Tag: small business

9 Levels of Word of Mouth

9 Levels of Word of Mouth

Last time we talked about the second part of word-of-mouth tactics which help you put together a system to help shorten your customers’ purchasing decision time, which can increase your profits immensely.

Today is not so much of a blog but a tool to evaluate where your word of mouth stands and how it affects your business. We’re going to talk about the nine levels of word-of-mouth which gives you a scale to measure the word-of-mouth circulating around your company, products, and services. You can then see where you are getting negative or weak word of mouth and find ways to correct it.

So, launching into the nine levels of word-of-mouth, it should seem relatively obvious that the negative levels are, well, negative, and the positive levels are positive. 

Word of Mouth Scale

Minus 4-Death Blow

This is the worst of the worst and means your product or service is creating a scandal. Remember when the popular over-the-counter pain relievers, like Tylenol, were deemed unsafe? Yea, you won’t want that kind of word of mouth.

If this is where you are, it is most likely a death blow for your business and you have most likely done something very wrong. 

Minus 3-Karen is Out for Blood

Disgruntled customers are going out of their way to convince other consumers from purchasing your products and services. They are boycotting you. 

They are actively making a seen, leaving bad reviews, making their tik toks. In some respect, this can be the worst place to be. Karen does not allow you to have a minute to respond and fix the problem. 

Minus 2-Unacceptable and Unhappy

While not outwardly boycotting, when customers are asked about you, they will give a negative response. They will take the time to leave a Yelp or Google review and most likely leave it at that. 

Minus 1-Solvable 

At this level, people are mildly dissatisfied, and while not outwardly talking about it, they will have an opinion if asked. Now they may purchase from you despite their negative feelings; this can be a little confusing. 

These people may stick with you because it is easy or the pain is not enough to change. It is important to spend time giving them a better experience.

Level 0-Neutral 

This is sort of a neutral place to be. Customers are using your products, but don’t really talk about it. People rarely ask them about it, so they aren’t sharing their opinion with others. This can be a slippery slope because you don’t want to turn that neutral experience into a negative one. You should work to make it a positive one.

Plus 1-Satisfied 

At this level, we are finally starting to work our way into the positive word-of-mouth about your company, products, and services. Plus 1 signifies that people are generally pleased with your products, but unless asked, don’t really say anything about them.

Plus 2-Tip of the Tong Solution

When asked, your customers will talk about how much they love your products or service. They will be a person who says something like, “o I use …” or “consider trying …”. These people need to be prompted but once they have been you’re their go-to.

They may give a review but most likely need to be prompted before they will do it.

Plus 3-Have You Heard About

Customers will go out of their way to talk about your products, services, company, and shopping experience with you. This is most evident when you see how people recommend movies to their friends and family.

These people will leave an unprompted review and 5-star score. These tend to be your 7-9 net promoter scores.

Plus 4- Champion

Your product is the toast of the town. There is an obvious buzz going around, and your business is the place to be. People are not only talking about your great products and services, but they are talking about their shopping experience, your customer service, and how they perceive the company to help them in the future.

These are the people who do not only leave a review but also go out of their way to make a social media post. These are your 9-10 net promoter scores. 

Some great examples of Plus 4 companies are:

  • Lexus
  • Harley Davidson
  • Lululemon 
  • Tesla
  • Apple
  • Costco

 

We’re going to leave this lesson for you to mull over and take a look at what kind of word of mouth you are generating. If you need help with this process, try our FREE test drive to get help from our experienced business coaches.

Next ti, we will talk about the 30 ways to harness the power of word of mouth.

Maximize Your Resources – Part 3

Maximize Your Resources – Part 3

With every series, it is time to wrap up. In the last post, we talked about three more ways to maximize your current resources. They included:

  • Reveal your business’s soul, bring your why/motivation to the front of what you do.
  • From breaking even to breaking the bank, the power of cost-cutting, not cutting people.
  • Stand up and stand out, having an efficient USP.

Today we’ll talk about the last three areas you can work on to maximize your current resources. They are:

  • Your people & Your Time
  • Eliminate before you delegate
  • Stay away from the edge of the cliff.

Your People & Your Time

The secret to any great business is maximizing your people because through your people; you gain the time to work on your business and not in your business. So You’re probably asking yourself, how do I get to the place where my people work as hard on my business as I do?

