Sunday, February 26, 2012

What Are You Waiting For?

You hate your job.
You hate your boss.
You're in a bad relationship.
You're upset with how you've been treated by supplier.
You know your company's new strategy is going to drive away good customers.

What are you waiting for? 
A more convenient time to discuss it?  To make your painful decision another time?
A more perfect opportunity?

You're either driving the car or being driven by someone else.
That car is your career, your relationships, your education, your choices.

Surround yourself with people that can enable your success, but don't forget --you own this.
Don't expect anyone else to drive for you.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Actions Speak Louder

Customer delight is a term being thrown around a lot these days.   It seems to be the special sauce to get your customer horizontally marketing on your behalf.

What is customer delight? The best customer service in the world? The point at which you've created that experience for the customer that it becomes a story they tell?

More often than not, it is when the customer is surprised by an unexpected gesture or action you took that defines the turning point of their loyalty to you: upgraded delivery, replacement of an out-of-warranty item, a personal thank you note, or call from a concerned CEO.

The problem is that customer delight is subjective.  It is defined by the customer, not by you. 

As an organization, you can strive to create a culture that is focused on customer delight, but you would be better served focusing on filling your organization with people that have the individual power to make it happen.
This starts with trust, both trusting your employees to make good decisions and trusting that not all your customers are trying to take advantage of you.

You can't define the story of customer delight from the top.  Its got to be crafted, grown, and reshaped from every customer interaction from those touching the customers.

Striving toward customer delight must include the acceptance that you don't know what that is and you can't control it.  What you can control, however, is encouraging your employees to uncover unexpected examples and reward them to take action.

Those actions will eventually build and define your culture of customer delight.  

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Head in the Sand

Social networking is taking over all aspects of our lives, both personal and professional.  Most of us know this.

The merits, the ROI, and the role it should play in your business is constantly up for debate.

What's not debatable is that it exists and is flourishing.

What is your corporate social networking policy?  Does it address your employees as well as your customers?
Do you even have one?

In 2012, when your company does not specifically define this, you're in trouble.

Right now, your employees are talking about their work life on Facebook and following customers and competitors on Twitter.  Your customers are tweeting about your poor customer service or posting status updates about a problem they have that your product solves.

Lay out your guidelines for employees.  Define how you are responding to customer complaints seen by two million eyes.  The excuse that you don't use social networking personally is lame and is going catch up with you.  

Pretend its 1995 and we replace "social networking" with "the Internet".

See what I mean, Mr. Ostrich.