Customer Satisfaction

It's not easy not liking tomatoes

It's not easy not liking tomatoes

For those few of you out there that don't like tomatoes you know what I'm talking about. "Why don't you try this fresh one from the garden? They are so good!" But the result is always the same, once the slimy seedy acidy insides hit my mouth its over.

I know all the arguments for liking tomatoes..."How can you like salsa, ketchup and spaghetti sauce and not tomatoes?" Sorry, they taste different.

Put yourself in my place. Everytime you order a burger you have to special order, and half the time they blow the order so you are picking off the tomato yourself. Like that's easy...the carcass comes off pretty well but the seedy sludge left over reminds me of trying to wipe up...well, it is too gross to specify. (Let just say it happens when kids have eaten then you drive through a winding canyon.)

Ever try to get a salad without tomatoes? There is no pulling those out, the tomato fluids are lost in the forest of lettuce, just waiting to get you.

I would like to love tomatoes, I have tried, honestly. I would love to have a life where I enjoy them. But I don't. No one seems to accept that. There is always a bit of judgment as you tell them you would not care for tomatoes.

I heard once that they were a member of the nightshade family. A very deadly plant. Ever wonder who tried those first? "Hey, Eb, give these a try..."

My favorite places to eat are those that are happy with a "special order" or the ones where you have to pay extra for tomatoes (why should I pay the tax for others tomatoes?).

OK, this is going somewhere. The point is we all have different tastes and preferences. And no matter how much we educate or communicate, those tastes and preferences remain. And trying to change them is like trying to teach a pig to sing, it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

Think about your business. Do you have customers that prefer things a little different than the rest? Do you have policies or people that just refuse to change.? This is a great chance to give them a bit of your own "secret sauce" where you show them you take care of the customer. Sometimes things shouldn't be changed for the special case, but if your competitor will change for them you know where your customer will be.

If you are not regularly staying in touch with your customers someone else will. How do you stay in touch? Learn more

How will you be viewed?






I love optical illusions. It is fascinating how our minds can be tricked. The good folks at grand-illusions have a dragon illusion that you can download and build yourself. Here is a video showing the illusion in more detail.

This seems to be another example of the brain assigning a symbol to something (see earlier post) to make processing lots of information quicker. In this case, it seems the brain "knows" that if a dragon is looking at us that its nose would be closer to us than its eyes. It is called the "Hollow Face Illusion".

Just as our brain can interpret what we see as two completely different views, it appears it does the same thing with people. For example, let's say you are looking at a playground and you see a child climbing up a slide. You also see an adult in the shadows hiding behind a nearby tree peeking out and watching the child.

If you don't know this adult chances are you will remember being taught "stranger danger!" and you will immediately become suspicious that this might be a predator. However, if you knew this adult you would assume that they are playing hide-and-seek. Two completely different conclusions from the same situation. Obviously, previous experience colors our perception.

Inevitably you, or someone in your company, will make a mistake. At that point your customer's view of you will determine the conclusion they draw. If you are a stranger they may view the mistake as a callous disregard for customers from a company that only cares about its profits. However, if they have had several good experiences with your company they will be more likely to give you the benefit of the doubt.

If your customers only hear from you when you are selling something you are missing out on a chance to build trust and change from being a stranger to a friend. Why not send a non-salesy greeting to them on their birthday, let them get to know you, it is good insurance for future mishaps and it is what friends do.

Unhappy customers tell on average 22 other people. If you ticket price is $50 that is $1100 in revenue. How would you like to know before they tell 22 others? Learn more

Service or Tool for Small Business?

Service or Tool for Small Business?

One of the adages that Steve Covey popularized in his 7 Habits was "give a man a fish and feed him for a day, teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime." The statement is obviously true and applicable in many of life's situations, but frankly there are instances when people either don't have the time or the desire to learn how to fish. I'm not talking about the welfare crowd (though that may be a problem). What I'm talking about is small business owners and what it takes to successfully sell to them.