The answer is they never will. What is possible is creating how you use your time to get your people to do what you need them to do. This efficiency is achieved by dedicating your time to three major business systems.

  • Staff Development 
  • Instruction & Training 
  • Personal connection 

Staff Development refers to the time spent asking your employees about their professional goals and helping them to develop the resources to achieve them. The hard pill to swallow is sometimes this means that they won’t stay in your business forever.

Instruction & Training refers to the time developing their soft and hard skills pertaining to their position. 

Personal connection refers to the time you spend getting to know them as people. This is the time sadly that most employers fail to capitalize. However, this is also the best opportunity to turn an employee into a champion for your business regardless of whether they work there or not.

If you want to start making all-around business improvements, you need to ask yourself how much time I spend in these three areas? Then how much more time can I add to these opportunities?

Eliminate Before you Delegate

How you use time can be one of the enormous wastes in your businesses. It is the time spent doing repetitive or mundane tasks that you feel could easily be delegated or eliminated. These tasks include data entry, holding non-strategic meetings, etc.

Now, I am all for the power of delegating, but before you do it, ask yourself, does it even need to be done? If it needs to be done, is there a software option that does not take a human to do it?

The reason you follow this progression is if you hate the job or task, your employees will hate it too. So remember this valuable lesson before you delegate any task. Think about how we can eliminate or make it so no one has to spend time on it.

Avoid the Edge of the Cliff

Continuing to test and measure your systems, products, marketing methods, and all other aspects of your business allow you to see problems before they happen and therefore avoid falling off the edge of the cliff. 

Here are a few specific areas you can test for potential improvements:

  • Marketing 
  • Sales Copy
  • Customer Service
  • Sales Letters
  • Sales Presentations
  • Employee-Customer Interaction
  • Employee-happiness 
  • Employee-growth

Through creating a deliberate and regular testing procedure, you will find opportunities to utilize your resources better. For example, you might find products/services where you can raise the price, maybe others where you should lower the price or offer that product as an incentive item and discover many other areas for improvement that will better utilize your current resources. 

I hope this series has helped you to look at your business resources differently. If it has only created more questions then we are standing by ready to help try our FREE test drive to work with one of our unique business coaches.

5 Killer Mistakes – Part 2

5 Killer Mistakes – Part 2

In the last post, we covered the first two of the five biggest mistakes you can make in dealing with big fish clients. Today we’ll cover the third and fourth ones: Taking on More Than You Can Handle.

When you take on too much, your business can’t keep up, and therefore you can quickly lose control of everything and find yourself barely functioning. You want your business to be successful, no doubt, but you need to plan how you will handle the growth. Although your clients expect excellent customer service and high-quality products/services, they don’t know or care about your behind-the-scenes operations to get those things done.

Look for these signs that you are taking on more than you can handle:

  • Clients’ needs aren’t being met.
  • Employee morale is low, clients are upset, and you’re in a panic.
  • You have to react in emergency mode to save accounts.
  • Your current clients are suffering from trying to keep up with new business.
  • Profits are going down.
  • You are just trying to pick up the pieces of your business.
  • Your clients/customers leave.
  • Resources are being reallocated.

There is a trick called the Mock Fish Plan. This plan can help you react positively when facing some or all of these things and help you get your business back on track. This plan will:

  • Help increase sales in a short period of time.
  • Alter your products/services for the better.
  • Fulfill promises you made to your clients.

There are six steps to this plan:

  1. Bring in your best team and have them all help to meet the fish’s needs.
  2. Review your operational system.
  3. Anticipate future problems better.
  4. Communicate better.
  5. Include costs in your quotes.
  6. Always have a backup plan.

All Your Eggs in One Basket

You can allow your company to become dependent on anyone fish. Eventually, or for certain periods there is going to be a slowing down period with your fish. To stay in the game, you need to diversify. 

If you’ve ever mishandled a fish, you could drive away potential fish as well. However, to keep balance and prepare for a strong future, you can do a few things.

These things include:

  • Stay in the loop and try to know what’s going on inside your fish’s company.
  • Constantly reinvent yourself and stay at the top of your industry.
  • Stay exclusive.
  • Try to secure multi-year commitments and contracts.
  • Spread your contracts out.
  • Price your products/services correctly.

