Archive for the ‘Sales’ Category

Customer Experience…or should I say Customer Relationship

 I recently had a great conversation with a good friend of mine about my Blog. We had not chatted in a while, but he had been following along on the website and taking in all of the varied topics that I had been speaking of. As we were speaking he made the following comment…”how is it possible that you can relate everything back to Customer Experiences”? Hmmm, did I really do that? Was it everything that I spoke of? Was it every industry that I spoke of? Was it from a consumer perspective, a supplier perspective or a distributor and maybe even within personal relationships?

 Well…yes.

 I had not made the specific connection in any particular Blog to date and I had not called it out specifically as I had not thought of it quite this way, but…

 The world revolves on relationships. Think of it this way..

 Who do you like to hang out with on a personal level?– likely those people with the same personalities, same morals, same passions and same lifestyles.

Who do you like to buy things from? – likely people that a) have the product that you want, but b) that make you feel welcome when you are wherever they sell their product and engage you like a friend would.

 The people/businesses that will be successful moving forward are those that have the ability to relate to as many people as possible. Not without authenticity, but can truly relate to people whether in a community, a sport, a food type, an ethnicity or whatever would drive them to engage with you initially. That is not to say that the guys running the crazy business of XXXXXX (don’t even want to suggest what a crazy is because it is your opinion that matters) won’t be successful, just that they will build solid relationships with people that want to engage with them.

 It really is not that difficult. If you have a product and no one likes to deal with you…good luck. Frankly, if you are able to engage with numerous people and you have a product that provides slightly less value than the competitor, I will put my money on you to be successful.

 As we always say…not rocket science, but so many try to do it a different way. Life is too short to spend time or support people that we don’t enjoy being with.

 Cheers,
Pete

Henry`s – Shooting Star- Staff Recognition Program

 For anyone that has taken their photography to the next level in Toronto or in some parts of Canada, you will be familiar with Henry`s. For me Henry`s is the quintessential “experts” type business. Focused on one category and do it extremely well. You can walk into any store, ask about any type of photo, video or digital product and someone will be able to walk you through the details of the product, the comparison against other brands and through the “how to” steps to get started. As well, they will usually paint the picture for you of what the next steps would be should you want to take your hobby to a passion, your passion to an obsession or maybe even your obsession to a career.

The other day as I was with my good friend Rob Tyler from Two for The Show (check them out at www.TwoForTheShow.org ) and we were looking to purchase a lavaliere. It is a remote microphone that allows you to video at a distance without getting external noises like wind, people or cars in the audio. Rob knew that Henry’s carried them and we headed over. Sumit was our Henry’s representative at the Kennedy Commons location and in 2 minutes had walked us through all the options for extended warranties and benefits versus other lavalieres (we did tell him we were in a hurry). As well, he offered to answer any other questions we had ongoing as we worked to get comfortable with the unit and handed us his card.

So, I had to ask…does your company know how great an asset you are to their business?

Surprisingly the answer was yes. Sumit was one of 12 (I believe that was the number) employees that had been awarded the “Henry’s Shooting Star” award for customer service excellence. What a great idea to acknowledge the great work of an employee. There are many challenges in trying to execute these types of awards in a business. They often become popularity contests focussed on awarding the person who shows up on time or brings coffee for the boss. Or they are awarded to so many staff that they lose the internal meaning and external significance. If those hurdles can be avoided and in this situation I believe it to be the case, the benefits are endless. With the right incentives attached to such great acknowledgement, you can ensure that other staff will be inspired to achieve the Shooting Star because we all like to be acknowledged for great work… and rewards are a nice bonus.

Well done Sumit. Look forward to coming back to your store when I am buying my next photography item and I will be looking to you for your advice.

Cheers,

Pete

Canadian Tire – I thought you would like to know…

 I have had the opportunity since I began writing this Blog to have some great conversations with business people in regards to their business and the efforts that they are making to improve their customer experience. Some have been prompted by the content of Blogs to reconsider what they were doing, while others knew that they we lacking before they read the Blog. One thing is for sure, all understood that the customer experience is going to be the differentiator in business as we move forward.

 As consumers, it is always nice to know that companies are listening. That they are doing the things that are going to make a difference on your next visit to their store. Eventually, if you continue to have great experiences, you begin to become loyal and no marketing, discount or promotion will pull you away from your favourite. Earlier this week I had the opportunity to be on set as Canadian Tire began the filming 12 internal videos addressing how to provide greater Customer Experiences to their valued customers. It was exciting to see the script speak about what the customer wanted and what the customer was thinking versus reinforcing “our policy”.

  Moving an organization the size of Canadian Tire is not going to be easy, but I believe that the efforts that I saw this week are a great first step. Engaging staff to understand that unhappy customers do not return and that every employee is responsible, in their own small way, for the success of the business can only improve the future results of the company.

 Well done Canadian Tire, you are listening to your customers.

 Well done Mr. & Mrs. Consumer, you are being heard and your feedback is driving change.

 Cheers,
Pete

 Rogers Live Agent – Small Business Only 

 Heard a radio commercial a couple weeks back promoting that Rogers has added live agents to their phones for Small Business. Hmmm, does that mean while I am at work I appreciate the opportunity to speak to a real person, but at home I would rather speak to a machine or go through the telephone tap dance?

  Come on Rogers, you are almost there. Make the commitment to be different and service your customers the way they want to be serviced.

  Cheers,

 Pete

   P.S. Have to give credit where it is due and that is to the new Rogers Handset Protection Program.  There are plans and aspects involved in getting the support, but what Rogers has realized is that every time a consumer has to replace a handset it creates stress, frustration and anger at being locked into a plan with no support. By supporting customers in this time of stress (which no one wants to deal with) Rogers will surely build a little more loyalty from those who take advantage of the offer. http://redboard.rogers.com/2010/rogers-offers-handset-protection-guarantee/