Here is my experience: We developed Promoterz as an inexpensive, do-it-yourself system that any small business could use to collect customer feedback, generate referrals and stay in touch with their customers. In a nutshell, we help them make sure their customers are happy and get them talking to their friends. The system has been tested in multiple industries and it works. Those that use it, receive measurable benefit.

So far, so good. We've got a tool that the majority of small businesses could use to speed their growth. As we've met with business owners in person or attracted them to our website, it has become clear that most of them don't want to be taught how to use the tool. They don't have time. They would much prefer to pay for a service. In order to put fish on their table they have a list of about 100 other things they need to be learning and doing. One customer noted that when she wants an ad in the newspaper she just pays the paper and doesn't have to know how to use the press. Ouch!

As we tweak the pricing model to cover the additional service, some small businesses may balk, but I am now convinced that there are more small businesses looking for a fillet on the platter (complete with a wedge of lemon) than those interested in buying a fishing pole--even if it comes with a fly tying kit.

Food's on! Step right up!

Promoterz is the hands-free, word-of-mouth marketing service that takes care of the details so you can focus on business. Learn more

Customer Surveys Gone Bad

Customer Surveys Gone Bad

Asking customers for feedback is a great way to get them more engaged and find opportunities to improve any business. Unfortunately, as with anything good, if not used appropriately they can cause more grief than benefit. Here are a few holes not to step in:

1) Don't ask just because you can. There is nothing worse than a long customer service survey--so long that by the time you finish it you can't remember what the original shopping experience was like. Is anyone really using that data? Make it as short as you possibly can and then cut it in half. Your customers will thank you and you'll stay focused on what is really important. Want more detail? Contact a few of those that answered your short survey and ask them if they'd be willing to spend some more time on additional questions.

2) Pay attention to the details. Nothing destroys credibility faster than a stupid question. If you limit yourself to only a few questions all the stupid ones will go away. Here is an example from the September 2006 Readers Digest:

Maybe I was overreacting, but I couldn't help worrying about the quality of care at the local hospital. On a form titled "Some Questions for Our Pregnant Patients," the very first item was: "1. Gender? (check one) M_ F_." Jenniey Tallman, Tyro, Virginia

3) Numbers are good, comments are better. Numbers, if used appropriately, can give you a good feeling for trends and direction over time, but they are no match for free-form comments from your customers. Numbers can be manipulated and misinterpreted but actual comments like the following paint a compelling picture that doesn't require interpretation.

...location has long lines all the time (out the door). They could do something to speed up the process. Sometimes we don't go there because we know it takes so long.

Don't throw the baby out with the bath water. Customer feedback is a great thing. Just be careful how you ask.

When you pass out a Promoterz bounce back card you automatically build an accurate customer list, increase repeat sales, increase referrals and prevent lost business. Pretty powerful little card. Learn more

True Blue Fans Create!

True Blue Fans Create!

I've written some in the past about the benefits of inviting your customers to participate in the creative process. Two benefits: 1) the content produced and 2) the fact that the more they do for your business, the more likely they are to mention it to others. Just came upon another example of that process taking place online.

CougarBlue.com is a discussion board for BYU Cougar fans (yes, I am one). Anyway, a new thread got started that suggested fans bring a white or blue towel to the football games this fall. The thread quickly became an online brainstorming session including assignments and reports on assignments etc. You can check it out here. Several pages of posts you'll need to scan through to see its progression.

Not sure if the vending or marketing folks at BYU are plugged in to or are aware of it, but it is a great example of fans (customers) getting involved and creating something that they love and will pay for. How can you turn your customers into fans, creating something they will love and pay for?

Go Cougars!

When you pass out a Promoterz bounce back card you automatically build an accurate customer list, increase repeat sales, increase referrals and prevent lost business. Pretty powerful little card. Learn more
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