You also need to work to reduce your dependency on your fish. This can generally be measured in sales or profits. Take a look back at the process we’ve used thus far to snag more fish to keep this all in balance.

These are the ways you can help avoid the killer mistakes that can make you lose it all. If you need help with any of these tips or tricks, feel free to call at 412-397-7967.

Next time we’ll talk about the last of the killer mistakes and how to combat it from hitting your business hard.

5 Killer Mistakes – Part 1

5 Killer Mistakes – Part 1

5 big mistakes that will kill a deal are:

  1. Not meeting the client’s expectations
  2. Mishandling a client crisis
  3. Taking on more than you can handle
  4. Putting all your eggs in one basket
  5. Up cash creek without a paddle

Any one or a combination of these can not only kill the partnership but can take down your company as well. We’re going to take a bit of time to talk about each of these; in this lesson, we’ll cover the first two.

Not Meeting Client’s Expectations

You must give your clients exactly what you promised during the negotiation portion of your relationship. If an event does happen where there is no way to meet the client’s expectations, not only do you have to find a way to fix the situation, but you also have to find out where it all went wrong. 

A couple of things could have contributed to this problem:

  1. Bad salesmanship. This could mean the salesperson was trying too hard to seal the deal and didn’t listen to the client’s needs.
  2. Lack of communication. This breakdown occurs between the salesperson and your operations department.

To avoid these mistakes, you need to put a clear plan of action into place that all of your sales staff needs to follow:

  • Think before you speak.
  • Give yourself a break.
  • Perfect your process.
  • Pre-format over-deliverables.
  • Stay hands-on throughout the entire process.
  • Define success.

 

Mishandling a Client Crisis

Crises will happen, but how you respond and fix them will define your company and interaction with your clients. You need to react quickly and effectively. This will help you gain even more trust and confidence from your client.

Some simple tips can help you deal with any client crisis:

  • Take responsibility and apologize, no matter who is at fault.
  • Act swiftly and effectively.
  • Step in and take control of the situation.
  • Never point fingers or place blame.
  • Stay in constant communication with your client.
  • Stay calm throughout the situation.
  • Keep your eye on the ball.

Now that you know the top two mistakes you can make to kill a big fish deal, you’ll know better how to avoid making these mistakes in the first place and learn how to put a plan of action into place in case of a crisis.

If you need help with any of this, don’t wait, email me at doogie@ideasactionsuccess.com

Next time we’ll talk about the 3rd and 4th killer mistakes you can make in working with big fish clients.

Keep Up the Momentum

Keep Up the Momentum

Negotiation is more than a transaction. In this article, we will explore how to develop a mutual alliance in your big fish relationship. Developing this relationship allows you to turn a singular transaction into multiple transactions, introductions, opportunities, and more.

One of the most critical aspects of this is to keep your cheerleader cheering. This refers to the ally you created in the company and who needs to stay loyal to you for you to continue a profitable partnership with your fish. You can keep your champion going by offering or doing a number of things to show appreciation. Some of these things are:

  • Use their preferred media. It is essential to contact your clients/ customers the way they are most comfortable. 
  • Contacting the person your champions supervisor to share your experience
  • Introduce them to complementary products or services that can enhance their experience
  • Be patient and create a timeline for following up. The goal is to be present but not overbearing/desperate.
  • Invite them to participate in your company function or opportunity. It is a great tool to build investment in your company.

These are just a few ideas and tactics for maintaining relationships. Your goal is to create value outside of the singular transaction. In all cases, you want to become their go-to problem solver.

Now that you have some ideas of how to build solid relationships, you need to seek out people to build these relationships with. These alliances will help you get bigger clients that stay with you forever. You can often get in the door by offering them something in exchange for something they need:

  1. Solutions: provide them with a product or service that solves their immediate problem. 
  2. Information: provides them with access to new people, markets, and knowledge to achieve their goals.
  3. Improved environment: give them tools to make the workplace the best it can be. Find ways to bring joy into people’s lives.

These are all great ways to feed your alliance. You need to go into a 

relationship considering the things a big fish can offer you besides money. These can include:

  • The opportunity for your business to expand
  • The opportunity to learn from the experience and find ways to grow
  • The opportunity to improve your processes, systems, and other means of doing business

This article was a quick guide on keeping your alliance strong. Please note there so much more you can do. The most important takeaway is, your relationship should have transactions but not be transactional. You must avoid the favor for you, a favor for me mentality. 

