Customer Loyalty

Ode to The Pizza Man

Ode to The Pizza Man

She ordered that night (stomachs were growling)
A few pizzas to keep the kids from howling.

We waited and waited and waited some more,
Must the pepperoni age before it got to the door?

The minutes they ticked by--fifteen then thirty, forty-five, fifty--
Anger joined hunger as the clock ticked past sixty.

At ninety minutes, no less, the doorbell chime rang
Finally some food for our bedraggled gang!

Someone will hear about this she insisted
A phone call was made and the manager listened.

A few days later, by mail was delivered to me,
A note with certificates for two pizzas free!

The long wait of last week, its memory has faded
With thoughts that they listened, we're no longer jaded.

It's pizza tonight from Papa John's once more
the manager there knew how to settle the score.

Mistakes, they happen, but this truth remains:
To the business that listens come the most gains.

[Don't worry, I'm not quitting my day job! Nice to see a business do good and make a save. Aware of other saves you've made or seen made? Tell us about them--and no, you don't need to rhyme.]

You work hard to make sure your customers are happy. Don't waste happy customers. How easy is it for your customers to share with their friends? Learn more

Building trust - insights from my mechanic

Building trust - insights from my mechanic

I have a little '97 Dodge Neon that has been "enjoying" the heat about as much as the rest of the country and began overheating. I took it to Hefners and dropped it off with no fear. I had no worries they were going to be looking for ways to overcharge me or do something unnecessary to fund their vacation.

This kind of trust only comes through experience. On one occasion they explained I had a slow leak in my AC compressor system that would cost about $1000 to fix. However, they suggested topping off the coolant and watching to see how long it lasted to determine if a fix were worth it. Turns out it lasted for about 6 months. So I decided to pay $30 every 6 months rather than $1000. It would take 16 years to make the repair worth it! (probably be using hovercraft or something by then anyway).

I have gone in before and they just tweaked something and charged me nothing! I left the car at a repair place and came back and was charged nothing. Ask anyone that is lucky enough to know Hefners and they will tell you the same kind of stories.

Hefners is not a pretty place, they don't talk to you much, it is not in the nicest neighborhood. But they are honest, look to save you money, and keep you informed and I have been going there for nearly 20 years. They treat you like you are a family member with a car problem.

Are your customers feeling that way about you? What can you do to give them experiences that build trust. This is something that doesn't come from catchy copy or flashy fliers or wizzy webpages or slick salesmen, it comes from experience. With it you will succeed, without it you won't.

[OK, for those of you nearby that want to get some of that Hefner goodness here is their contact info: Hefner's Auto Repair (480)969-8291 they are on 502 N. Center Street, Mesa, Arizona 85201]

The Power of the Talking Bubble

The Power of the Talking Bubble

Remember the talking bubble from the cartoons? It occurs to me that there is a lot of power in that bubble. In fact, the whole intent of word-of-mouth efforts is to get your business in your customer's bubble.

How much money do we as business owners spend getting our ads up in lights, in a magazine, on TV, or online? Fact is, consumers are more jaded than ever and better at ignoring all that expensive advertising.

The real power is not up on the billboards or on the airwaves. The real power is in the bubble.

The growth of your business will be determined by what your customers say about it. Do you know what they are saying? Learn more

Carnival of Business - #14

Carnival of Business - #14

Welcome to the July 24, 2006 edition of carnival of business. Come on in! This edition has got something for everybody! Before we jump into the submissions, we're going to drop by the games booth and announce the winner of 12 free months of PromoterZ. Drum roll please!

And the winner is James Chandler, owner of Data Doctors in Salt Lake City. Congratulations James! For the rest of you, don't give up hope. We'll be hosting the Carnival of Marketing on August 6th and 13th and giving away more prizes. Enter here. Now on to the submissions.

Like any Carnival or State Fair worth it's peanuts, we've got a little something for everybody. From baseball, to employee fraud, to why it is important to have fun, we've got it all.

Benjamin Yoskovitz starts us off with some good reminders for keeping our ever-present to-do lists focused. Get Organized and More Productive! No More Bloated To-Do Lists.

Amy Rogers follows that up with the first item to put on our to-do list: when is the right time to hire? New Hire Gut Check.

David Lorenzo then presents Common Workplace Woes and Their Solutions. Which is sure to put a few more items on that to-do list.

Though we'd all like to believe it would never happen to us, Tracy L. Coenen, reminds us that employee theft happens and provides some good counsel for detecting it (don't worry, the fun stuff is coming!) How to catch employees stealing.

Jeannie Bauer then restores our hope with some great pointers on being better leaders: The Magic of a Great Business Leader.

Tim King follows Jeannie with some great questions to ask yourself about your market. Before Your Idea Can Take Off.

David Maister then lays out the role technology and IT should play in your drive to improvement with The High Priest's Catechism.

Can't talk about technology without 2.0 coming up. Daniel Scocco cuts through some of the 2.0 buzz and lays out in clear terms what it means for your marketing. Marketing Under the Information Age - Top 5 Trends .

Greg Swann sticks with the 2.0 theme but focuses specifically on what that means for realtors. Great stuff here for any professional. Apprehending Realtor 2.0: Seven essential skills of the 21st century real estate agent... .

Baseball, finally! David Daniels uses the New York Yankees as a great example of an organization that has created an upward spiral. Creating an Upward Spiral .

Marcus Markou then reminds that Happy People Are The Key .

And last, but not least Kathy Sierra gives us a solid business case for having fun with Usability through fun. Need more proof? Check out Playing For Water.

Well that's it folks! Thanks for joining us for this edition of the carnival of business. Don't forget to enter to win at the Carnival of Marketing--here on Seeds on August 6th.

 You can submit your blog article to the next edition of Carnival of Business using the carnival submission form.

Past posts and future hosts can be found on the blog carnival index page.

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Consumer A.D.D. -- Is There a Cure?

Consumer A.D.D. --  Is There a Cure?

After describing modern consumers and their desire to watch or read what they want, when they want, the current issue of Business Week concludes:

The result: a serious case of attention deficit for every business that depends on traditional mass media to reach customers.

So the question is, what is the cure? Here is an additional question that I think leads to the answer: if consumers aren't paying attention to traditional advertising, who are they paying attention to?

The answer: their friends, their colleagues, their neighbor, their obnoxious brother-in-law--frankly, anybody but an advertiser. So what is the solution for a business? Turn your customers into promoters. Your customers are somebody's friend, colleague, neighbor and yes, even obnoxious brother-in-law. Make your customers so happy they can't wait to tell somebody--that is the cure.

Your success will be determined more by what your customers say about your business than what you say about it--no matter how much you pay to say it!

Customers who feel that you are listening to them are more likely to recommend you to a friend. How do your customers know that you are listening? Learn more
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