically displayed much like a big game hunter might display the stuffed heads of animals killed.  Some choose to display photos of customers… some with the executive in the photo; some just customers.  The interesting part to us was the fact that CEOs with the acquisition[…] Continue…

Are Your Customers Free to Come and Go?

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Growing up on a cattle farm is a chance to see both the promise and perils of freedom.  For months cows leisurely graze, sleep in the shade, and drink water from a nearby pond.  In the winter when there is no grass, bales of hay are delivered to their “doorstep.”  But, when the time comes for cows to be transported to market, herding can become a challenge.  It starts out rather peaceful; but, as cows are moved from the open pasture into small holding pens and then forced to go into a loading shoot and onto the truck, it requires electric prods to convert their revolt into compliance.
 
Our culture is all about freedom.  Customers enjoy “grazing” in the fields of choice.  Today’s wired and dangerous customers relish having countless options and enjoy the security of personalization. And, when they are prodded to follow a lock-step freedom-limiting path, they quickly leave the herd for greener service pastures.  When they have[…] Continue…

It is Valentine’s! Are You “Loving Up” Your Customers?

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Valentine’s Day is this Thursday as we all (hopefully) know. While you may be busy acquiring something for that very special person in your life, it is always a good time to think about how you can show your customers how much they are valued as well as appreciated. Recent research by New Voice Media has shown that feeling unappreciated by a company is the #1 reason customers say they switch away from products and services.
 
Stew Leonard, Jr. CEO of Stew Leonard’s Dairy Store headquartered in Norwalk, Connecticut, is about as energetic about customers as anyone you can find. He rushes around his stores glad-handing customers, soliciting their feedback, ringing up sales, helping lost-looking customers find what they’re in search of, thumping employees on the back, and generally energizing everyone in the place. When he speaks to groups, as he often does, one of his favorite phrases is, “Ya gotta love that customer!”
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