If you need help developing your alliance strategy, please feel free to contact us. We would love to help you.

About the Author

I am a business coach and consultant specializing in uncovering the root cause of a challenge and offering an unexpected solution. That solution typically results in a substantial increase in profits and the peace of mind to set you free from your business.

I ask powerful questions to clarify who you are and what you want. I am empathetic, although surgical in approach. I make my clients feel they are the only person I am working with. I have an uncanny way of drawing people out and getting to the heart of the matter.

I am a Pittsburgh native who aspires to free business from the rat race. If I am not working to improve the lives of my clients. Then you will most likely find me on the ice playing hockey, reading, or making plans for the future.

If I can ever be helpful to my readers, it would be my pleasure to connect and see where I can bring you value. I look forward to continuing to share more great lessons with my growing community.

Food for Fish: Getting Your Head Right

Food for Fish: Getting Your Head Right

Congrats, if you are reading this article, it is because you booked your first “Big Fish” meeting. If you have not, I suggest you start with the article “Let’s go fishing with Dynamite” it will take you to the beginning of this series. 

Now that you have your meeting scheduled, there are a few things you need to do and consider to prepare for your first face to face meeting:

  • Preparation 
    • Write down one primary goal for your meeting.
    • Make a list of potential concerns from the client and prepare solutions.
    • Loop in support staff and bring in as needed with you.
    • Use and respect the clients’ format.
    • How is your solution the best solution to solve their problem?
    • Find ways to boost your credibility.
    • Build and nurture relationships.
  • Mindset Preparation
    • Listen more than you talk.
    • Learn from “no.” Find out what didn’t work, so you know how to change it for the next time.
    • Be a doctor, not a lawyer.
    • Think small to achieve big.
    • Bend don’t break.

These tips are all essential things to do both before and during your presentation. However, it always important that no plan survives contact with the enemy. Be prepared to adapt and trust that you are the best person to solve their problem. Maintaining confidence in your company and product/service, you will catch that big fish. 

The next step of the process is negotiation. This can seem a little intimidating, but a few tips and tricks can become natural to you.

Here are some tips to help you negotiated successfully:

  1. Build a pricing strategy and stick with it.
  2. Prioritize what you plan to offer. This should include what matters to you and what you are willing to give in on.
  3. Don’t give in too quickly.
  4. We negotiated with a person, not a “company.” Don’t let their answer be that they would like to but can’t.
  5. Don’t sell yourself short.
  6. Mitigate your pricing. If you go too low, you won’t be able to raise it back up, and you need to make a profit.
  7. Don’t sacrifice quality for the deal.
  8. Your services should always count as costs.
  9. Boost margins with add-ons.
  10. Handle requests for proposals with the utmost care.

These are the ways you make sure that both parties are getting the best possible situation from the partnership. Once you start meeting or working together, it’s important to continue to build your relationship so that that representative becomes a big of an ally for you. They are more likely to vouch for you and build on the partnership you have with their company.

We like to call this person a champion. They are champions for your company and can bring a more robust, brighter future to your company. Here are the characteristics of a grand champion:

  • They are respected by supervisors.
  • They are socially networked.
  • They think in the best interest of their company’s long run.
  • They can quickly navigate through the company to get things done.
  • They are willing to give credit to another person.
  • They share the same business philosophy, values, and vision as you.

Now that you know how to negotiate for what is best for both parties and build on relationships, we’re going to talk about how to use your fish’ power to the best of your benefit.

If you need help with any negotiation or courting processes, I am always available to help.

What has D&D taught us about sales?

What has D&D taught us about sales?

Now that you’re prepared to make your first impression, you have your plan and profile in place. It is time to think about how to match your big fish to the right salesperson. The process is all about matching the right salesperson’s personality/ style to the correct prospect.

Before we jump into this, make sure you go back and double-check your process because once we assign the salesperson, there is no turning back. The human factor and the benefits of each of your salespeople’s personalities will now come into play.

Ok, so now that you’re clear on making sure your process is ready, let’s talk about your salespeople.

You need to do this in two steps:

  1. Profile your salespeople’s personalities.
  2. Match the right salesperson to your target fish.

There are essentially three different selling personalities. Most salespeople are usually strong in two of the three arc types. It is crucial to think about your people and see which one each of them is.

The Sage 

This salesperson offers knowledge, experience, comfort, and trust. They can make a concerned customer feel at ease. It is their mission to educate the client to empower them to make the best decision. This salesperson tends to relay the logical information and speak to those benefits. 

To be successful, they need plenty of information, a demo of the product/service, references, and case studies, if possible. They tend to shy away from using emotional appeals and staying grounded in the client’s needs, not their future wants.

The Companion 

Much like it sounds, this is a salesperson that shines at building relationships. They can instantly relate to the prospective client and make them seem like old friends in no time. They work best with clients looking for friendship, information, and a similar peer group as the salesperson. This can include anything from age and culture to hobbies and nightlife. While sharing experiences can be beneficial to creating a new relationship, your salesperson must always keep it professional and dignified. 

This salesperson focuses on painting the picture of the ideal future state. They spend their time working towards the long-term sale and only get a few big wins. They excel at upsells and cross-sales because they are seen as the guy for their customers.

The companion can get in trouble because they tend not to have a large volume of clients. In addition, their sales process takes longer than the others, which can cause trouble for high transaction volume businesses. 

This personality type needs help pairing with the right client, schmoozing budget, and the correct information to meet the client’s needs. In addition, you should consider putting this person in a role working with the big clients that you need to maintain a relationship with.

The Brawler 

Obviously, this personality type is a little more aggressive than the others. They are all about business and the bottom line. While this may seem harsh to many people, there is a set of business people who want the same thing and respect someone who can get down to business and the benefits of a partnership. This salesperson will need to be trusted with a bit of authority as they will likely be closing deals on the spot. They’ll need plenty of resources and access to products and services. They are best placed in environments where they can work independently, exercise their authoritative discretion, and seal deals quickly. 

They are great in high-volume environments or with clients who want to make the now decisions. You tend to see them work best with your straightforward type A personalities.

Pick the right map

Any of these salespeople can all be successful when used in the correct environment. You can easily see how matching the right salesperson for the client can secure more big fish and for a more extended period of time. 

It is up to you as the business owner or sales manager to put your people in place to be most successful. It is also vital to create an environment for your sales team to work collaboratively vs. adversary. This way, you ensure that complimentary styles can share in the benefits. It is important to both have team and individual goals and bonuses.

If you need help figuring out how to capitalize on your sales team and land the big fish. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of our coaches. We would love to offer our aid.

One Fish two, Fish, I can’t stop thinking about the Big Fish.

One Fish two, Fish, I can’t stop thinking about the Big Fish.

Title picture

In the last post, we started our series on catching big clients, or “fish,” that will sustain your business over the long run. Today we’re going to take that a step further by talking about understanding and thinking like a big fish company and how that can help you plan your approach and find success.

Before you can start landing big clients, you have to make sure your entire team is on board with your approach and vision. There are six keys to finding big client success. They are:

Six Key’s: Big Fish Mindset

  1. First Impression: Never give them a reason to doubt your abilities. Plan your interaction and be prepared to listen, learn, and act to solve their problems. Make it about them and not you; be patient. 
  2. First Priority: Your fish must always feel like they are your priority. Return calls and emails promptly and find solutions to their problems or questions as quickly as possible. Over-communicate on the process; let them know your thinking of them.
  3. Flexible: You need to be flexible in your negotiations. If they need a particular service or for you to customize a product, say yes for the benefit of the long term. A little hassle now will be a big payoff later.
  4. Long-term: This goes along with the last one a bit. As you are approaching and negotiating with big fish, you need to think about the long-term benefits for your business. If you go for a one-time big score, you will lose their interest.
  5. Have Fun: Work should be fun, even when trying to land big clients. Going after the big fish should be the most fun. You are sharing your vision with new people and including them in your future success and likewise. People work better in a fun, happy environment. Your passion will also be contagious and pull the fish into your vision even more.
  6. Put them first: If you take just a little bit of time and offer your clients ways to save money or time by introducing them to potential business partners, this will show you are invested and interested in their business. Strive to find the balance between your business needs and your client’s needs.

Now that you understand the basis of the Big Fish Mindset. You might be asking, great, how do I develop a vision for my entire company? There several tactics to employ, but here are a few of my favorites. 

  • Engage your team in defining who is an ideal “Big Fish Nothing gets a team to share a vision like having them be a part of the process design.”

 

  • Write the vision and goals everywhere. Create signage that reinforced the company vision and goals. Everyone loves suitable bathroom reading materials. A fun poster in the stalls can go a long way. Plus, this is a great way to reinforce company values.

 

  • Training, Training, Training: Constitnantly reinforces the goals and objectives while teaching your staff the skills to achieve them. Get help and provide resources for your team to be successful. May I suggest starting with a lesson on the “Big Fish Mindset.”

 

  • Score Board: create a way to share the progress with your entire company. It is a great way to show each person’s contribution to the whole. Plus, it can be a great way to track and evaluate your process. 

 

  • Strategy eats tactics for breakfast, holds frequent meetings to make sure your strategy is working, and adjust the tactics to achieve your goals.

 

  • Create a communication policy, be very clear with your team about how quickly you expect your staff to get back to customers. In addition, create shared language and terms around communicating to clients and other team members. Defining these parameters will solve a lot of problems down the road. 

 

  • Reward in public, coach in private. As often as you can, praise your team. Find a reason to thank your team and appreciate their work. If they’re not performing, pull them aside and ask a straightforward question. What do you need to be more successful?

Including a big fish mindset in your overall company vision and experience will allow you to achieve more as a business owner and organization than you could ever imagine. It will enable you to start thinking long-term and give you the ability to invest in your people, process, and profits. Include the tactics in your strategy, and your company will begin landing big fish in no time.

If you need help creating the system, process, and developing the strategy big-company mindset, contact us today to work with one of our coaches or check out our resources and tools. 

The best time to start was yesterday, but today will do just fine. 

Let’s Go Fishing with Dynamite

Let’s Go Fishing with Dynamite

There are several factors to consider when prepping yourself and your company to approach the largest clients you’ll ever work with.

Today we’re going to start with a brief look at the three paths every business faces and show you which one is the path to success. Then we’ll talk about the mindset it takes to attract the big fish.

There are three major paths a business can take:

  • Path of least resistance
  • False Success
  • Catch the Big Fish

Path of least resistance

This is the path most business owners chose. They chose it because it allows them to do what they like to do and avoid the discomfort of the things they don’t want to do.

Business owners who chose this path ended up working themselves into the ground without much reward or success. This is what happens when you fool yourself into thinking you will find quick success. This path is filled with highly skilled people but who fail to embrace the other parts of running their business.

You may also find yourself following this path when you are afraid of change. If you find yourself avoiding discomfort and not getting anywhere, t is time to choose a new direction.

False Success

This describes a business that shoots to the top so fast you are overwhelmed and don’t have the right resources in place to adapt. This can also happen from being overwhelmed by small clients and not finding large clients, which will sustain your business after the small client sales slow.

The business in this category tends to lack the systems and processes required to sustain the energy level to operate. They tend to have high revenue and low profits. They feel great because they have a ton of activity, but the reality is they are living month to month.

Catch the Big Fish

This is the path that allows you to build at a steady pace that you can manage by not allowing your customers to outpace you. You can do this by putting these tips to work:

  1. Attract, keep and lock in big clients.
  2. Integrate “big business” culture into your company and employees.
  3. Acquire the expertise you need to grow.
  4. Have the courage to make changes as you grow.

Now we are going to transition a bit and talk about the “big fish” mindset. It may sound easy to find and catch that big fish, but if you are stuck in the small business mindset, you may find it harder than you think. 

Think of all the benefits of aiming at more prominent clients:

  • Inexpensive
  • Highly Profitable
  • Longevity
  • Security

To catch the big fish, you need to believe your company can make a difference with theirs. It’s easy to get into the thought that a large company doesn’t need anything from a small business like yours, but this is entirely wrong!

Once you look at how big companies operate, it’s essential to know which ones are the best fit for your company. So how do you know if a company is right for you?

Ask yourself, is this a company that has problems you can solve? Does it scare you to solve their problems? If you answered yes to both of these questions, then I hope you know what to do.

It is essential to note the big companies are relative to your industry and your business. If your current average client is $500 per month, then jumping $2500 per month would be a big fish. The goal with the big fish mindset is to get the best return on the time for money exchange. 

Now once you have determined your big fish, then it is time to create your dynamite strategy for getting them. Here are a few tips that people tend to forget to include in your plan.

  • Whom can I network with to get an introduction to a leader at the company?
  • How are you going to turn perceived weaknesses into strengths?

If you need help catching a big fish, get a free copy of my book, the 8 Steps that Change Your Business Forever, to l help you fine-tune your strategy to create instant results.

I interrupt our regularly scheduled blog for an important customer service announcement.

I interrupt our regularly scheduled blog for an important customer service announcement.

the image is call attention the fact that this not my typical blog but sharing a personal experience

In the last post, we talked about figuring out what your customers want out of a positive buying experience. Today I was going to talk about the concept of Deliver +1 and how this concept can take your customer service to the next level. Instead, I need to share a recent experience as an example of what not to do in your customer service system. 

Over three weeks ago, STX hockey ran a BOGO special. Anyone who knows me knows I love STX equipment. As you can imagine, I was excited. It was the chance for me to pick up their top-of-the-line sticks for $100 or less, which, if you are a hockey player, it’s a steal.

However, when my order arrived, it only had two of the four sticks I had ordered; the box was ripped open. I was shocked. I immediately went online to look up the customer service number. I called no answer; upon listening to the customer service message, it stated that they do not have customer service hours on the weekends and suggest sending an email. 

I left a voicemail and then followed up with an email to highlight my issues and my desire to speak with someone. I expected them to get back to me on Monday. 

Monday afternoon rolls around, and no replay. So I decided to call again, no answer. I leave another voicemail and email. Two days later, I called again. This time added how they could resolve the issue to my satisfaction. (see email below)

Apr 16, 2021, 13:54 EDT
Hello,

I am following up because I have now left three voice messages and have not heard anything from you. I was a major supporter of the STX, but I am now becoming extremely frustrated that you have been unable to get back to me about the issue with my stick order within a week.

I would like to either receive the other two sticks that I ordered with your BOGO deal or a refund for the product I didn't receive.

Please call me at (edited to remove personal information)

I waited another two days and no response. I left another voicemail and an email. At this point, I have created three support tickets and was starting to get frustrated. I am a massive fan of the brand and love their equipment, but the lack of support was ridiculous. 

Once again, the weekend  was approaching, so I knew I could not get a hold of anyone. So I decided to try the hail marry of getting shit done before I just cut my losses and move on, never to buy from them again.

I looked up the CEO, email, and phone number using a prospecting tool, shout out to Seamless AI. I sent a final email highlighting my displeasure and how I would like to see it resolved.

Apr 22, 2021, 9:34 EDT
Hello Kenneth,

I am reaching out as a concerned customer and business owner myself. I have been trying to reach someone at STX customer service for over two weeks. I have left 4 voice mails and sent 3 emails and have not heard back from them.

I had an issue with your recent BOGO sale, in which I only received two of the four sticks I should have received as much as I am pissed that I did not receive what I ordered. I am more concerned about my favorite hockey brand.

I have truly enjoyed using your products, but I am now considering switching because of the lack of customer care. It is ridiculous that not one person could reply to a voice mail or email in two weeks. I hope that you, as the owner, have taken the time to read this email and will hopefully respond to me.

My phone number is (edited to remove personal information)

My support ticket (26556)

Later that afternoon, I got my first response. Now it took me over two weeks of messaging and calling to get a response. You would think they would have taken the time to read my emails and listen to my voice mails, where I spell out my problem.

No, the first thing is two different customer support agents contacted me—each one asking for my order number, which I had shared with them twice in earlier emails.

After giving them the information, they credited my account and have sent me the two missing sticks, which seems like a desired result. I got everything I wanted and then some; however, they still made several significant mistakes. These were the ones that bothered me the most.

  1. Their customer service agents were called agents instead of having names, which made the limited interaction feel impersonal. To be honest, this was a characteristic of the entire experience.
  2. They were extraordinarily unorganized and failed to communicate how they resolved my problem. Suddenly, I got an email from my credit card company that I had received credit and a similar message from UPS that a package was on the way. 
  3. Lastly, no apology. I am glad they resolved the issue, but seriously they took no ownership and left the experience feeling cold. 

As you continue to read this series on customer service, I hope you take my experience to heart while developing your customer service systems. Next week I will introduce the concept of Delivery +1 and the 1% rule.

In the meantime, if you need help building a holistic customer experience that turns your clients into raving fans. Then don’t hesitate to contact me.